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Old 02-08-2017, 12:56 PM
 
Location: NW NJ & SE Oahu
4,334 posts, read 5,152,493 times
Reputation: 3863

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Nice place, I want to move there. In the picture. Now.

Shorpy Historic Picture Archive :: K.C.: 1908 high-resolution photo
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:14 PM
 
12,607 posts, read 14,605,815 times
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Look at all the people! I would love to be able to time travel and suddenly be standing there, taking it all in. Can you imagine if those people in the picture time traveled to the future and found themselves standing at 12th and Main today? They probably would have no idea where they were, and if they did they'd be shocked.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,203 times
Reputation: 154
Up until the mid 80s downtown KC was always a fantastic place with a tremendous vibe.
It started descending in the 60s with the interstate loop creating a mote around downtown and white flight to the suburbs. Cheap farmland on the Kansas side made it easy to lure businesses across state line to build ugly office campuses and cheap, endless surface parking. By the 90s KC downtown was officially dead after 5pm.

Per capita
- Downtown KC has rebounded better than any other downtown in the nation since the 90s.
It still has a long way to go. But if you didn't live here in the 90s, you have no idea what a ghost town downtown KC was.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,101 posts, read 1,304,160 times
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Downtown KC was pretty dead in the 1980s too. There was a spurt of activity with mid-80s construction but the 30-year death knell for downtown struck sometime around the River Quay bombings in the 1970s.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:03 PM
 
12,607 posts, read 14,605,815 times
Reputation: 14096
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumba77 View Post
Up until the mid 80s downtown KC was always a fantastic place with a tremendous vibe.
It started descending in the 60s with the interstate loop creating a mote around downtown and white flight to the suburbs. Cheap farmland on the Kansas side made it easy to lure businesses across state line to build ugly office campuses and cheap, endless surface parking. By the 90s KC downtown was officially dead after 5pm.

Per capita - Downtown KC has rebounded better than any other downtown in the nation since the 90s.
It still has a long way to go. But if you didn't live here in the 90s, you have no idea what a ghost town downtown KC was.
It was pretty much a ghost town in the 80s too.


I prefer surface parking. Parking garages are too claustrophic. If I have to park in one, I go to the top level.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:33 PM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 229,980 times
Reputation: 209
Great photo. You can see the Junction and the old City Market in the distance. Amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumba77 View Post
Up until the mid 80s downtown KC was always a fantastic place with a tremendous vibe.
It started descending in the 60s with the interstate loop creating a mote around downtown and white flight to the suburbs. Cheap farmland on the Kansas side made it easy to lure businesses across state line to build ugly office campuses and cheap, endless surface parking. By the 90s KC downtown was officially dead after 5pm.

Per capita
- Downtown KC has rebounded better than any other downtown in the nation since the 90s.
It still has a long way to go. But if you didn't live here in the 90s, you have no idea what a ghost town downtown KC was.
Since you brought up the Loop, I have always wanted to create a discussion about it. Frankly, they were so certain back then that the complete eradication of such a large part of downtown was the way of the future. Unfortunately we're still trying to fill the gaps left by that 'urban renewal.' I still wish the Board of Trade survived that period of time.





Kansas City's 1887 Board of Trade Building – Classics.Life
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,203 times
Reputation: 154
The River Quay bombings had no (zero) affect on downtown.

KC in the early 80s was fantastic and far from dead. To say otherwise is clueless.
I worked downtown everyday and it was still full of retail.
And much of it was old skool homegrown.
All of these places were open and there was a workforce of about 100K still coming downtown.

* Penny Arcade/Wonderland
* Time To Read news stand
* K-Mart
* Macy's
* Baptist Bookstore on Grand
* Penner's Menswear (x2)
* Midland Theater multiplex
* Empire Theater multiplex
* Dixon's Chile
* Italian Gardens
* Kansas City Carnival Co.
* Hurst's Sporting Goods

I'm probably forgetting many others.
Downtown was still happening and it was great.
It started to really go downhill around 1985.
By the 90s everything above was gone or on it's last legs, what little was left was destroyed by Cleaver.

Last edited by rumba77; 02-08-2017 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,203 times
Reputation: 154
I've posted several photo to KC history pages on facebook dedicated to Kansas City's history.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/307128079330824/

Riverfront (1850s) Millions of acres of dirt was moved to cut roads into the bluff. (1850s)


Gullytown (1871) lots of dirt to move to make level streets




City Market (1880s)






Main at 2nd St a cyclone rips through the city killing 15 (1886)


Main St, 1874



Union Depot in the West Bottoms, before Union Station was built (photo from 1910) 1878-1914






"The Junction" of Main Street, Delaware and 8th streets. (early 1900s)







New York Life Building 1890s


Downtown overlooking 11th & Grand (1906)


Main Street looking north (early 1900s)


West Bluffs with shanty houses prior to grading (c1900)


Grand looking north from 8th St 1908


Grand looking south at 8th Street (1908)




Poem from 1909


1910s looking northeast


11th Street "Petticoat Lane"


Grand Avenue WWI "Arch" (1919)




"Signboard Hill" before Crown Center (1920s)


(then and now)


Jackson County Courthouse built (1872-1932)


Liberty Memorial WWI Memorial built in the 1920s








Looking North (1924)


"Negro Night Club"




City Bank, 1801 Grand, built 1932


12th & Grand (1920s)


Southwest Trafficway water line work (1923)


1923 "Officers of the Oriental Commandry"


10th Street looking east (1920s)




Power & Light Building under construction


"Harlem" a hobo and hillbilly shack town for squatters across the Missouri River from downtown (1930s)


Art-Deco Skyline


11th Street


Interstate Viaduct over the Missouri River with Kansas City KS in the background


Municipal Auditorium 1937


Orpheum Theater Baltimore Ave 1940s
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,203 times
Reputation: 154
Kansas City With The Russian Accent

Intercity Viaduct to Kansas City KS


Jackson County Courthouse


Enos Slaughter of the Kansas City Athletics before they moved to Oakland.






City Hall


"Ike Parade" through Downtown 1952




Southwest Trafficway (now part of I-35)




Yes, that's a KKKlansman on the left side of the sign






















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Old 02-08-2017, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,203 times
Reputation: 154
Kansas City With The Russian Accent





























Hallmark Cards & Crown Center construction (lower left)










Kansas City Kansas (foreground) looking toward KCMO
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