909 Walnut

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909 Walnut
909 Walnut Kansas City MO.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Type Residential apartments
Location 909 Walnut, Kansas City, Missouri
Coordinates 39°06′12″N 94°34′54″W / 39.103317°N 94.581776°W / 39.103317; -94.581776Coordinates: 39°06′12″N 94°34′54″W / 39.103317°N 94.581776°W / 39.103317; -94.581776
Construction started 1930
Completed 1931
Cost US$2,850,000
Owner Simbol Commercial Inc
Height
Roof 471 feet (144 m)
Technical details
Floor count 35
Design and construction
Architect Hoit, Price & Barnes
Developer Fidelity National Bank & Trust
Main contractor Swenson Construction Company

909 Walnut (formerly Fidelity National Bank & Trust Building, Federal Office Building and 911 Walnut) is a twin-spire, 35-story, 471-foot (144 m) converted structure in Kansas City that is Missouri's tallest apartment building and 10th-tallest habitable building in Missouri. It is also the tallest residential building in the Midwest outside of Chicago.

In 1997 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

The building was built in 1930–31 as the Fidelity National Bank & Trust Building (referred to locally as the Fidelity Building) at an estimated cost of $2,850,000, including bank fixtures.[2] The site had been a two-story post office and federal building until 1904 when Fidelity took over the site for its headquarters. The two-story building was razed in 1930. The new building mimicked the original federal twin-spire structure, in an Art Deco-Gothic Revival architectural motif.

The building's architect Hoit, Price & Barnes also built landmark Art Deco buildings nearby in the Kansas City Power and Light Building and Municipal Auditorium (Kansas City).

The bank was liquidated in 1933 during the Great Depression.

On June 14, 1946, under Harry S. Truman, the building was acquired by the United States Federal Government at a report price of $3,300,000. It was renamed the Federal Office Building.[2]

In 1954, the headquarters of the newly formed Severe Local Storms Warning Service for the Weather Bureau moved to the building from Washington, D.C.. A Radome for a weather radar was placed between the towers on a steel skeleton rising above the towers, creating a landmark that lasted until 1995 when it was removed when the service relocated to Norman, Oklahoma, where it became the Storm Prediction Center.[3][4]

Another distinctive landmark was the "town clock" in the north tower which had first started keeping time in the original 1885 post office and was then placed in the tower. A bell cast in 1882 by the McShane Bell Company of Baltimore, Maryland chimed. The clock face has since been removed and replaced by large windows for the highest residential living unit within five states. The bell was sold by the former owner in 2000 and whisked away by helicopter in ignominious fashion.[2]

When the government abandoned the building in 1995 it was bought by Northland Management & Investment of Kansas City for $500,000 and remained vacant until being bought in 2000 when Simbol Commercial Inc. of Dallas bought the building for $2,000,000. Following the September 11 attacks, the building was renamed from 911 Walnut to 909 Walnut.[5] Simbol was said to have spent $64 million to convert this building and the 929 Walnut Building into 159 apartments and 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of commercial office space and to construct a 323-car public garage. The rooftop of the garage also includes a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) award-winning rooftop garden.[6]

The fourth floor is now the corporate headquarters of Handmark, a mobile phone software company. The second and third floors are occupied by Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR).

References[edit]

  • Kansas City, Missouri; An Architectural History, 1826-1990. (Copyright 1992). George Ehrlich. Retrieved August 11, 2007. (Pages 95–97)
  • American Institute of Architects Guide to Kansas City Architecture & Public Art. (Copyright 2000). American Institute of Architects/KC. Retrieved August 11, 2007. (Page 30, Number 42)

External links[edit]