From the archives, 1947: Happy times at ‘the old junior college’

100 Years, 100 Stories

Just six years after the Junior College of Kansas City — as MCC was once known — moved from downtown to Westport, the original building at 11th and Locust streets was in bad shape. In this 1947 feature story from The Kansas City Star, a couple who met there (she as a student, he a “bachelor instructor”) tour the “the old junior college” and reminisce about the school and its students and faculty.

The story is loaded with lovely anecdotes and detail. For instance:

They stopped in a northeast room in the old section of the first floor, once the classroom of Senor Hernandez.

“Remember how he had these walls covered with reproductions of famous paintings?” Mrs. Leffler said. “Senor Hernandez always spoke Spanish, even to his good morning greeting. I learned two words which I used to reply to him. He was a meticulous dresser and wore white suits three-fourths of the year.

“His wife made his neckties, long narrow black stripes which he tied four in hand fashion, and tucked the ends into his trousers. He died in 1936, I believe.”

On the third floor they entered the huge auditorium, bare except for a small section of folding chairs on the main floor, seats in the balcony, and a sagging curtain on the stage. A pompous pigeon perched high on the curtain top.

The Lefflers recalled men who had spoken from that platform, including Marshal Foch just after World War I, William Jennings Bryan, the late Judge Merrill E. Otis and many others.

This article appeared in The Star on May 18, 1947. Click it to see it larger.

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