Clardy Heights Historic District

Liberty City, Clay County, MO

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The Clardy Heights Historic District (716, 736 and 758 W. Liberty Dr.) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. []

The Clardy Heights Historic District is a small enclave of historic buildings located within the city limits of Liberty, Clay County, on West Liberty Drive. There are four contributing buildings, which include three houses and one garage; one contributing structure, a stone retaining wall; and two non-contributing garages. The three houses site on large lots which are raised above the level of the street, partly obscuring a clear view of the houses. The smallest example identified of the Residential District property type, defined in the amendment to the Multiple Property Submission, "Historic Resources of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri" (hereafter, "Liberty MPS"), the Clardy Heights Historic District has clear associations with two of the contexts outlined in the amendment: Establishing a City: Liberty from 1817-1860 and The "Bon ton" Suburban Community: Liberty from 1896-1946. The focal point of the district is the two story brick Ringo House, which is an excellent example of a Greek Revival Residence as defined in the Liberty MPS. The other residences are a two story clapboard Colonial Revival residence and a one story limestone bungalow, both good, representative examples of their styles.

The Clardy Heights Historic District contains five buildings which retain a sufficient degree of integrity to be contributing to the Residential District property type. Buildings within the district are associated with two of the contexts presented in the Liberty MPS: Establishing a Community: Liberty form 1817-1860 and The "Bon-ton" Suburban Community: Liberty from 1896-1946. The district as a whole retains integrity of location, setting, feeling, association, materials, and design, and although very small, it fulfills the registration requirements for the Residential District property type.

A full listing of the contributing buildings in the Clardy Heights Historic District follows, giving the address, building type, estimated date of construction, and contributing status. A brief description of each contributing building follows the listing, which includes the style or building form, and the contributing status of any outbuildings.

716 W. Liberty Drive, house, (c. 1915) Contributing. This one story limestone bungalow has a hip roof porch with wide architrave wood band beneath the overhanging eaves. The full width porch is recessed beneath the front slope of the roof, and is supported by square stone columns. There are hip roof dormers with clapboard siding. A contributing two car garage with hip roof and shiplap siding is at the rear of the lot.

734 W. Liberty Drive, house, (c. 1930) Contributing. This two story frame Colonial Revival house has a side gable roof with overhanging eaves. The front elevation of the main portion is three ranked and symmetrically arranged. There is a one story, one bay flat roof portico with round columns and a veranda above. The main entry door has sidelights, and is flanked by a grouping of three windows on each side. The windows are 6/6. There is a one story gable roof addition to the west with exterior brick chimney, and a one story open porch to the east with square stone columns, stone balustrade, and a veranda above. There is a non-contributing gable roof garage to the rear and east of the house.

Ringo House; 758 W. Liberty Drive, (c. 1843/1869) Contributing. This two story brick Greek Revival house has a symmetrically arranged five ranked facade. The moderately pitched gable roof has a gable front dormer. There are 6/6 windows and a double leaf front entry with elaborate door surround, including rectangular side and transom lights and dentil motifs. The windows on the main facade have radiating brick voussoirs. There are paired attic windows on the gable ends. The full height Neoclassical front porch covers three bays and has simple, classically derived square columns. There are two gable end interior fireplaces. The rear addition was built c. 1869. There is a non-contributing hip roof garage with wood siding. A stone retaining wall (contributing structure) runs along the front edge of the property.

All three house are set back from the road on lots which rise above the road grade. Long driveways lead back to detached garages associated with each property.

The Clardy Heights Historic District's ... Ringo House (c. 1843) is an excellent representative of the Greek Revival Residence property type. The residences adjoining to the east are also good representatives of early twentieth century residences — a white frame Colonial Revival house and a rough-cut limestone bungalow. Although not large enough to fully represent the Residential District property type, as defined in the amendment to the Multiple Property Submission, " Historic Resources of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri" (hereafter, "Liberty MPS"), the Clardy Heights Historic District nonetheless has clear associations with planned subdivision development in Liberty. The owner of the property in 1912, G. W. Clardy, subdivided the lots and developed a brochure promoting "Clardy Heights." Within the brochure, he touted Liberty as "the Bon-ton suburb of Kansas City." Clardy believed that Liberty was destined to be to Kansas City what Pasadena is to Los Angeles; a city of fine suburban homes.[1] Although his dreams for suburban development around the historic Ringo House did not immediately materialize, two homes typical of the period were constructed. A stone retaining wall was built in an attempt to unify the three houses, but no other vestiges of the planned "Clardy Heights" remains today.

The focal point of the Clardy Heights Historic District is the impressive Greek Revival mansion at 758 W. Liberty Drive. West Liberty Drive was a historic road leading southwest out of Liberty to Kansas City, hence its historic name Kansas City Road. As is typical of other large extant Clay County Greek Revival homes, the Ringo House was constructed on farm land at the edge of the city of Liberty around 1843. Samuel Ringo's slaves purportedly constructed the house from bricks fired on the site. Ringo was a member of the first board of trustees when Liberty was incorporated in 1829. Like many of Liberty's early pioneers, he came from Kentucky to settle in Clay County, and brought with him the agrarian and architectural traditions of the Upland South. Ringo managed the 200 acre farm surrounding the house as well as a mercantile store in town.

Darwin Adkins bought the property in 1869; Adkins was one of the founders of the Farmers Bank in Liberty. In 1912, the owner of the property was G. W. Clardy. He envisioned a planned subdivision on the northeast portion of the estate. In that year, he submitted his plat for "Clardy Heights." The majority of the lots were approximately 50' by 135', and sold for around $300.00.

Clardy developed a promotional brochure for the neighborhood, a good portion of which is devoted to information about Liberty, "the Bon-ton suburb of Kansas City." Clardy felt that Liberty was destined to be to Kansas City what Pasadena is to Los Angeles; a city of fine suburban homes. Clardy's subdivision never attracted that many developers, although two fine examples of early twentieth century architecture were constructed immediately adjacent to the house.

In the late 1920s or early 1930s, "Cat" Sandusky owned the house and converted it into a public house and restaurant, the "White Horse Tavern." The current owners bought the house in 1976 and have worked on its rehabilitation.

[1] "Clardy Heights," promotional brochures, [1912].


City Plat Maps, Liberty, Missouri, City Hall (microfilm copies).

"Clardy Heights." Promotional brochure. N.p.,[1912]

Edwards Brothers. An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Clay County, Missouri. Philadelphia: Edwards Brothers, 1877.

"Get to Know Old Clay." Historical Tour, Clay County Historical Society. June 2, 1973.

History of Clay and Platte Counties, Missouri. St. Louis: National Historical Company, 1885.

Jackson, Don M. The Heritage of Liberty: A Commemorative History of Liberty, Missouri. Liberty: R. C. Printing Service, 1975.

McAlester, Virginia & Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Missouri Office of Historic Preservation Architectural/Historic Inventory Survey Forms. Liberty City Hall.

Withers, Ethel Massie, ed. Clay County Missouri Centennial Souvenir: 1822-1922. Liberty, MO: Liberty Tribune. 1922.

Wolfenbarger, Deon. "Historic Resources of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri. National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form and amendment.

Wolfenbarger, Deon. "Historic Resource Survey: Phase III." June 1987.

Wolfenbarger, Deon. "Liberty Survey Summary Report." September 1987.

Woodson, W. W. History of Clay County, Missouri. Topeka: Historical Publishing, Company, 1920.

Deon Wolfenbarger (Three Gables Restoration), Carolyn Funk (City of Liberty) and Steven E. Mitchell (Missouri Department of Natural Resources), Clardy Heights Historic District, Clay County MO, nomination document, 2000, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, DC.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Liberty Drive West

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