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Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:41 PM
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Kansas City #8 - The Downtown Library and the "City of Tomorrow" Exhibit

So far we've had ...

Kansas City #1 - Downtown
Kansas City #2 - Quality Hill
Kansas City #3 - Beacon Hill
Kansas City #4 - The Plaza
Kansas City #5 - River Market
Kansas City #6 - Crossroads
Kansas City #7 - The Stadiums

This one is a bit different. Rather than show a neighborhood, instead this is a thread about a specific building - the downtown library. And more importantly, it's about the "City of Tomorrow" exhibit on the 5th floor. I think this deserves its own thread rather than putting it in another post in my downtown KC thread.

On the 5th floor of the downtown library, the hallways contain an exhibit showing some of the city planning maps, photos and documents of the mid-century period. It's pretty interesting, even if, like many, you think that era of planning was a disaster.

Anyway, I took these photos in early January but haven't gotten around to posting them until now.

Here's the front side of the library.



And the sign next to the front entrance advertising the exhibit. If this sign weren't there I never would have known of its existence.



Step inside the front door and this is what you see.



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Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:45 PM
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Take the elevator up to the 5th floor and you're in the exhibit.

I forget what year this master plan was done - sometime in the 50's I presume. Most of the documents in the exhibit come from that master plan, but not all of them.





This one turned out a bit fuzzy.



Annexation areas and other stuff.



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Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:48 PM
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Trafffic analysis.



Streetcar routes.



Housing map.



Demographic map from 1934.



And one of the downtown freeway loops under construction.



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Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:53 PM
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That was the gist of the exhibit. Now for a bit of the library itself.

On the 5th floor there is a rooftop balcony, but with the snow at the time it was closed.



Cool old map on the 1st or 2nd floor, if I recall.



View out a window from (I think) the 2nd floor. Looking west.



From the same window (I think) looking up this time.



And the courtyard on (I think) the 2nd or 3rd floor. Lots of the people sitting there were homeless.



That should give you an idea. If you're ever in KC, check out the exhibit in the library!
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2017, 12:40 AM
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nice...making me nostalgic. i always loved that area of downtown.

kc never demolished things on a rustbelt scale so things like this seem a little more quaint i guess.
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Old Posted May 28, 2017, 1:50 AM
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This looks familiar...
 
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Now that's my kind of exhibit! I love to nerd out on things like that - mid century urban planning / renewal, for all its faults, is indeed a fascinating study - it's neat that the library put it together.
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Old Posted Jun 6, 2017, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Now that's my kind of exhibit! I love to nerd out on things like that - mid century urban planning / renewal, for all its faults, is indeed a fascinating study - it's neat that the library put it together.
The library itself is a neat adaptation. And the facade on the garage is rather fun, if I recall correctly. I'm a little surprised you didn't take a picture of it. ;-)
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 12:46 AM
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Yeah, it's kind of a playful facade but ... well, it's just a garage.

Maybe next time I take pics downtown I'll snap a shot of it and stick it here.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 12:18 AM
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I almost lost life in open street in KCMO in 2011 but i support KCMO cuz it got potential, it is right in the middle.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 6:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Bond Agent 007 View Post
Yeah, it's kind of a playful facade but ... well, it's just a garage.

Maybe next time I take pics downtown I'll snap a shot of it and stick it here.
Valid point. But at least it's a fun one. It will be interesting to see how garages are reused in the days when cars become less common. (Says a guy who likes to drive just a bit too much, but really loves trains, planes, and ships as well. Also hiking. And long walks in pleasantly pedestrian scaled urban environments. I am multimodal.)
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