While visiting St. Louis, I decided to take a drive to Kansas City for a day trip/photo walk. Once I arrived, I kicked things off at the Truman Sports Complex for a visit and tour of Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs football team. In what was supposed to be a 90-minute tour, turned in to a 2-hour tour instead. The guide was very informative and all and kind of new at the job, but it was still a bit much on a very hot day. But I must say, it did make way for me getting lots of photos. A couple of my favorite highlights were visiting the Chiefs Hall of Honor where former players and coaches’ team memorabilia were encased in glass for viewing. And after visiting the team’s locker room, going through the player’s tunnel onto the field was exciting to say the least! It was like feeling as though I was a little kid on the field. After spending time at Arrowhead Stadium, I walked across the way over to Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. After a few minutes at Kauffman Stadium, I pack up and leave the Truman Sports Complex.
Now it was time to explore a bit as I made my way to the Historic district of 18th & Vine, which is the jazz music and historic hub downtown. It is also home to the famous Blue Room Jazz Club, Jazz Walk of Fame, Gem Theater and the Museums of 18th & Vine, which houses the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and The American Jazz Museum. And speaking of the Negro Leagues, I forgot to mention that as I parked my car, I viewed and photographed Alexander Austin's murals of Negro League baseball team The Kansas City Monarchs and John “Buck” O’Neil. They’re located on the side of the Historic Paseo YMCA at 1824 Paseo Boulevard. This is a fine piece or artwork that is a “must see” when you visit Kansas City.
After spending time on 18th & Vine, where there was also a concert going on in the park, I drive into the heart of downtown to marvel at their great architecture. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Sprint Center are two awesome buildings a few blocks apart! Architect Moshe Safdie did a spectacular job on the Kauffman Center. The Center’s exterior consists of two symmetrical half shells of vertical, concentric arches that open toward the south. Each shell houses one acoustically independent performance venue, although the backstage area is shared. The south façade of the Center is made entirely of glass. And the Sprint Center’s oval shaped, complete exterior glass facade system and all metal panels for the adjacent buildings and all accessory metal cladding were custom designed and detailed. I love these two buildings! Connected to the Sprint Center is The College Basketball Experience, which houses the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
A few miles from downtown is Mosaic Arena, formerly known as Kemper Arena. This venue is special to me because it is here where I photographed N.W.A. back in 1989. Wow, that was a long time! And the huge white building still looks the same…just a new name. Other special buildings of interest downtown were the Cathedral Of The Immaculate Conception, Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City Convention Center and One Kansas City Place, which is the tallest building in Missouri. I walked along 12th Street past the Folly Theater towards the Andrew Jackson statue, which stands outside the Jackson County Courthouse. Across the street, there’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad outside City Hall. On the other side of City Hall is Bruce Wolfe's Ilus Winfield Davis statue standing in Ilus Davis Park. Davis was Mayor of Kansas City from 1963 to 1971. Across from the park is another architectural gem…the United States Courthouse. As my time in Kansas City is winding down, I could not leave this city and not photograph The Community Christian Church, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright back in 1940. Wayne Selsor's “The Community Of Faith” sculpture sits outside the Church. Across the street from there, a demonstration was going on near the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain, which I thought was my last photo before heading back to St. Louis. However, on my way to the expressway, I spotted Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's “Badminton Shuttlecocks” sculpture on the lawn outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art. And upon exiting the driveway of the museum, my last shots in Kansas City were of George Segal's “Rush Hour” sculpture.