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Kansas City History 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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Kansas City History Tour Map

Guide Name: Kansas City History Tour
Guide Location: USA » Kansas City (See other walking tours in Kansas City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: tina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mainstreet Theater
  • Muehlebach Hotel
  • Municipal Auditorium
  • Folly Theater
  • Cathedral of Immaculate Conception
  • Lewis and Clark Memorial
  • Garment District
  • Garment District Museum
  • New York Life Building
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Grand Avenue Temple
Mainstreet Theater

1) 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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Muehlebach Hotel

2) Muehlebach Hotel

The Muehlebach Hotel is a historic hotel building in downtown Kansas City that was visited by every President from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. It is currently operated as one of three wings of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. The original 12-story building was constructed in 1915. It was designed by Holabird & Roche and was 144 feet (44m) high and owned by George E. Muehlebach whose father, George E. Muehlebach Sr., founded Muehlebach Beer. The younger Muehlebach also built Muehlebach Field. It achieved its greatest prominence under the ownership of Barney Allis. The Muehlebach was the White House headquarters for Harry S. Truman during his frequent visits to his home in nearby Independence, Missouri. Truman stayed in Independence but conducted business in the Presidential suite in the penthouse. Among its other celebrity guests were Babe Ruth, the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Municipal Auditorium

3) Municipal Auditorium

The Municipal Auditorium is a large, multi-purpose facility in Kansas City, Missouri with three halls: The Arena, Music Hall, and Little Theatre. It opened in 1936 and features art deco architecture and architectural details. The Municipal Auditorium was one of the buildings erected in 1934 as part of a "Ten Year Plan" championed by various local politicians including Harry S. Truman and Thomas Pendergast. The art deco architectural features were a characteristic design by Hoit Price & Barnes which also designed the Kansas City Power and Light Building at about the same time. The other architect firm in the design, Gentry, Voskamp & Neville was to design the Truman Library. When the building opened in 1935, it was called by the Architectural Record "one of the 10 best buildings of the world that year." In 2000, the Princeton Architectural Press called it one of the 500 most important architectural works in the United States.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Folly Theater

4) Folly Theater

The Folly Theater is a former vaudeville hall built in 1900. It was designed by Kansas City architect Louis S. Curtiss. The Neo-Palladian facade uses Carthage limestone and red pressed brick, with an adapted Palladian window centered in the facade. Rather than a fully-glazed infill within the limestone Palladian framework, the lower portion of the unit uses three arched windows with an entablature over the center window dividing it from the lunette under the principal arch. The interior structure mixes steel and wood construction. The main floor is entered through a lobby and box office area. The house is flanked by balcony-level boxes, with the main balcony to the rear. The stage is provided with a fly loft, fly balconies, a scenery workshop and ten dressing rooms. Interior decoration is predominantly red and gold. The exterior is largely unaltered, but the interior has been substantially renovated.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception

5) Cathedral of Immaculate Conception

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is proud to be the representative spiritual institute and Catholic symbol in the downtown area. It was founded in 1833 by a French missionary that first called the present Cathedral “St. John Francis Regis.” Constructed in the Baroque style, the stained glass windows depict scenes from the Bible. The columns give the cathedral a classic architectural touch. The dome is copper, but in order for it to be seen at night, and to give it more effect, it was gold-leafed in 1961. The Cathedral was built at 250 feel above the street level, on the highest area in Kansas City. Due to this, it shortly became a notable civic sight. The Cathedral is also a center of service, worship and learning.
Lewis and Clark Memorial

6) Lewis and Clark Memorial

Lewis and Clark Memorial is situated in the northern part of the Case Park. It was made in bronze by Eugene Daub, a very important person in American sculpture. The sculpture was constructed specifically on the site when on September 15, 1806, Lewis and Clark made their stop returning from the Pacific Ocean expedition.
Garment District

7) Garment District

The Kansas City Garment District is located to the east of Quality Hill, across Broadway Boulevard. In the 1930s several large clothing manufacturers clustered here, making Kansas City's garment district second only to New York City's in size. Today, this heritage is commemorated by an oversize needle and thread monument. Its old industrial buildings have since been redeveloped into loft apartments, office, and restaurants. Henry Perry, father of Kansas City-style barbecue, got his start in 1908 from a stand in an alley in the neighborhood.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Garment District Museum

8) Garment District Museum

The Garment District Museum was established by Harvey Fried and Ann Brownfield Fried in 2002. There is huge collection of old images of the district's constructions, interior organization, its boom-era's working routine and objects that perfectly represent the history of the District. The museum also exposes a large gamut of businesses related to clothing, such as dresses, coats, hats, and shoes. The clothes are changed in accordance with the seasons of the year.
New York Life Building

9) 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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Kansas City Public Library

10) Kansas City Public Library (must see)

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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Grand Avenue Temple

11) Grand Avenue Temple

The Grand Avenue Temple was founded in 1865, post civil war by Reverend Stephen Griffis. The Temple got its actual shape and form in a Greek style only between 1909 and 1911. The interior walls of the church are made in ivory. The ceiling of the building contains 15 stained glass atrium windows accompanied by 600 light bulbs. This was done with the idea to fit different programs. Upon construction, the temple became nationally famous.

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.
Kansas City Landmarks in North Downtown

Kansas City Landmarks in North Downtown

Kansas City's northern downtown is sprinkled with interesting landmarks. It is especially famous for having some remarkable early skyscrapers dating from the 1920s and 1930s. The new Charles Evans Whitaker Courthouse and neighboring Old St. Patrick Oratory offer some new beauty as well. Have a look at these landmarks.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Country Club Plaza, Kansas City Tour

Country Club Plaza, Kansas City Tour

The Kansas City Plaza has become popular as a 15-block district full of shops and fine restaurants. The Plaza gives visitors the opportunity to be delighted by the representative architectural monuments like the Giralda Tower, and the J. C. Nichols Fountain, and also by museums such as The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. The Country Club Plaza has ranked in the top 60 of the world's...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Crown Center Walk in Kansas City

Crown Center Walk in Kansas City

Kansas City's downtown is rich in historic neighborhoods. The Crown Center area, right near Union Hill, offers some of the greatest Kansas City landmarks, such as Liberty Memorial, the Union Station and the Crown Center Entertainment Complex itself. Take a walk to see all the memorable sights!

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 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: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Kansas City Crossroads Art Tour

Kansas City Crossroads Art Tour

The Kansas City Crossroads 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 Landmarks in South Downtown

Kansas City Landmarks in South Downtown

Kansas City's downtown is rich in landmarks. The southern part is a nice mixture of skyscraper architecture and period buildings, such as the Mainland Theatre and St. Mary Episcopal Church, and it also hosts the Kansas City Power & Light District, famous for its night entertainment venues. Take a tour through all these outstanding places that are landmarks in the southern area of Kansas...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles