Not only does KCU have a rich history, parts of its campus have a history of their own. The current Adminisration Building and Leonard Smith Hall were once the Children's Mercy Hospital complex.
Children's Mercy Hospital was founded in 1897 when Katharine Berry Richardson, MD and her sister Alice Berry Graham, DDS found a crippled five-year old girl crying in a street in the West Bottoms with no where to go. Their "Free Bed Fund Association" was housed in private homes in the area including one at 414 Highland which is now Parking Lot B. After a donation of two acres at Independence and Woodland Avenues the big red brick building was built. Children's Mercy Hospital opened November 17, 1917, and would treat area children for the next 53 years.
Nurses' Hall, the building to the left of the hospital was built in 1927 as a dormitory. This view shows an oval to the rear of the hospital. This area was a playground for the patients and the oval was "Kiddy Kar Street", the main thoroughfare of "Mercy City".
In 1970 Children's Mercy Hospital left the building at 1750 Independence Avenue and moved to a new facility on Hospital Hill.
The Alumni Association purchased the property in 1971 and donated it to the University. Extensive renovation was begun.
The Administration Building was occupied in July, 1979 and 1750 Independence Avenue becomes the University's permanent address.
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