The History of Longview Farm
Longview Farm was the country estate of Kansas City lumber baron and philanthropist, R.A. Long. (1850-1934). Long’s city home was Corinthian Hall, now the Kansas City Museum. He also built the city’s first skyscraper, the R.A. Long Building at 10th & Grand, as a headquarters for his Long-Bell Lumber Company.
Longview Mansion and 50 other farm structures were constructed in just 18 months between 1913 and 1914. More than 50 Belgian craftsmen and 200 Sicilian stonemasons were among the 2,000 workers employed to turn 1,780 raw acres into the “World’s Most Beautiful Farm”.
Long’s daughter, Loula (1881-1971) and her husband, Robert Pryor Combs, lived at Longview. For 65 years, Loula competed in and won international horse shows in New York, Canada and England. She became known as the Queen of the American Royal and was inducted into the Madison Square garden Hall of Fame. All of her prize winning animals were raised and trained at Longview Farm, including her favorite horse “Revelation” who is buried in front of the old show horse arena, now Longview Farm Elementary School.
The farm employed 200 people. There were 51 buildings on the property including a race track that seated up to 1,000 people; giant sparkling greenhouses; handsome barns with wood pegged floors for prize cattle and hogs; a police and fire department; a hotel for men; housing for employees; a church, and community newspaper!
Besides horses, Longview was known for its pure bred Jersey dairy cattle that provided pasteurized milk for the region, and for its greenhouses that produced prize winning roses and other flowers. Ahead of it’s time, this self sustaining community had electricity, filtered water, steam heating, and indoor plumbing.
The Mansion was the jewel of the property. A massive 22,000 square foot structure, it boasts 48 rooms, 6 fireplaces, 14 bedrooms and 10 baths. It also claimed the first central vacuum system west of the Mississippi!
The Longview Mansion is an historical treasure that today is one of Kansas City’s Premier event Facilities.