Downtown KC, Kansas City
The 18th and Vine Historic District has one of the best music museums around. It also has jazz and blues festivals during late summer. Also good night life. Robert Altman, a KC native, shot his movie Kansas CIty in this area. It's now the home of the Mutual Musicians Foundation.
It's best, if you plan to stay in town, to hire a cab to get there and back. Parking is often a problem and the surrounding areas are crime-ridden even during the day.
For more information, contact the Mutual Musicians Foundation at:
P.O. Box 16092
Kansas City, MO 64112
Renovated office space now - home of a major advertizing company - this was once an operational center for Kansas City's "hometown airline." And my Dad used to work here, back in the day! I like how they've cleaned it up, polished up the red panels, and returned to the streamlined look of the 1960s.
And you have to love the TWA Rocket on the building's roof!
At 1735 Baltimore, in the Crossroads District.
Once you finally find Hangar 9 at the old Kansas City (downtown) airport, you take a look at its unspectacular exterior and wonder if you're wasting your time. If, however, you have any interest or curiosity about an earlier age of airline travel, you will find this to be a fascinating and educational tour.
Kansas City was once home to TWA and because of its overhaul base here, there have been a huge number of dedicated and skilled workmen retire here. When the opportunity came for a group of these men to and women to acquire a Lockheed Constellation aircraft, they jumped at the chance. They spent years bringing their beloved bird back to flying condition. This organization (Save-a-Connie Foundation) and this beautiful aircraft are the foundation of the airline history museum.
(See my next Off the Beaten Path Tip for another photo and more explanation.)
The dolphin-shaped Lockheed Super-Constellation is the centerpiece of the Airline History Museum. When it is not being flown to an air show in another city, you can tour the plane, itself. It was a marvel of engineering for its day. And though noisy to ride, it was far more comfortable than today's cramped airliners. The Constellation was the last great propeller airliner before the introduction of the jet airliner.
Other airliners on display are a Martin 404 and a TWA DC-3 still undergoing restoration. The former offices of the hangar contain interesting exhibits of airline memorabilia and a neat little gift shop.
Last - a word about the tour guides. Rarely will you find yourself in a tour group of any kind where the guide is so knowledgeable and passionate about his subject. The guides are the members of the foundation - the guys and gals who spend hours upon hours babying and/or restoring these precious aircraft, even spending their own money to buy parts when the cash flow runs short. They know and love every inch of sheet metal. Kudos and thanks to these hard-working, dedicated craftsmen and women for preserving part of our heritage.
I had driven by the Major William Warner House on several occasions without realizing its significance. Warner was a congressman and senator from Missouri, and founder of Kansas City Life Insurance Company. His home, located in the 1000 block of Pennsylvania in the Quality Hill District, now houses a Partnership for Children United Way agency. It was constructed in 1865.
Kansas City's old Quality Hill neighborhood has undergone a major reformation in recent years and townhouses and condos in the area are highly desirable.
Kansas City's Tom Pendergast was for many years one of the country's most powerful mayors. His powerful political machine (and alleged mob ties) helped him rule KC during the wide-open days of the 30's and allowed him to become a rich man.
Now, the one statue of the man is hard to find. It's stuck away in a corner of little Case Park. I just happened to see it while there to view the monument to Lewis and Clark.
I'm putting this monument in the off the beaten path category because few Kansas City citizens know it actually exists, or if so, where it is.
This statue pays tribute to explorers Lewis and Clark, and to their Indian woman guide Sacajewa. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson engaged Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean. Following the Missouri River, they encountered the area known as Kaw's Mouth, now Kansas City.
This monument is located in Case Park high on a bluff overlooking the spot where the Kaw (Kansas) River empties into the Missouri River.
On Jefferson Street north of 9th Street in the Quality Hill area of downtown Kansas City.
This is one of the statues in front of the American Royal. American Royal is a big building and arena where they have horse shows and rodeos. There is a museum that opens at 10:00 Tuesday through Saturdays which has many interactive displays. I learned some things there. Getting there is a bit difficult if you have not done so before. You take the exit off of I-35 near Bartle Hall, circle around under the highway, go through a nice neighborhood with hispanic murals on the walls, and up a bridge. At top of the bridge you will see the American Royal Building below and an exit ramp.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City is at 11th and Central in KC, MO. To tell the truth, I just liked this building. I have not been to an opera there yet. Never been to an opera any place yet. I'll go to one some day. There are many places in Kansas City to see an opera, symphony, or play.
The Kansas City Museum at 218 Gladstone is in an old mansion. The building is beautiful and the exhibits are great. When we were there they had a travelling exhibit about Sherlock Holmes and museum visitors had to become detectives and solve a mystery. It was great fun. There are so many great museums in Kansas City I have not seen them all yet.
The four sky sculptures a top Bartle Hall make it easy to find this landmark. Bartle Hall is a large exhibit center and convention place. I've been there twice. The last time was to see a boat show. Before that the Smithsonian had an exhibit there. The great thing about Bartle Hall is there was not room to build it. To make room it was built like a giant bridge over the highway. It is near Broadway street in down town KC, MO.
There's an overlook to the west of the city that has this statue. THe statue is different on each side.
All throughout the city are interesting little details in architecture, such as this corner on this building.