Kansas City Power and Light Building

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Kansas City Power and Light Building
Kansas City Power and Light Building 1931.jpg
View of the southeast
Alternative namesKCP&L Building
Power and Light Building
General information
TypeCommercial offices originally, now luxury apartments and upscale event space
Location1330 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City
MO 64105
United States
Coordinates39°05′51″N 94°35′05″W / 39.09751°N 94.584743°W / 39.09751; -94.584743Coordinates: 39°05′51″N 94°35′05″W / 39.09751°N 94.584743°W / 39.09751; -94.584743
Construction started1930; 89 years ago (1930)
Completed1931; 88 years ago (1931)
OwnerNorthPoint Development
Roof476 ft (145 m)
Technical details
Floor count34 (+2 below-grade)[1]
Floor area230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectHoit, Price & Barnes
DeveloperKansas City Power and Light
Main contractorSwenson Construction Company
Kansas City Power and Light Company Building
Kansas City Power and Light Building is located in Missouri
Kansas City Power and Light Building
Kansas City Power and Light Building is located in the United States
Kansas City Power and Light Building
Built1930; 89 years ago (1930)
Architectural styleArt Deco
NRHP reference #88001852[5]
Added to NRHPJanuary 9, 2002; 17 years ago (January 9, 2002)

The Kansas City Power and Light Building (also called the KCP&L Building and the Power and Light Building) is a landmark skyscraper located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It was constructed by Kansas City Power and Light in 1931 as a way to promote new jobs in Downtown Kansas City. Since then, the Art Deco building has been a prominent part of Kansas City's skyline. The structure was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River upon its completion after succeeding the Smith Tower[6] until the completion of the Space Needle in 1962.[7] The east façade of the building faces the Power & Light District (which bears its name), and the building's iconic lantern appears on promotional materials and signage for the district and even Kansas City as a whole.


The building was designed by the Kansas City architecture firm of Hoit, Price and Barnes, which also designed Municipal Auditorium and 909 Walnut. Rumor for years said the original plans included a twin building to be paired on the immediate west side of the building, but the second tower was never built due to the effects of the Great Depression on local real estate prices. This was debunked in 2013 by local architect Dan Hicks who reviewed plans and interviewed Clarence Kivett, a well known architect working for Hoit, Price and Barnes at the time of the building design.[8] The west side of the building has no windows because it was meant to be a firewall next to any building built next to it, plus the elevator shafts are along that side of the building.. The Power and Light Building, at 34 stories, was Missouri's tallest habitable structure from 1931 until the completion of One U.S. Bank Plaza in St. Louis in 1976. The building remains the tallest residential building in the State of Missouri.

Kansas City Power & Light Co. left the building in 1991.[9]

In 2010 Kansas City selected the area adjacent to the Power and Light Building as a potential location for a hotel and convention center, to fulfill a need for the city. However, the city only received two proposals from property developers for a convention hotel at the site. The city considered the two proposals it received in 2011 as lackluster and were considering reopening the bidding process for a different downtown location.[10]

The building lost its last tenant, BNIM, a Kansas City-based architecture and planning firm, on September 2, 2014. The 36-story Power & Light building began a conversion into an apartment tower in October 2014. The project, led by NorthPoint Development of Riverside, which has now been completed includes 210 apartments in the historic tower, with an additional 81 units constructed wrapping around and built above a new 500 stall parking garage serving the building. The building lobby was converted into a premier event space holding up to 500 guests. [9]


The Kansas City Power and Light Building is crowned by an ornate Art Deco lantern, which features prismatic glass panels concealing red-orange lights that glow each evening at sunset. Originally, each recessed setback of the building also held multicolor flickering flood lights that dazzled nighttime viewers with the impression of blazing flames.[11] Today, LED floodlights rotate through an abundance of colors and dazzle onlookers.

Power and Light lobby under renovation during its transformation into an residential apartment building.
View of downtown Kansas City from Power and Light's new apartment units.



  1. ^ "Kansas City Power & Light Building". Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Kansas City Power and Light Building". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  3. ^ Kansas City Power and Light Building at Emporis
  4. ^ "Kansas City Power and Light Building". SkyscraperPage.
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  6. ^ Smith Tower
  7. ^ Space Needle
  8. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/blog/2013/12/the-mystery-at-the-power-light-building.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2013-12-19&page=all
  9. ^ a b "Kansas City Power & Light building goes up for sale". Kansas City Business Journal. March 28, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  10. ^ Klaus, Krista (May 20, 2011). "Kansas City may reopen bidding for convention hotel site". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  11. ^ The Kansas City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (1979), Kansas City, "N° 52: Kansas City Power and Light Building," Kansas City, Missouri: KCAIA, p. 71

External links[edit]

Media related to Kansas City Power and Light Building at Wikimedia Commons