May 20, 1959


Lynn Group Proposes 3-Level
Structure at Fifty-First and Oak.
Site Will Be Purchased if Zoning Change Can Be Obtained.

PROPOSED AS THE HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF THE LYNN INSURANCE GROUP is this 3-level structure. A site on the east side of Oak south of Fifty-first street is to be secured if it can be rezoned from residential to business use. The project, representing an investment of more than 1 million dollars, would give the Lynn organization 55,000 square feet, including a small third level which would be used for executive offices and a conference room. Off-street parking would be provided for about 150 cars. Three large residences at 5101, 5117 and 5125 Oak would be razed to provide the office building site. J. F. Lauck Associates are the architects for the proposed building.

An office building representing an investment of more than 1 million dollars is contemplated by the Lynn Insurance group, which includes the U. S. Epperson Underwriting company, on an Oak street frontage south of Fifty-first street.

Application for rezoning of about 445 feet of frontage on the east side of Oak is being submitted this afternoon by the insurance organization to the city board of zoning commissioners.

Need Zoning Shift.

Three large residential properties which make up the proposed site are to be purchased chased by the Lynn group subject to a zoning change from residential to business use.

If the application is approved, the Lynn group would erect a handsome, modern 3-level structure of approximately 55,000 square feet as its new home office location. The site would be extensively landscaped, with a curving drive off Oak to the main entrance and off-street parking facilities at the rear for about 150 cars.

The tract has a depth of 300 feet. Sellers of the three property parcels, all improved with substantial dwellings, would be Mr. and Mrs. Sam Digiovanni 5101 Oak; Michael Berbiglia who holds title in the name of the South Side Investment company, 5117 Oak, and Mr. and Mrs. Bernard W. O'Donnell, 5125 Oak.

Berbiglia and DiGiovanni are executives in retail liquor operations here. O'Donnell is president of the Midland Tie and Timber company.

Late This Year.

If the zoning board acts favorably, the insurance organization hopes to begin its project late this year. A target date for occupancy would be early in January, 1961.

Under the terms of agreement to purchase the three tracts, the sellers would have a maximum of six months before they vacated the dwellings. All three houses would be razed to make the site available for the project.

In addition to the Epperson company, the Lynn Insurance group includes the Lumbermen's Underwriting Alliance, the Universal Underwriters, the Universal Underwriters Insurance company, Management Services, Inc., and the Lynn Underwriting company.

President of the Lynn Insurance group, the parent entity, is E. M. Lynn, nephew of the late J. J. Lynn.

Prior to his death February 20, 1955, J. J. Lynn was president of the group and widely known here and over the nation for his philanthropic work. He had been an official of the Kansas City park board.

As a Memorial.

The proposed new building is envisaged by J. J. Lynn's associates and fellow executives in the insurance group as a memorial to the former president.

The Lynn Insurance group was founded in Kansas City in 1905. It currently can be described as a group of companies serving the lumber and automotive industries in the United States and Canada for their fire and casualty insurance needs.

Since its founding, the group has occupied home offices in the R. A. Long building at Tenth street and Grand avenue, last year renamed the City National Bank building following the purchase of the 14-story structure by the bank.

The Lynn organization now has all of the 10th and 11th floors and most of the 12th floor in the building. One department employing 55 persons is housed in space in the Union National Bank building at Ninth and Walnut streets

Would Double Space.

Both locations would be consolidated into the proposed new building, which would about double present space.

In Kansas City, the Lynn group employs about 250 persons, and has a payroll of about 400 in its total United States and Canadian offices.

The proposed new building site is about two blocks south of the Midwest Research Institute on Oak at Volker road. Other neighbors would be the American Academy for General Practice, Twin Oaks apartments, Old American Life Insurance company in a building now under construction, Barstow school Continental Oil company's regional office, and the Central Methodist church.

Property adjacent to the site is owned by the University of Kansas City, itself the recipient of property and other endowments from the late U. S. Epperson, a founder of what has become the Lynn organization.

In Over-all Plan.

Officials of the Lynn group visualize the proposed building as meshing architecturally with the broad civic center concept of the area, which includes K. C. U., the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Atkins Museum, the research and medical facilities nearby, including Menorah hospital, and the Rockhurst College campus, plus other educational and business enterprises.

Architects for the proposed building are J. F. Lauck Associates. Two main floor levels are planned, with the second level having ground access at the rear because the site slopes upward east of Oak.

The west (main) facade would incorporate an aluminum grill, which would be decorative as well as providing a utility adjunct to air conditioning, in that it would have a louver effect on the afternoon sun.

A small third floor level would be added for executive offices, a conference room and, perhaps, some service space. The building would have an elevator.

Title to the property would be taken in the name of Management Services, Inc. All negotiations have been conducted for all parties by Ray F. Moseley & Co. Attorneys for the Lynn organization are Bellemere & Bellemere.

News Articles on J.J. Lynn in K.C.

Back to hOMe Page

[SRF Photos] [KCMG of SRF] [Christ & Krishna] [Yogananda in KC] [Babaji's Cave] [SRF Quiz]
[Saint Lynn] [Lotus Arch] [Excerpts] [SRF Links] [Thoughts] [Humor] [What's New]