Posted October 21, 2014.
Saving Longview Farm
Apparently, fragmented efforts to make use of the remains of the original Longview Farm (buildings and history) have triggered “fragmented” consequences which have brought about thoughts of tearing down (destroying) some of the buildings. Our purpose here is not to suggest the “how” of saving Longview Farm but to answer the question of “why?” and to emphasize that it is “now or never!”
During a recent tour of Kansas City Museum, one comment that stuck with us was that Corinthian Hall (home of R. A. Long family) had been made into a “Museum” (Kansas City Museum), and now with all the “remodeling” was being made back into its “original home condition” for showing – still as Kansas City Museum.
Another thought that occurred later (after watching the 27 minute movie) was that the “real story” was actually R. A. Long and his family, especially his daughter Loula (married as Loula Long Combs). Corinthian Hall was designed according to specifications of R. A. Long – the building was really a “reflection” of the man, a representation of the man. So … to understand how the building came about, it is necessary to look deeply into the man.
Finally, we feel that the use of “Longview” in the naming of “places” like Longview Farm, Longview Lake, Longview, Washington is very “descriptive” and represents R. A. Long’s outlook on the “future” (business ventures and life in general) in that he always took a “long view” (far, far into the future).
We are not talking here about “just buildings” but more about “preservation of worthwhile history.”
We are suggesting a letter writing campaign to the members of the Lee’s Summit City Council to express your personal feelings about this matter (See list below of Members of Lee’s Summit City Council). If you need some “inspiration” for writing your letter here are some thoughts.
“Longview Farm isn’t just significant to Lee’s Summit; it’s a place of national significance. Unique and beautiful, its buildings deserve to be saved and repurposed as community assets. Consider the possibilities: a library, a performing arts center, a farmer’s market, a conference facility – the list goes on and on.”
In the book “Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True” there is a very good description of the basic argument:
Longview Farm was every bit a small community. At its peak, more than 350 people and their families lived, worked, and played at Longview Farm. In addition to the large horse, hog, dairy, and greenhouse operations - that provided a multitude of well-paying, skilled jobs - Longview provided housing, worship services, a school, and social facilities for all who were fortunate enough to live on the farm. It had its own water distribution system, telephone service, and heating system, and its own police and fire departments and even tour guides for visitors. Residents routinely gathered for plays, puppet shows, movies, and pot-luck dinners. The workers organized tennis and softball teams and competed against each other and surrounding community teams.
The movie released in 2007 “Ours to Give: The Long Legacy of An American Family” is covered extensively in 7 separate pages on this web site, describing the passion, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of the many hands involved:
being good illustrations of what we are trying to convey.
“Ours to Give” can be checked out from the Johnson County Library, viewed at Kansas City Museum or purchased by CLICKING HERE, which also displays information about the making of the movie. Also, the book “Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True” can be purchased by CLICKING HERE where a brief review of its contents is given.
Play excerpts from “Ours to Give: The Long Legacy of An American Family”
Longview Farm Elementary School
Click on photo thumbnails to view enlargements.
|“The Long story is truly an American success story, and one that should continue to be told. Lee’s Summit community has been fortunate enough to take the ‘show barn’ and turn it into an award-winning and acclaimed Elementary School.”|
Longview Farm Elementary School http://lfe.lsr7.org/
We want letters, letters – lots and lots of letters
Letters can be handwritten and sent by postal delivery or done as email. It is even possible to go to the Council Web Site for an online contact form at:
Their instructions for using that form are as follows:
Your input is very important to us, please take this opportunity to ask a question or share your comments with us. To better serve you, select the department suited to address your comment. If you are unsure, please select “General.” You should receive a response within 2 business days. You may also contact a department directly by phone or email, or call the City’s main line at (816) 969-1000.
City Council, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
In about 1912, Mr. R. A. Long, a prominent Kansas City lumberman, started building his dream, which became a reality with the construction of Longview Farm. Mr. Long began by purchasing approximately 1,700 acres in the southwest portion of Lee’s Summit. Mostly self-sufficient, the farm included five major barn groups and 42 buildings. When completed and functional, Longview Farm became internationally known for the horses and livestock contained within its white rail fences and was one of only three dozen such showplace farms.
Read about Historic Longview Farm
New Longview residents can live, learn, work, shop and play in a 260 acre village environment that preserves the most important buildings from “The World’s Most Beautiful Farm,” the title given to R. A. Long’s baronial “Longview Farm” upon its completion in 1914.
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