Thursday 13 April 2017

Kansas City Embraces Beaux Arts Architecture

"The City Beautiful Movement...transformed Kansas city from a sparse, dirt-road laden town to a thriving metropolis." (Joey Hill)

Kansas City Board of Trade Building opened in 1908 courtesy 

Educated in the art of city planning in Paris, Moscow, Germany and New York City, Kessler was hired to redesign the boomtown Kansas City in the early 1900's.  Kessler believed that people need "beautiful, natural scenery", his motivation behind the series of wide boulevards and public parks that he designed.

Penn Valley Park

Penn Valley Park courtesy

Kansas City opened a new library in 1897, built at the cost of $200,000.  It housed not only books but also an art gallery and museum artifacts.  The Board of Trade Building opened its doors in 1908.  The Kansas City Museum is also built in the Beaux Arts style in 1910, is the former residence of Robert Alexander Long.  Union Station, a magnificent building constructed in 1914, saw train service peak in 1945 and decline in the 1950's.  While the train station shut down in 1985, it reopened a few years later as a museum.  One Beaux Arts Building which opened in 1923 is now The Sophian, renovated into modern condominiums.The Liberty Memorial, done in the Egyptian architecture style, opened in 1926.  

Kansas City Union Station under construction courtesy

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