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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 4:45 AM
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KANSAS CITY | City Hall | 443 FT / 135 M | 30 FLOORS | 1937

Rising prominently on the east side of downtown Kansas City, City Hall anchors the KC Civic Center, a linear complex of buildings primarily consisting of the Jackson County Courthouse, City Hall & a new Federal Courthouse.

The tower is a classic art deco design, with a couple of nice frescos around the base at the first setback, rising into a vertical tower shaft, and culminating in a simple parapet crown.

Its 443' height makes the tower the 4th tallest City Hall in the US (3rd when it was built - PHI,NYC,LA)





The Jackson County Courthouse at the other end of the plaza:








I love the detailing of this period:














If you go down to the basement and sign in with security, the nice lady will escort you up to the 30th floor roof deck.


I spent almost an hour up there (the guard stayed and talked about the city the whole time)


Jacson County Courthouse (295', 22fl, 1934)


The Federal Courthouse to the north:


The view of the downtown skyline is amazing:


South towards Crown Center and The Plaza:


Kansas City, Kansas makes an appearance:


A few critters make their home on the roof of City Hall, apparently including a falcon who brings his lunch to work occasionally...


A few others...some type of beetle...


It's really a gorgeous complex:










in a really underrated skyline:
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 5:15 AM
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very, very impressive.

the art deco building, the view of the city, and the fact that they allow sightseers to linger on the rooftop.

a security guy once gave me he gave me a tour through a bunch of otherwise restricted areas at the georgia state capitol. he just happened to be a huge architecture fan and an aspiring architect.

anyway, gotta find some sort of excuse to visit kansas city.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 5:38 AM
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Kansas City really has some of the best architecture in the country imo. The city too has excellent urban and civic planning. Only Kansas City would have the foresight to have its city hall, county courthouse and federal courthouse lined up together in a park like complex. The city gives off the impression of being very well planned.
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 6:42 AM
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they went and built a skyscraper seven stories tall, about as high as a building ought to go...

I had the pleasure of visiting KC over the summer while driving back from Santa Fe. It's really quite a pleasant city, with several cool activity centers that are spread out (Crown Center, downtown, Power/Light, Plaza, etc) making the city seem much more dense and urban than the numbers would suggest. It seemed odd that a city could have such a nice pedestrian environment in many places without a single mile of rail transit, but I wasn't complaining. The urban environment in KC is far healthier than the majority of Midwestern cities... St. Louis, Indy, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc. Oh, and y'all have killer BBQ.
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 7:19 AM
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Very nice, overall, particularly the setting and all. They could have done a lot more with the crown, which is really a mechanical penthouse, but the scale and proportions are nice.

I just did some reading up on the building at Wiki, and found that the city hall was the result of a mayor who strong-armed his way into getting this built by his own concrete company. Just another reason why it'd be almost impossible to replicate these same kind of buildings, these days.

And, yes, Kansas City has some of the most underrated architecture in the country. I'd guess this is mostly because people don't find stereotypical Midwestern architecture (i.e. heavily art deco) "sexy" enough, but Kansas City looks to be more intact than most Midwestern cities; very solid. They definitely have, physically, what it takes to go from good to great. There is just so much competition, these days, and KC has to find more to distinguish itself from others.
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 6:15 PM
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Damn what a nice City Hall for KC! I am impressed to say the least!

The views from the 30th are simply stunning and I bet they are to die for at night too!!!
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 6:51 PM
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Wonderful pictures Plinko!! I am so happy you took and posted these. I have always thought KC's city government complex was among the nicest anywhere. Love the Deco. The new park between City Hall and the Federal Courthouse is a great addition. The building seen in the lower right corner of this pic http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...LL/KCCH018.jpg is completed and adds tremendously to the sense of an urban room.

LMich - the mayor, Tom Pendergast, was one of the great Big City Bosses in the 20's and 30's. Corrupt as hell, but throughout the Depression KC as a city fared better because of all the civic building he spear-headed. He had HUGE politcal power - even nationally. This is back when Missouri was more powerful relative to now - economically and politically. Harry Truman came out of his Machine.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodrow View Post
LMich - the mayor, Tom Pendergast, was one of the great Big City Bosses in the 20's and 30's. Corrupt as hell, but throughout the Depression KC as a city fared better because of all the civic building he spear-headed. He had HUGE politcal power - even nationally. This is back when Missouri was more powerful relative to now - economically and politically. Harry Truman came out of his Machine.
Like many towns claimed, KC was wide open during the Depression and wasn't afraid to capitalize off of that...Las Vegas what? It was in a sense organized/orchestrated/exciting chaos while my city resembled something closer to the Christian "end times" during the Depression.

For a taste of 1930s Kansas City, see the Altman film of the same name. While if I remember correctly it was a bit cheesy, the soundtrack throughout really set it off.
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Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 9:20 PM
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Cool man, love Kansas City.
We saw SLIPKNOT there in Feb.

Cheers
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2009, 10:04 PM
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thanks for the tour, it is always surprising to find observation decks that seems to see very little activity.

The city hall complex reminds me of my visit to the Rockefeller Center in nyc. If I am not mistaken (seeing I dont know that much about KC), wasnt that city once expected to become the nyc of the midwest or prairie land?
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 3:09 AM
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Great building and great tour. Thanks.

I love the way the people dressed back then. Pimpin:

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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 6:57 AM
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Last edited by SuburbanNation; Nov 21, 2009 at 7:56 AM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2009, 7:04 AM
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KC has a more interesting downtown than people give it credit for.

Last edited by SuburbanNation; Nov 22, 2009 at 3:04 AM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2009, 5:28 AM
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As a fan of art deco, I was blown away by Kansas City when I visited in 2001.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2010, 10:26 PM
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As a longtime resident of the Kansas City area, I have also come to appreciate the downtown of Kansas City. While there's still work to be done, especially on the east side (not far from city hall), It's made quite a few strides, since the mid-90s. I have delivered inside the city hall quite a number of times, and it's a very nice looking building with awesome views, especially from the 29th floor. I hoped to eventually make it to the observation deck, although Plinko beat me to the punch!!
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2010, 11:23 PM
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Very nice, inside and out. Especially inside. Looks GREAT!
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2010, 1:24 AM
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Quite impressed with this thread. I hope the nice security lady can see this thread someday. She would be proud.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMich View Post
And, yes, Kansas City has some of the most underrated architecture in the country. I'd guess this is mostly because people don't find stereotypical Midwestern architecture (i.e. heavily art deco) "sexy" enough, but Kansas City looks to be more intact than most Midwestern cities; very solid. They definitely have, physically, what it takes to go from good to great. There is just so much competition, these days, and KC has to find more to distinguish itself from others.
I honestly can't think of a sexier style of architecture, because it bespeaks of an extremely classy, dangerous, and, well... sexy era. I love well-preserved cities and art deco is my favorite style of architecture hands down, bar none, and by far. I'd love to go to Kansas City some day just to take a look around.

What a great city hall! Thanks for these pictures, Plinko!
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2010, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Pride View Post
I love the way the people dressed back then. Pimpin:

And you gotta love how proudly they showed off their smokestack pollution too!
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