Vintage postcard of Katz Drug in Overland Park Kansas
Yet another Kansas City Landmark Katz Drug building, this one also by the venerable KC design firm of Kivett and Myers, is in imminent danger of being destroyed.
Less than a year ago the premiere Katz Drug Store (#9) location at 40th and Main was going to be the possible setting for the latest crime against Modern Architecture in Kansas City. The recent purchase of the Osco Drug chain by CVS Drugs, and the proximity to other CVS drugstores, had left that location's future in question.
The midtown location was one of the first buildings designed by Clarence Kivett in 1934 and it became the first in long line of buildings designed by Kivett and Myers for the Katz Drug chain, owned by Kivett's uncles, Isaac and Michael Katz. It seems that particular building has received a stay of execution as CVS has not put the building up for sale while it evaluates the situation.
This time the suburban retail setting of Overland Park, Kansas could be the scene of the next crime. A beige dryvit face lift is being proposed for the 1950s era building which will be stripped of its external columns and sunshades. The bold exposed columns and screens served as a backdrop to the original signage as well as shading the International Style aluminum curtainwall. Over the years some of these screens have been removed compromising the designs integrity.
The building which for years had served as the areas only 24 hour pharmacy has suffered from an equal number of years of neglect. The exterior of the building has not been maintained while new development has surrounded it's prime retail site. The interior is equally in need of a facelift.
No one is arguing that this location needs a facelift, but do we have to make this another bland beige stucco box store?
This later Katz Drug location has been a Skaggs Drug, Osco Drug and now a CVS Drug as the building has gone through a succession of owners, but it has always been a drugstore location like the midtown location, a testament to the Katz brothers ability to pick prime intersections to place their retail outfits.