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Power & Light Building
Power and Light Building
Looking west up 14th street
Address 106 West 14th Street
Height 479 feet
Floors 34
Architect Hoit, Price & Barnes
Neighborhood Downtown
Year Built 1931
Status Existing

The Power and Light Building was built in 1931, and became Missouri's tallest habitable structue at the time, untill the completion of One Mercantile Center in St. Louis, in 1976. It is crowned by a 97-foot high tower that changes color and is visible for several miles.


Physical DescriptionEdit

The building is clad in Indiana limestone and was designed in the Art Deco style. This style was popular in the 1920's through the 1940's. It exhibits one main characteristic of this style - a gradual tapering through a series of setbacks. The setbacks give the building a vertical perspective that is enhanced by the square nature of the plan.

As is typical in Art Deco, the building features a variety of rich ornamentation. The motif of the decoration is the power of light and energy. This is most prominent on terra-cotta displays depicting sunbursts between the first and second floors. This theme is repeated on the cast-iron canopies and on grills and doors throughout the building. The crown of the building also features the sunburst motif and large prism-cut glass sculptures. Edwin Price from Hoit, Price, & Barnes is credited with the design of the building's exterior.

The building represented a large step forward in terms of the modernization of buildings in downtown Kansas City. Many of the recent skyscrapers of this time including the Federal Reserve emphasized a tripartite design, which means that the buliding had a clearly indentifiable base, middle, and top. This design tends to minimize the height of the building. However, this building had a different design, and with a series of lateral facades and recessions that emphasized the height of the Power and Light Building.

Interesting factsEdit

The building designs originally called for and mirrored building to the West of the current tower. However due to lack of funds both in the area, and the country in the 1920's, the plans were abandoned. This explains why there are very few windows on the West facing side.

TenantsEdit

BNIM Architects 2001-Present Kansas City Power and Light Company 1931-1992, moved to 1201 Walnut

Current StateEdit

There is discussion that this building will have many of its vacant floors converted into condominiums. The proximity of the building to the Power and Light District has increased the prospects for this building.

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