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Nelson-Atkins has received offers for former tennis club mansion

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art said Friday it has received offers for the Kirkwood mansion, and has identified a potential buyer. But the museum said it has not yet sold.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art said Friday it has received offers for the Kirkwood mansion, and has identified a potential buyer. But the museum said it has not yet sold. rsugg@kcstar.com

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the former Rockhill Tennis club mansion had been sold.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art said Friday that it has not sold a stone mansion that served as the home of the former Rockhill Tennis Club, but that it has identified a potential buyer.

In a statement, the Nelson said that interest in the property at 4520 Kenwood Avenue has been high and that several offers above the $289,900 asking price have emerged.

“As with any property transaction, there are many steps and the process could take several months,” the statement said. “The potential buyer must meet a number of obligations in restoring the home and maintaining its historic character.”

The house, known as the Kirkwood home, was built for Laura Nelson-Kirkwood, daughter of Kansas City Star founder William Rockhill Nelson. It became home to the Rockhill Tennis Club in 1955 until it closed in 2010.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum came to an agreement with the Kansas City Council, the Rockhill Homeowners Association and the Southmoreland Neighborhood Association to sell the property after earlier plans to remake it into museum office space did not come to pass.

The house sits on five acres. The museum said it will continue to own much of the land surrounding the house and has plans to remove the tennis courts and fencing and instead create new landscaping, walkways and a sculpture park.

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