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Historical Buildings Tour (Self Guided), Kansas City

Kansas City is the biggest city in Missouri. It covers 318 square miles (820 km2) of land. The city was founded in 1838, and being several times a battle field during the Civil War left its stamp on the city's architectural styles. Kansas city is also famous for its contribution to cuisine and music styles, such as blues and jazz. The city is rich in historic monuments and edifices, such as Mainstreet Theater, Lewis and Clark Memorial, and the New York Life Building.
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Historical Buildings Tour Map

Guide Name: Historical Buildings Tour
Guide Location: USA » Kansas City (See other walking tours in Kansas City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: tina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Kansas City City Hall
  • Mainstreet Theater
  • Power & Light Building
  • Midland Theatre
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • New York Life Building
  • Commerce Trust Building
Kansas City City Hall

1) Kansas City City Hall

The City Hall of Kansas City, Missouri, is the official seat of government for the city of Kansas City. It is a 29-story skyscraper located in downtown, and has an observation deck on the top of it. It is the fourth tallest city hall in the world, and the seventh tallest building in Kansas City. The City Hall was built in 1937, under the influence of Tom Pendergast, the "political boss" of Kansas City at the time. It was built to "counter" the effects of the Great Depression on Kansas City, and was part of a series of other government buildings, which include the Jackson County Courthouse. Both buildings were designed by Wight and Wight. Upon completion, it was the tallest city hall in the United States. The City Hall is considered a "Beaux-Arts" style building, but has Art Deco elements on the interior. The interior of the city hall is full of Italian gray, red, white, and green marble which lines the halls and the floors of the building.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mainstreet Theater

2) Mainstreet Theater

The Mainstreet Theater, also commonly referred to as the Empire Theater, is a historic theater located at 1400 Main Street in downtown. The theater was landmarked and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2007. Designed by Rapp & Rapp, the 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) theater opened on October 30, 1921 as the Mainstreet Missouri. The 3,200 seat theater was a popular vaudeville and movie house, and the only theater in Kansas City designed by Chicago firm Rapp and Rapp. The interior of the theater was designed in French Baroque style, and the exterior is a blend of neoclassical and French Second Empire. The lobby is topped by a dome encircled by circular windows. The Mainstreet Theater was the largest theater in Kansas City until the Midland Theatre opened in 1927.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Power & Light Building

3) Power & Light Building

The Kansas City Power and Light Building is a landmark skyscraper whose construction was completed in 1931 as a way to promote new jobs in downtown. Since then, the Art Deco Kansas City Power and Light Building has been a prominent part of the Kansas City skyline. The original plans designed by Hoit, Price and Barnes included a twin building to be paired on the immediate west side of the building, but plans were abandoned after the Great Depression took a greater toll than expected. As a result, the west side of the building has no windows. The Kansas City Power and Light Building is crowned by prismatic glass panels concealing red-orange lights that glow each evening at sunset. Originally, each recessed stepback of the building also held alternating multicolor flickering flood lights that dazzled nighttime viewers with the impression of blazing flames. Today, only the lantern on the top the structure is illuminated by this effect.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Midland Theatre

4) Midland Theatre

The Midland Theatre is a 3,573-seat theater located in the Power & Light District. It was built by Marcus Loew, completed in 1927, at a cost of $4 million and is the largest historic theater within 250 miles of the city. The exterior of the theatre was constructed in a Renaissance Revival style in cream-glazed terra cotta brick, adorned with engaged pilasters, winged figures, leaves, flowers, swags, volutes, urns, and arches. A four-story arched window rises above a copper and gold marquee that contains 3,600 light bulbs. The theater is well known for its over 500,000 feet of gold leaf, five giant Czechoslovakian hand-cut crystal chandeliers, irreplaceable art objects and precious antiques, and spectacular wood and plaster work. The theatre, which has become part of the Kansas City Power & Light District project, has been converted into a live entertainment nightclub.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Kansas City Public Library

5) Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library operates its Central Branch located at 14 West 10th Street and neighborhood branches located in Kansas City, Independence, and Sugar Creek. Founded in 1873, it is the oldest and third largest public library system in the metropolitan Kansas City area.

Its special collections, housed in the Central Library's Missouri Valley Room, has a collection of Kansas City local history, including original and published materials, news articles, post cards, photographs, maps, and city directories dating from the community's earliest history. The Library's Ramos Collection includes books, pamphlets, journal articles and other materials relating to African-American history and culture.
Sight description based on wikipedia
New York Life Building

6) New York Life Building

Built in 1890, the New York Life Building was the first high-rise building in Kansas City and the first to have elevators. It was one of six buildings built by New York Life Insurance across the United States. The Italianate Renaissance Revival style building features brick and brownstone exterior and an H-shaped footprint with 10-story high wings on either side of a 12-story tower. A monumental eagle tending eaglets in a nest is perched above the main entry. The work was sculpted by Louis St. Gaudens and contains more than two tons of cast bronze. In 1996, Utilicorp United conducted a $35 million restoration of the building, adding state-of-the-art energy, communications, and environmental features. Financing assistance came from the Kansas City Tax Increment Finance Commission, the Missouri Department of National Resources, and the National Park Service. In 2009, the building was listed for sale for an undisclosed amount.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Commerce Trust Building

7) Commerce Trust Building

Commerce Trust Building is a 17-story tower built for Kansas City's biggest bank, Commerce Bancshares, in 1906 and was Kansas City's first skyscraper. It has a facade of red granite and white terra cotta tiles and was Missouri's tallest building when it opened. Formerly on the site was the home of the Kansas City Journal which in turn was taken over by Commerce. Harry Truman worked in the predecessor building. Its architect, Jarvis Hunt, also designed Union Station and the headquarters of the Kansas City Star. Part of the renovation also included illuminating the lobby's ornate glass ceiling to replicate natural sunlight.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Kansas City, Missouri

Create Your Own Walk in Kansas City

Create Your Own Walk in Kansas City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kansas City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Crossroads Art District Walking Tour

Crossroads Art District Walking Tour

The Kansas City Crossroads Art District has become one of the trendiest art communities in the Midwest. The former industrial and warehouse area now is where many progressive art spots have established themselves. Have a look at some of the grandest and edgiest art in the Crossroads!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Kansas City Introduction Walk

Kansas City Introduction Walk

Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri and its name is derived from the Kansas Indians who lived along the Missouri River. The city is famous for its contribution to jazz and blues, as well as cuisine – the well-known Kansas City-style BBQ. Stroll around and admire the Art Deco styling, browse the museums, the eclectic shops, check the riverboat casinos, or relax in a jazz club. You can get...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles