Strang Streetcar Barn
Built in 1906, this was the storage shed for the streetcars that ran between the (then) village of Olathe and downtown Kansas City. William Strang operated the "interurban line" until the 1930s.
Now an upscale furniture store.
S.A.S. (Sprawling Antiseptic Suburbia)
"The American Dream?"
Office buildings, shopping centers, condo developments, tract housing estates: ah, American suburbia. It's all about consumerism. I grew up here - actually lived in "Prairie Village" one suburb over, but when to high school in O.P. (Shawnee Mission West) I escaped from S.A.S., but return regularly to visit relatives who are still living the suburban dream.
For many years now, Overland Park has been an engine of economic growth that is pulling much of the rest of the state of Kansas behind it. O.P. has become a business and retail hub for the entire region - symbolized by the new world headquarters of Sprint. (Okay, so Sprint's not doing too well these day - and the Sprint HQ is one of the ugliest office complexes in the world. Nonetheless. . . ) Overland Park now has a population of 160,000, making it the second largest city in Kansas, and the second largest city in the K.C. Metropolitan area.
There _is_ an older park of Overland Park - "Downtown O.P., along Santa Fe Drive between 79th and 82nd Streets, just to the west of Metcalf. This part of the city was developed in the early years of the 1900s, when Overland Park was one of the original "streetcar suburbs" in the area, and the "Strang Line" made frequent roundtrips between this "far-out" community and downtown Kansas City Mo. The streetcars are long since gone, but some of the original old buildings remain, and there is a sense of history in this section of Overland Park that you won't find anywhere else.
It's also where the city has established a number of successful traditions, such as a flourishing farmer's market and a number of summertime street festivals. There are a number of bars, restaurants, and interesting locally owned shops in the area. Occasionally, it even feels as if you might be in a _real_ city!