Kansas City Landmarks in North Downtown, Kansas City

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.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kansas City Landmarks in North Downtown Map

Guide Name: Kansas City Landmarks in North Downtown
Guide Location: USA » Kansas City (See other walking tours in Kansas City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Author: ChristineT
1
Commerce Tower

1) Commerce Tower

Commerce Tower, a 30-story skyscraper constructed in 1965, is the ninth tallest habitable structure in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and, since the completion of the City Hall, it was the first locally designed skyscraper in Kansas City. The facade is constructed of pre-cast stone and glass, creating a unique look, especially for its time. Located at the intersection of 9th Street and Main St, at 909 Main, the original address was 911 Main Street. However, after the events of September 11th, 2001 the address was changed. The last 15-foot beam was signed by 18,000 people including Harry S. Truman.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
909 Walnut

2) 909 Walnut

909 Walnut (formerly Fidelity National Bank & Trust Building, Federal Office Building and 911 Walnut) is a twin-spire, 32-story, 471-foot converted structure that is Missouri's tallest apartment building and 10th tallest habitable building in Missouri. The building was completed between 1930 and 1931 as the Fidelity National Bank & Trust Building at an estimated cost of $2,850,000 including bank fixtures. The building's architect Hoit, Price & Barnes also built landmark Art Deco buildings nearby in the Kansas City Power and Light Building and Municipal Auditorium. Another distinctive landmark was the "town clock" in the north tower which had first started keeping time in the original 1885 post office and was then placed in the tower. A bell cast in 1882 by the McShane Bell Company of Baltimore, Maryland chimed. The clock face has since been removed and replaced with large windows for the highest residential living unit within 5 states.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Commerce Trust Building

3) 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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
925 Grand

4) 925 Grand

925 Grand is the former headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was the oldest building in active use of any Federal Reserve Bank. In 1913 Kansas City and St. Louis had a fierce rivalry over which city was to get a headquarters, but in the end, both cities received one. (Missouri is the only state to have multiple headquarters). The first bank building was in the R.A. Long Building at 928 Grand which opened on November 16, 1914 until a new $4.3 million building could be built across the street at 925 Grand which formally opened in November 1921 in Downtown Kansas City. The building, designed by Chicago Wrigley Building architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White was Missouri's tallest building from 1921 to 1926 and Kansas City's tallest building from 1921 to 1929.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Oak Tower

5) Oak Tower

Oak Tower, also called the Bell Telephone Building, is a 28-story skyscraper in Downtown Kansas City. The tower was originally 14 stories (185 feet), without any set-backs, but the fast-growing telephone company soon required more space. An addition completed in 1929 doubled the tower's height and made it the tallest building in Missouri until the Kansas City Power & Light Building surpassed it in 1931. Oak Tower's top half was built with Haydite, the first modern structural lightweight concrete, which had recently been invented. The tower's 1929 expansion was the first major project to use the new building material, and it allowed the addition of fourteen new stories, six more than would have been possible using conventional concrete.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Jackson County Courthouse

6) Jackson County Courthouse

Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri is located at 415 E. 12th Street. It was built in 1934, designed by Wight and Wight in an Art Deco style. Harry S. Truman, who was presiding judge of the Jackson County Court at the time, had wanted it designed similar to the Caddo Parish, Louisiana courthouse in Shreveport, Louisiana. Truman had an office in the new courthouse building during most of his first term as U.S. Senator from 1935 to 1939. The courthouse contains an elaborate painted ceiling on the second floor, featuring portraits of county employees. The mural was completed by artist Chris Doyle in 2008.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Kansas City City Hall

7) 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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
St. Patrick's Oratory

8) St. Patrick's Oratory

The St. Patrick Oratory was founded in 1875, just as the Catholic congregation of the growing Kansas City had enlarged. The brick structure of the old church is a successful merger of Romanesque and Renaissance styles. The facade is framed by two twin bell towers and arched, elongated windows. The inner decorations stay faithful to Catholic traditions. The altar is decorated with wooden statues of St. Mary and the Sacred Heart. In the church's basement is kept a piece of a rail, dating from the times when a railway ran through the site.
9
Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse

9) Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse

Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse is one of the most interesting landmarks of the city. It clearly contrasts with the rest of the rectangular-shaped skyscrapers. The cylindrical form, half-covered with glass, was raised in 2000, has 12 stories and 12 columns that go through the entire structure up to the roof. Notably, the project was designed in the metric system. The round-shaped lobby is spacious, three stories high and is decorated with 25 sculptures.

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.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation 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 to know more about all of these in the following tourist guide.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
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
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: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Kansas City History Tour

Kansas City History Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
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 City's downtown.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
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 greatest places.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Kansas City for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Kansas City has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Kansas City, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.