W. W. Rose
'William Warren "Bill" Rose (born March 12, 1864 in Oyster Bay, Long Island; died May 23, 1931 in Kansas City, Kansas) was an architect and mayor of Kansas City, Kansas who practiced briefly in Birmingham during 1885 and 1886.
Rose grew up in Ogdensburg, New York, graduating from the Ogdensburg Academy in 1882, then apprenticing, first with G. A. Schellinger, then with Charles T. Mott and J. C. Cady in New York City. He moved to Birmingham in 1885, intending to start his own practice, but was initially unsuccessful. He worked for Sutcliffe, Armstrong & Willett for a while and then partnered with Fenton Rousseau and Charles Reid in the firm of Rousseau, Reid & Rose in 1888.
Within a few years, Rose had moved to Kansas City, Missouri. There he married Clara D. Grandy, also of New York, and bought a house in Kansas City, Kansas. He partnered with James Oliver Hogg there and the firm was appointed as architects to the smaller city's Board of Education.
The partnership dissolved in 1894 and Rose worked along, keeping his office in Kansas City, Missouri while he lived across the state line. In 1897 he ran for mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, losing by 600 votes. In 1905 he won the office by 900 votes. At the time he was in office, Kansas was under prohibition, but his administration did not try to enforce the law in the city, choosing to fine traffickers rather than shut down taverns or lock up smugglers. In 1906, facing a Kansas Supreme Court suit to relieve him of office, he resigned his position and became a candidate in the special election to fill the vacancy, winning by 1,600 votes. The lawsuit continued, going to the US Supreme Court and forcing him to resign again in September of that year.
Rose's best-known designs were for the Kansas City, Kansas High School in 1899 and the Carnegie Library for that city, completed in 1904. In 1909 he formed a partnership with David B. Peterson, a draftsman who had worked for Rose while he served as mayor. In addition to their numerous school board assignments, the pair designed county courthouses in Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas. A major bond issue in 1921 gave the firm 25 school projects to complete over 4 years, culminating with Peterson's resignation to take an extended trip to Europe. Rose took on Joseph A. Ridgway as partner, a period marked by the grand George H. Long Funeral Home and ending with Rose's retirement in 1928, triggered by a nervous breakdown.
In retirement, Rose travelled frequently to Florida. He died at home in 1931 and was buried in Kansas City's Woodlawn Cemetery.
- "W. W. Rose" in "Westheight Manor Historic District" (PDF), Kansas City, Kansas. National Register of Historic Places - accessed December 29, 2006