With hospital expanding around her, KCK woman content to live in her oasis

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In the shadow of the Cambridge North Tower stands what once was a neighborhood of homes that some describe as historic.

Over time, the homes have been bought up to make way for The University of Kansas Hospital expansion. But as you drive down State Line, you will notice an odd sight among the construction trailers.

The hospital expansion will eventually take up land from 39th Street to 36th Street, with one exception.

Like in the movie “Up” as the city built up around Carl Fredrickson’s home, the hospital expansion project is going up around Linda Mawby’s home, who’s never once considered selling.

“I just love all the foliage around and now everything has grown around it. See the fountain for the critters. I have a lot of critters,” Mawby described.

Mawby bought the home at 37th and Cambridge in 1987, and won’t say how much she was offered to sell, but she is the last remaining hold out on the land north of 39th, west of State Line.

“I feel a need for this house continually to live on, because it’s special,” she said.

Mawby has done a lot of research about her little slice of the world, learning that the land was originally given to Chief Joseph Park by the U.S. government, and built in 1907, a year after the hospital was founded.

“I see KU making it into a visitors center and museum eventually when I am gone. That’s my hope,” Mawby said.

Mawby does not call herself the owner of this property.

“I bought it in 1987 knowing that I was to be the keeper of this house,” she explained.

She looks at it as more of a responsibility.

“I am just not one to let go of things when I put my heart into it,” she said.

Mawby says her family will sell the house when she dies, and she really hopes whoever buys it will preserve this special property as she has.



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