An Independence home where one of Hollywood’s biggest stars was born is on the market.

An Independence home where one of Hollywood’s biggest stars was born is on the market.
The little one-story home at 100 W. Moore St., where actress/dancer Ginger Rogers was born on July 16, 1911, is attracting some interest from buyers since it was put on the market in March, but not as much as its owners or the Realtor would like.
Larry LaGrece, salesman for Reece and Nichols, said even the asking price of $20,000 hasn’t attracted buyers.
“There hasn’t been a whole lot (of interest), no,” LaGrece said, sitting on the porch of the little home, where Rogers herself visited in 1994 when the city presented her a plaque recognizing the home as her birthplace.
Whether that’s because of the current housing market or because young buyers may not be familiar with Rogers or because of its condition – that’s a bit difficult to say, LaGrece said.
“Not many young people even know who she is,” he said, adding that the home needs work: recent basement flooding has made the home damp, the porch needs redone, the roof needs a touch up and general upgrades need performed.
“It needs a good renovation,” he said.
Rogers, who appeared in more than 70 films and is best known as the dancing partner of Fred Astaire, only spent a few weeks in the home following her birth. Born in the front bedroom (a mere 9-by-9-foot  room), she would later move to her grandparents’ home on Bellefontaine Avenue in Kansas City.
In her autobiography, Rogers – by then an Oscar winning actress for her work in the 1940 film “Kitty Foyle” – poked fun at another famous Independence resident, Harry Truman, whom she visited at the White House.
“Mr. President, you and I are from the same city in Missouri, and I am here to register a complaint. No one realizes I’m from Independence, and everyone knows you are. I’m jealous.”
But Sylvia Brush knows who Rogers is. Brush’s mother and second husband purchased the home in 1970, and until Rogers’ biography came out, they were clueless about the home’s significance.
“We had no idea,” she said.
To the family, it was simply a small home on the corner of Moore and Main streets – two bedrooms, one bathroom and an earthen cellar.
Brush’s mother eventually moved out of the home in the 1980s and changed it to a rental property. She later moved back in 1995 and lived there until 2001. When she died in 2007, the property was placed in a trust overseen by five siblings, one of whom is Sylvia.
Brush would like to see the home recognized on the National Historic Register, maybe even purchased by the city or the Ginger Rogers Estate.
Someone. Anyone.
“I’d love to put the home in the hands of the right person or group,” Brush said. “Ideally, it would be someone who shares an interest in its historical significance. There are so many reasons why it would be nice. But I’ve taken it as far as I’m capable of taking it.”
In 2003, the home was officially designated by the city’s Heritage Commission as a local landmark, but that’s been the extent of its recognition.
Wendy Shay, manager of the Independence Historical Preservation Division, said anyone who does purchase the home would have to follow guidelines established for any exterior work, mainly to preserve the integrity of original aesthetics. For interior work, no such regulations are required for the property, Shay said.
As for the city purchasing the home, Shay said she has not heard of anything.
“The problem is the city is filled with historical homes, and if every historical home was purchased, that’d be a quarter of all the properties,” she said.
“But I’m sure the city would support any kind of private effort.”