Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fun day downtown

We have lived in, or near, KC long enough to visit Union Station, Crown Center, the Plaza, the zoo, Kaleidoscope,  Royals Stadium, Science City, among many others. Some of these we have been to several times.  They are certainly something to go to again and again.  Today, however, was probably our last day to do something fun here, at least this trip, so I wanted to do something a little different.  Taking a lead from our daughter-in-law, Toni, and the fact that most indoor activities are closed, we headed downtown.

The central library is located in the old 1906 First National Bank Building on 10th St. between Main St. and Baltimore Ave.  Although we didn't get to go in to the library because it was closed due to Covid-19, information shows the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault is located in the old bank vault.  How cool! 

Part of the Community Bookshelf

Kansas City Central Library

To the West of the library, between Baltimore and Wyandotte on 10th, is the Library's parking garage which is what we came for.  On the outside of the south wall of the parking garage is the Community Bookshelf mural, which spans the entire length of the wall, with steps into the garage in the middle.  The book spines are approximately 25 feet by 9 feet.  It has 22 spines which list 42 titles.  Even the steps are made to look like books.  It was completed in the fall of 2004.  There were also 2  murals on each of the sides of the parking garage.  The ones on the side facing the library are below.  I didn't find any info on those. If you enlarge them, on the bottom of one is a list of names.  I didn't check them all out, but several of them appear to have lived in Kansas City at one point and maybe all of them, or at least some connection to KC?  No idea what the building(s) might be.

Mural on the parking garage facing the library

Mural on the parking garage facing the library

Down a block is the old New York Life building, which has housed The Catholic Center since 2011. It now houses the Catholic Diocesan offices.  It is a 12 story building, built in 1890, located in what is known as "The Library District."   The tower was basically Kansas City's first skyscraper and the first building to have elevators.  

New York Life Building, now The Catholic Center

Another block away is The New England Building built in 1887 which housed the offices of the New England Safe Deposit and Trust Company.  It was acquired by TWA in  the 1940's where Howard Hughes once guided it's operations.  In 2017 seven floors were renovated into 32 apartments with 14-18 foot ceilings.  It may provide the earliest example of fire-proof construction in KC.

New England Building

There are times, this being one, that I could use a better camera than my trustee phone!

1 comment:

  1. I'm catching up on your posts. The murals would/will be a neat thing to see with the boys. I researched things to do in the KC area in previous years but didn't find anything about them.