Jackson County Courthouse (Kansas City, Missouri)
|Jackson County Courthouse|
Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|Address||415 East 12th Street|
|Town or city||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Inaugurated||December 27, 1934|
|Height||295 feet (90 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Frederick C. Gunn|
|Architecture firm||Wight and Wight; Keene and Simpson; Edward F. Neild|
It was built in 1934, designed by Wight and Wight in an Art Deco style. Harry S. Truman, presiding judge of the Jackson County Court at the time, wanted it designed similar to the Caddo Parish, Louisiana courthouse in Shreveport, Louisiana. Edward F. Neild who designed the Shreveport courthouse was hired as consulting architect-engineer. Neild would later die while designing the Truman Library.
It replaced the previous Kansas City courthouse annex at 5th and Oak, which officials deemed unsafe. Voters approved in a $4 million bond issue in 1931 for construction of the courthouse and adjacent Kansas City City Hall and the structure was dedicated in December 1934. Truman maintained an office in the new courthouse building during most of his first term as U.S. Senator from 1935 to 1939.
In 1922, Harry S. Truman won election as county judge for eastern Jackson County as a candidate of the Tom Pendergast faction of the Democratic Party. He failed to be re-elected in 1924, but, then won election as presiding judge in 1926. Truman served in this position in effect as county commissioner for eight years. He divided his time between this courthouse and the eastern courthouse in Independence.
The courthouse contains an elaborate painted ceiling on the second floor featuring portraits of county employees. The mural was completed by artist Chris Doyle in 2006. In the lobby are five medallions representing Faith, Authority, Justice, Aspiration, and Progress sculpted in white and bronze by Kansas City sculptor Jorgen Dreyer.
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