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Old 04-09-2017, 08:04 AM
 
990 posts, read 879,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Kansas City is already pretty segregated, so we don't have to worry about that as a potential problem.

But the rest should be a matter of concern.

What puzzles me, though, come to think of it, is this notion I sometimes see expressed here that the city isn't interested in improving itself or is taking too long to do things that need to be done. That's not the city they taught us about in grade school when I was a kid. It was the city that rebuilt its new convention hall in 90 days in 1900 after it burned to the ground 90 days before the Democratic Party was set to hold its national convention in it. It's the city depicted rolling up its shirt sleeves, blueprints under one arm, in a Norman Rockwell/John Atherton painting made after the 1951 flood and on display in Hallmark Cards headquarters. I don't think this city has disappeared, especially after I read how those infrastructure and economic-development questions fared at the April 4 election. Has it really?
No, it hasn't. But it's also a city that is very deliberate, controlled, and measured about new projects...and so it may not move fast enough for some.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:27 PM
 
48,992 posts, read 39,470,869 times
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I've also joked that "after corn and wheat, the Midwest's largest export is Midwesterners."
Um, that's presented as a negative around here. Just saying.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:31 AM
 
112 posts, read 62,161 times
Reputation: 90
I wasn't sure where to post this, but this seems like as good a place as any. I was looking at the Des Moines thread earlier, and came across a post about plans for two new residential/mixed-use buildings there of 33 and 32 floors. One of the buildings has an outdoor pool that hangs off one of the upper floors. I really don't get why KC can't come up with more impressive buildings and architecture like this. For a city "coming into its own," it still seems stuck in such conservative, careful development. Maybe part of the "problem" is that KC has a lot of old buildings that are being repurposed for residential, which reduces the need for new residential developments. I know we have One Light and Two Light. And I'm glad we do. But they're pretty unimpressive from an architectural standpoint and in terms of their impact on the skyline. The new hotel is much needed, but again, bland and fairly uninteresting. I was also thinking about the fact that Tulsa, OKC, Des Moines and Omaha all have taller buildings than KC. Just seems like KC needs to think bigger--or at least more interesting. Here's links to the Des Moines buildings.

Skyscraper duel: Blackbird raising tower to 33 stories, dumping investor

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...baum/29968509/
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,677 posts, read 1,784,972 times
Reputation: 2230
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallastoChicagotoKC View Post
I wasn't sure where to post this, but this seems like as good a place as any. I was looking at the Des Moines thread earlier, and came across a post about plans for two new residential/mixed-use buildings there of 33 and 32 floors. One of the buildings has an outdoor pool that hangs off one of the upper floors. I really don't get why KC can't come up with more impressive buildings and architecture like this. For a city "coming into its own," it still seems stuck in such conservative, careful development. Maybe part of the "problem" is that KC has a lot of old buildings that are being repurposed for residential, which reduces the need for new residential developments. I know we have One Light and Two Light. And I'm glad we do. But they're pretty unimpressive from an architectural standpoint and in terms of their impact on the skyline. The new hotel is much needed, but again, bland and fairly uninteresting. I was also thinking about the fact that Tulsa, OKC, Des Moines and Omaha all have taller buildings than KC. Just seems like KC needs to think bigger--or at least more interesting. Here's links to the Des Moines buildings.

Skyscraper duel: Blackbird raising tower to 33 stories, dumping investor

Movie theater, 32-story tower proposed downtown
Dayum! D**k-swinging in Des Moines! "Oh yeah? I'll see your 32 stories and raise you one!"

Living as I do in a city chock-full of old buildings, I can attest that they usually give a place more character than blocks full of new construction do. No less a sage of urbanism than the sainted Jane Jacobs wrote that "new ideas need old buildings."

But if Kansas City's architects aren't yet comfortable with "thinking outside the box" on the new buildings they do design, then yeah, maybe they need to get out more.

But taller? I thought KC had towers rising more than 40 stories now.

Edited to add:
And what's the Kaufmann Center, chopped liver? (IMO that's the first building I've ever seen that's more fascinating viewed from the back than from the front.)
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:03 PM
 
112 posts, read 62,161 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Dayum! D**k-swinging in Des Moines! "Oh yeah? I'll see your 32 stories and raise you one!"

Living as I do in a city chock-full of old buildings, I can attest that they usually give a place more character than blocks full of new construction do. No less a sage of urbanism than the sainted Jane Jacobs wrote that "new ideas need old buildings."

But if Kansas City's architects aren't yet comfortable with "thinking outside the box" on the new buildings they do design, then yeah, maybe they need to get out more.

But taller? I thought KC had towers rising more than 40 stories now.

Edited to add:
And what's the Kaufmann Center, chopped liver? (IMO that's the first building I've ever seen that's more fascinating viewed from the back than from the front.)
You are absolutely right that the Kaufmann Center is great! They hit a home run with that. I guess I was just kind of comparing the commercial buildings that are slated for development in KC, and that have recently been completed. KC does have one tower that is over 40 stories. But that's it. It would just really be nice to see something in the 500-600 ft range go up. But even if that can't happen, it would be nice if one of the P&L District buildings could break 400 feet. Really add to the skyline. Des Moines is about 1/3 the size of KC. And seeing two potential 30 story buildings planned in a much smaller city leaves me asking why that wouldn't work here.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:07 PM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 230,921 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Dayum! D**k-swinging in Des Moines! "Oh yeah? I'll see your 32 stories and raise you one!"

Living as I do in a city chock-full of old buildings, I can attest that they usually give a place more character than blocks full of new construction do. No less a sage of urbanism than the sainted Jane Jacobs wrote that "new ideas need old buildings."

But if Kansas City's architects aren't yet comfortable with "thinking outside the box" on the new buildings they do design, then yeah, maybe they need to get out more.

But taller? I thought KC had towers rising more than 40 stories now.

Edited to add:
And what's the Kaufmann Center, chopped liver? (IMO that's the first building I've ever seen that's more fascinating viewed from the back than from the front.)
So much of a design depends upon the client and what they will pay for. Many firms produce less than stellar work because the client dictates the bottom line. We have some phenomenal firms here, but we have to live within our given means in the design world.

Quote:
You are absolutely right that the Kaufmann Center is great! They hit a home run with that. I guess I was just kind of comparing the commercial buildings that are slated for development in KC, and that have recently been completed. KC does have one tower that is over 40 stories. But that's it. It would just really be nice to see something in the 500-600 ft range go up. But even if that can't happen, it would be nice if one of the P&L District buildings could break 400 feet. Really add to the skyline. Des Moines is about 1/3 the size of KC. And seeing two potential 30 story buildings planned in a much smaller city leaves me asking why that wouldn't work here.
I differ a little from your assessment. I rather see nice infill projects of modest height throughout the city than more high rises a la Portland, OR. Contiguous, four story and higher development adds so much to the urban aspect of an area a 400 foot tall building won't ever produce. Take for example 12th Street downtown looking West before the advent of post-modernist skyscrapers.



Missouri Valley Special Collections : Item Viewer
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:42 PM
 
112 posts, read 62,161 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA650 View Post
So much of a design depends upon the client and what they will pay for. Many firms produce less than stellar work because the client dictates the bottom line. We have some phenomenal firms here, but we have to live within our given means in the design world.



I differ a little from your assessment. I rather see nice infill projects of modest height throughout the city than more high rises a la Portland, OR. Contiguous, four story and higher development adds so much to the urban aspect of an area a 400 foot tall building won't ever produce. Take for example 12th Street downtown looking West before the advent of post-modernist skyscrapers.



Missouri Valley Special Collections : Item Viewer
I agree that the urban streetscape benefits from low and mid-rise infill. I lived in Chicago for 10 years, and I loved streets like Wabash that were still lined with the old 10-15 story buildings. Even better were the skyscrapers they built but kept the old facades of the midrise buildings. The urban streetscape is obviously a different perspective than what benefits the skyline. I guess I would rather see most of the mid-rise infill take place in the crossroads, midtown and the Plaza. I'm not against it happening in downtown. I'd just like to see something that really benefits the skyline. There really hasn't been anything since the late 1980s. H&R Block, One Light and Two Light are fine. But from a distance, you can't even really tell they're there. I feel like if a metro of 600,000 can figure out a way to put up two skyline-impacting buildings, KC should be able to come up with one.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,677 posts, read 1,784,972 times
Reputation: 2230
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallastoChicagotoKC View Post
You are absolutely right that the Kaufmann Center is great! They hit a home run with that. I guess I was just kind of comparing the commercial buildings that are slated for development in KC, and that have recently been completed. KC does have one tower that is over 40 stories. But that's it. It would just really be nice to see something in the 500-600 ft range go up. But even if that can't happen, it would be nice if one of the P&L District buildings could break 400 feet. Really add to the skyline. Des Moines is about 1/3 the size of KC. And seeing two potential 30 story buildings planned in a much smaller city leaves me asking why that wouldn't work here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallastoChicagotoKC View Post
I agree that the urban streetscape benefits from low and mid-rise infill. I lived in Chicago for 10 years, and I loved streets like Wabash that were still lined with the old 10-15 story buildings. Even better were the skyscrapers they built but kept the old facades of the midrise buildings. The urban streetscape is obviously a different perspective than what benefits the skyline. I guess I would rather see most of the mid-rise infill take place in the crossroads, midtown and the Plaza. I'm not against it happening in downtown. I'd just like to see something that really benefits the skyline. There really hasn't been anything since the late 1980s. H&R Block, One Light and Two Light are fine. But from a distance, you can't even really tell they're there. I feel like if a metro of 600,000 can figure out a way to put up two skyline-impacting buildings, KC should be able to come up with one.
So: what sorts of buildings would impact the KC skyline?

Let's start with this photo, the most iconic view of Downtown Kansas City - the view from the statue "The Scout" in Penn Valley Park:



For reference purposes, the beige skyscraper in the foreground of the skyline is the 476-foot-tall, 33-story Kansas City Power & Light Building, the tallest building in the city from its completion in 1931 until the AT&T Town Center (the building with the low pyramid top second to the P&L's right behind it) opened sometime around 1980.

We can see that there is one building that's taller than both of these. That building is the 624-foot-tall One Kansas City Place, the tallest habitable building in Missouri. (The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is taller.)

Kansas City's 443-foot-high (520 feet if you measure to the top of the mast that sits atop it) City Hall (1937-38), which I think is the tallest city hall in the country, is at the very right edge of the photo.

If I'm not mistaken, that's the H&R Block tower in front and to the right of the Town Center. I don't know what the taller building to its right is.

So we'd need some 550- to 650-foot tall buildings, or maybe one 700-footer, to make a statement on the skyline.

Now here's a photo of downtown Des Moines.



Looks to me like a couple of 32-33-story apartment towers would make a statement here easily. KC? We'd have to go bigger and taller, or at least taller.

So: How's the city economy doing these days? Is there some large company we could lure from somewhere well beyond the four-state region of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska? Are there enough people interested in downtown living to support a sleek, slender 700-foot apartment tower? (I'm sure the Downtown Council would be thrilled for someone to design and build one.)

I'd like to suggest that the problem may be less one of lack of imagination than that the numbers just wouldn't work.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 04-14-2017 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:05 AM
 
23 posts, read 16,208 times
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You can't even get people from St. Louis to visit K.C. There's nothing there. They do have some beautiful fountains though but that's not anything I would make a family vacation out of. Kansas City is a fly-over town that's fighting for national recognition. People only go when they have to; not for vacation.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Kansas City MO
206 posts, read 183,519 times
Reputation: 311
That's the next step though, Give people a reason to visit other than it's close by and bigger than my city, or I have to go there for business. 20 years ago, who would have wanted to visit Portland or Austin, or Nashville, other than country music fans. The challenge is to make it happen while keeping the quality of life that we have become accustomed to here.
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