the waldo duplex at 7509 pennsylvania avenue
Waldo is a diverse neighborhood in southern Kansas City. Once the southern extent of the streetcar, Waldo doesn’t play by the rules of City Beautiful urban planning, but has flourished nonetheless. The major commercial and industrial corridor along Wornall Road is immediately flanked by established neighborhoods of single-family bungalows and shotgun homes. In this “anything goes” neighborhood exist opportunities for typological experimentation and architectural innovation.
The Waldo Duplex was designed and built by the architect to be a solution to a significant, if unexpected problem in Metropolitan Kansas City. Rent is rising at a rate higher than the national average, negatively impacting lower-income neighborhoods like Waldo.
Targeting only households making less than 80% of area median income and implementing rent controls, this project will be home for two moderately low income families that want to live and work in Waldo, but otherwise could not afford to.
More importantly, this project suggests that a maligned architectural typology – the duplex - can be built affordably without sacrificing architectural integrity.
The accommodation of diverse incomes by the Waldo Duplex continues the dichotomy created and defines this neighborhood today. Projects like this will ensure that Waldo maintains its unique character long into the future.
All photographs courtesy of Mike Sinclair.