Arts & Culture
11:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

PHOTOS: A Glimpse At Johnson County's Mid-Century Modern Architecture

A new exhibition at the Johnson County Museum in Shawnee, Kan., attempts to answer a tough question: What is modernism?

After World War II, architecture across the United States went through a radical, modern transformation. And Johnson County, Kan. was no exception. It was a time when North Americans believed "the future was bright and possibilities were endless."

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Arts & Culture
3:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

First Look At STL’s Expanded Pulitzer Reveals New Opportunities For Eyes, Ears

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation gave a tour of ongoing renovations Wednesday night.

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 10:39 am

Although the Pulitzer Arts Foundation has been closed since August, a swarm of activity has been taking place inside the Grand Center institution.

Construction crews are renovating the Pulitzer’s basement area to create two new galleries. When they’re done in May 2015, the Foundation will have one-third more exhibition space, totaling 104,000 square feet. The work is being done in cooperation with a representative of the original architect, Tadao Ando.

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Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

In Their Annual Contest, Kansas City Architects Have Designs On The World

Des Moines Community Playhouse
Credit BNIM

After showing off their best work, Kansas City architects learned on Nov. 14 how they ranked against their local peers at the 2014 Design Excellence Awards program put on by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City.

Teams of architects from Los Angeles and New Orleans judged entries in two categories: overall design excellence and sports venue design. They bestowed the equivalent of first-, second- and third-place awards; top winners were the Honor Awards, given to projects that are “exemplary in detail, context and execution.”

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Arts & Culture
4:59 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Lawrence City Commission To Consider Design Team For 9th Street Corridor Project

Credit courtesy: el dorado inc.

Update: Lawrence residents expressed concerns after reading the entire ArtPlace grant application, which had not been been made available to the public until this week. The grant listed architecture firm el dorado inc. as the lead project designer, but the firm was not officially selected by a committee until this month.

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11:51 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

American Royal Kemper Plan Faces Opposition

The ongoing struggle between the Kansas City Council and the American Royal to decide what to do with Kemper Arena continues.
Credit Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

A special committee of the Kansas City Council held its first hearing Thursday on the American Royal proposal to replace Kemper Arena. The idea of demolishing the old arena and building a smaller one met some determined opposition.

Representatives of the American Royal and Sporting Kansas City said their plan is a boost for a venerable institution, youth sports and the West Bottoms. 

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5:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Foutch Withdraws Proposal To Convert Kemper For Youth Sports

Kemper Arena
Credit Flickr, Creative Commons

A big surprise in a city council committee meeting Wednesday afternoon:

After weeks of discussions about the future of Kemper Arena and the American Royal Complex, Foutch Brothers Developers sent a statement to the council that, due to circumstances beyond its control, it no longer was able to pursue a plan to convert the aging arena into a youth sports facility.

But it's not an automatic win for an American Royal plan to tear down Kemper and replace it with a new, smaller arena, according to committee chair Ed Ford.

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Arts & Culture
10:03 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Four Playoff Teams, One Kansas City Firm: Populous Rules The Ballparks

The Kansas City Royals' Kauffman Stadium, designed by Kivett & Myers, opened in 1973. The renovations, designed by Populous (formerly HOK Sport), were completed in 2009.
courtesy: Populous

The Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles are very different teams. The Orioles led Major League Baseball this season in home runs, the Royals were last. The Royals were first with stolen bases, and the Orioles were last. But – their ballparks share Kansas City DNA.

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7:55 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Kansas City Council Still Pondering Kemper Arena Future

Credit City of Kansas City, Mo.

A Kansas City Council Committee continues to debate the future of Kemper Arena. And this week's developments included a staff report, a consultant's opinion and a letter with a lot of signatures.

A consulting firm hired by the city filed a report saying a Foutch Brothers proposal to convert Kemper to a youth sports facility was dynamic and achievable, though challenging in part.

From those who side with the American Royal Association and would tear down the arena came a letter of endorsement signed by 75 business and civic leaders.

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Up To Date
12:31 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

A Century Of Union Station

A few decades ago, Union Station was a bustling train hub, but then people started traveling by air and the station fell into disuse and disrepair. Kansas City's grand old train station turned one hundred this year. In this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske discusses the history of the station, how a flood changed its story and the miracle of its survival. 


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3:37 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Developer Hoping To Save Kemper Touts Two Arenas For West Bottoms

The American Royal has a long-term lease on Kemper Arena and the surrounding complex, but the building is used most heavily during the annual barbecue contest.
Credit J.S. Clark / Flickr--CC

The developer who wants to rehab Kemper Arena and turn it into a youth sports complex made a pitch for his company's plan to a downtown lunch club Wednesday afternoon.

Steve Foutch told the Kansas City Downtowners it's possible city council members could move forward with a plan that both preserves Kemper and gives the American Royal the new arena it wants.

"Our designs show both buildings can co-exist in the location," Foutch says. "It's all about the logistics of the operation."

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Arts & Culture
6:45 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Finalists Selected, Design Process Starts For UMKC's Proposed Downtown Arts Campus

An artist rendering of the future home of the UMKC Downtown Campus for the Arts. The proposed site is south of the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts.
Credit courtesy: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Five architect teams are on the short list to design the first phase of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s proposed downtown arts campus.

The finalists include Kansas City-based firms BNIM, el dorado, Helix, Hoefer Wysocki and International Architect Atelier, each teamed with national architecture firms. 

The initial stage of the project calls for relocating the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance -- students, faculty, classes, and most performances -- to the Crossroads Arts District. 

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Arts & Culture
7:30 am
Tue September 9, 2014

BNIM's Bob Berkebile Wins $50,000 Sustainability Award

Bob Berkebile is a founding principal of BNIM, an architecture and planning firm based in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit courtesy: BNIM

Architect Bob Berkebile, founding principal of Kansas City-based BNIM, is this year's recipient of The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability. It's a $50,000 award, the largest for "sustainability in the built environment."

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7:21 am
Mon September 1, 2014

A Vision Of Kemper Arena As A Competitive Video Game Hub

Does the future of Kemper Arena involve competitive video games? Jase Wilson thinks it should.
Credit CC: SA2.5

The future of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena is murky. The city council is considering two proposals. One, from the American Royal, would see it torn down and replaced. The other, from the development company Foutch Brothers, would rehab it as the centerpiece of a youth sports complex. But last week, urban activist Jase Wilson wrote an open letter to the council last week with a novel proposal: Turn the arena into the Midwest’s only arena specifically designed to host competitive video game tournaments.

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Arts & Culture
3:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

HOK And 360 Architecture To Merge, Take Company Full Circle

Credit courtesy: 360 Architecture

Architecture, engineering and design company HOK announced Tuesday the acquisition of Kansas City-based 360 Architecture. The merger brings HOK, a St. Louis-based firm with offices around the country, back into the realm of sports architecture. 

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8:54 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Tear Down Kemper Arena, American Royal Insists

The American Royal is sticking to its guns, insisting that Kemper Arena be torn down to make way for a new, smaller arena.

A council committee was looking favorably at a Foutch Brothers Developers' plan for a youth sports facility would save Kemper Arena. But the American Royal's plan now includes a youth sports aspect backed by Sporting Kansas City. And given that, plus disruption to the parking area and the annual barbecue contest, American Royal chairman Mariner Kemper says the old arena has to go.

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11:23 am
Wed August 13, 2014

How Kansas City's West Bottoms Went From Vacant To Vibrant

The Great Flood of 1951 caused over $1 billion (nearly $9 billion in today's dollars) in damages and completely vacated Kansas City's West Bottoms.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

Within the old bones of big brick buildings like the Columbia Burlap & Bag Co., in Kansas City's West Bottoms, new businesses, artist studios and restaurants are finding success in an area that still looks like it belongs in the late 1800s.

One spot that's finding particular success is the 12th Street Bridge and the surrounding buildings. First Friday "Warehouse Weekends" and antique shops bring in thousands of visitors each month.

But it wasn't always this way. In fact, parts of the West Bottoms were practically deserted for nearly 40 years.

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7:35 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Kansas City Council Committee Hears Plan To Save Kemper Arena

A Kansas City council committee responded favorably Thursday to a proposal to convert Kemper Arena into a youth sports complex, but it's too early to declare the aging arena safe from the wrecking ball.

Developer Steve Foutch told the council committee: there's no need to tear down Kemper to make way for a new, smaller American Royal complex, there's plenty of room for two separate arenas to coexist.

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10:02 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Prairie School Style Architecture In Kansas City

Hyde Park
Gina Kaufmann KCUR

Kansas City architect Clarence Shepard was deeply influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School Style when he designed more than 600 homes and churches in the region a century ago.

Shepard was a native of New York, grew up in Clay Center, Kan., and came to work in Kansas City at the beginning of the 20th century for the Kendall Co. and the J.C. Nichols Co., among others.

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12:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

What's Next For Kemper Arena? City Council Begins Discussion

Kemper Arena, which opened in 1974, mostly serves as the American Royal venue each fall. City officials say they struggle to attract other acts and events to the West Bottoms.
Credit wikimedia commons

Of all the possible plans for Kemper Arena, the one that changes the building the least is also the least viable for the city.

"Doing nothing doesn't seem to work for anybody," Kansas City Councilman Ed Ford told members of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee Thursday morning, kicking off a series of meetings to discuss Kemper's future.

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3:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

TIMELINE: A Look Back At 40 Years Of Kansas City's Kemper Arena

A photo of Kemper Arena during the last phases of its construction in 1974.
Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library

It's easy to forget about Kemper Arena.

Nestled down in the south end of the West Bottoms in Kansas City, Mo., the aging arena has seen better days. Since 2007, the Sprint Center has hosted virtually all the big-name events coming through town, leaving Kemper nearly inactive for long periods of time.

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Central Standard
12:46 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The History of Kemper Arena

The Kemper Arena has been a physical fixture in the West Bottoms since 1974.
Credit Gwen's River City Images / Flickr/CC

About four and a half decades ago, in a stunningly brief period of years, Kansas City built major public structures for air travelers, conventioneers and sports fans. All survive today, but one of them, sitting in the West Bottoms, is underutilized compared to the others.

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Up To Date
4:39 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

History And Future of Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple

Kansas City Scottish Rite Building located at the intersection of Paseo and Linwood Boulevard.
Credit Mlaaker / Flickr-CC

When you think of the Masons, images of secret societies and rituals may come to mind—but what about their architecture?

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Arts & Culture
1:12 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Take A Look At The World Cup Stadium Designed In Kansas City

The facade and roof of Arena das Dunas include 20 petal-shaped modules. These appear to move, like the nearby dunes.
courtesy of Populous

While watching the FIFA World Cup match between the United States and Ghana on Monday night, perhaps you noticed the venue.

The 42,000-seat stadium, called Arena das Dunas or The Stadium of the Dunes, has a petal-shaped canopy and was designed by Populous, a sports architecture firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the firm, the challenge was to create a "grand space" for the people of Natal, Brazil. Architects drew inspiration from the flowing sand dunes that dominate the city.

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Central Standard
10:26 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Kansas City's Front Porches Are Gathering Places, And Now Music Venues, Too

PorchFests fill historic city neighborhoods with live music, in Kansas City and throughout the United States.
Credit Ari Moore / Creative Commons, Flickr

The front porch is an American institution. It's an ideal place to wind down with a cool drink on a summer night. But this familiar scene is all-too-easy to take for granted.

On the occasion of Kansas City's inaugural PorchFest, a music festival bringing 70 bands to residential porches, Central Standard takes a look at the history of the American front porch. We also visit with the festival organizer to hear about the bands bringing West Plaza porches to life this weekend.


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7:52 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Kansas City Council Committee To Tackle Fate Of Kemper Arena

Replace or repurpose? Rival proposals clash on aging Kemper Arena.
Credit City of Kansas City, Mo.

There will be no blue ribbon citizens panel to decide the future of Kemper Arena. The Kansas City, Mo., city council Economic Development Committee has decided to tackle the matter itself.

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Up to Date
3:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 7-9, 2014

The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawing for an hour before selling their creations to benefit a scholarship fund.
Credit waltarrrrr / Flickr-CC

Want to get rid of the post-Mardi Gras blahs? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 7-9, 2014.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!!! (Late Night Theatre returns with cross-dressing satire of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through March 31 at Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18 (816-235-6222)

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3:44 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Donaldson House Slated For Demolition

The historic Donaldson House in Kansas City, Mo. is slated for demolition on December 19. It's something that's been in the works for at least a decade.

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Up to Date
5:00 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Philosopher Alain de Botton On Religion For Atheists

Philosopher Alain de Botton says it’s time for those who believe in religion and those who don’t to stop denigrating each other and find common ground on art, community and morality.

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Up to Date
7:40 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Historic Kansas City Foundation Announces Most Endangered List

Each year the Historic Kansas City Foundation releases a list of the "most endangered" structures in an effort to raise awareness of the city's historic buildings.

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Up To Date
11:00 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Repurposing Brings New Life To Old Buildings

King Louie West bowling alley in Overland Park, Kan.

When it comes to shuttered and abandoned buildings, the terms “adaptive reuse” and “repurposing” are being heard more and more.  Whether talking about the numerous facilities sitting unused within the Kansas City Missouri School District or on iconic building like King Louie West in Overland Park, finding new uses for old sites seems to make good sense for buyers and sellers alike.

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