With a vote to place four Midtown buildings under historic protection, the Kansas City Council etched a new chapter in local history for itself, too.

The council voted unanimously last week to add four buildings northeast of 31st and Main streets to the Kansas City Register of Historic Places in spite of owner PriceMgmtCo.’s wish to demolish them.

Such a move under those circumstances has been approved only one time locally, when Union Station was added to the city’s register in 1986.

“Few things rile up 4th District constituents like the potential loss of a historic building,” Councilman Eric Bunch, a co-sponsor for the measure alongside Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, said before the vote.

“Is it a novel approach? Absolutely … but at this point, I’ve never been able to get behind the complete demolition (of the buildings), and so for that reason, this novel approach was warranted.”

The newly designated 31st & Main Historic District functionally blocks PriceMgmtCo. from tearing down the buildings — including the historic Jeserich and Ward buildings, built in 1888 and 1905, respectively — for three years.

That’s how long the landowner would have to wait before demolition, if the certificate of appropriateness now required for it to do so is denied by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.