Harry Darby Jr. Residence
1220 Hoel Parkway
Architect unknown, (private plans)
Built 1925; remodeled and enlarged 1947
This two-story, wood frame residence faced in brick is the largest house in Westheight Manor. The original house was only about one-half the size, and was extensively remodeled when additions were made to the south and east in 1947. The style of the residence has apparently always been Colonial Revival, although at present the window openings seem somewhat small in proportion to the overall wall area. The house features an asymmetrically placed, broken gabled entry with fanlight and sidelights and paired, classically inspired pilasters. An expansive, brick walled driveway leads into a basement garage from the south, and features a prominent brick fireplace or outdoor barbeque.
Harry Darby Jr. (1896-1987) succeeded his father as president and general manager of the Missouri Boiler Works Company. He later founded The Darby Corporation, builder of boilers, pressure chambers, and railroad tank cars with its offices in the former Kopp Bakery at 333 North Sixth Street. The firm achieved fame as a builder of naval landing craft used in the Normandy invasion in World War II. A veteran of World War I, Darby's civic involvement began when he was one of three veterans named to oversee the construction and operation of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building (1923-25). For years he was a leading figure with the American Royal, serving on its Board of Governors. In the late 1940s, he was appointed to serve out an unexpired term in the United States Senate, although he chose not to seek election when the term expired. A close personal friend of President Eisenhower, he spearheaded the drive to construct the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas. And in one of his last civic roles, he headed the Kansas City, Kansas Bicentennial Commission for the United States Bicentennial in 1976.