Southeast Annex

A stately, brick building with its white, circular portico framing the entrance sits back from Swope Parkway between a church to the north and the Southeast Junior building to the south. For years, some students speculated about who lived there and why. Were they orphans? Perhaps they were juvenile delinquents or mentally or physically handicapped children. Was it a dormitory for young women? The cornerstone provides part of the answer. It is dated 1923 and identifies the structure as the Interdenominational Home for Girls.

The following are excerpts from KC Star articles in 1929 and 1943 that document the origin and first years of the home.

Plans for the home were first formulated when the mother of a girl brought into juvenile court protested to the YWCA the lack of Protestant homes for correction. A little later, the Women’s Interdenominational Missionary council took over a brick residence at 2940 Highland Avenue, where care could be given eighteen girls. When the need was increased, a city-wide campaign, conducted in 1922 by church groups with the assistance of the Masonic lodge and the Order of Eastern Star raised funds to construct the home at its present location. The building was dedicated in 1924 to care for girls, 12 to 18 years old. Full capacity is 125 girls who are taught the arts of homemaking and whose records in school and business colleges are enviable. Effective today (January 11, 1943), the Interdenominational Home for Girls at Sixty-third Street and Swope Parkway will become a boarding residence for young working women to alleviate the shortage of housing facilities here. Seventy or more working girls here to fill war posts can forget about room-and-board searching. Few girls were remaining in the home when the change was effected, and these have been taken under the wing of other agencies here. The home will be reverted to its original role of a preventive and corrective dwelling for adolescent girls when the war is over.

In January 1974, Southeast High School began conducting classes in the building. The 1974 Crusader includes several photos of the Herron Hall Open House. Mr. Buckner was the Dean of Students of Herron Hall, more commonly known by students as the Southeast Annex.

For seven years in the 1990s, the Annex housed the High School Prep program. Tom Levin (SE’71) remembers, “It was the first initiative implemented by Superintendent Walter Marks upon his arrival in Kansas City. I was the first and last principal of four principals. In between my two terms as principal were Dr. Tom Taff and Diane Stevenson. Over-age students from all of the district's middle schools were sent personal invitations from me to enroll in the program.”