Kansas City Board of Education & Library Building

Kansas City, Jackson County

The Kansas City Public Library and Board of Education Building occupies a full city block at 1211 McGee Street in the heart of Kansas City’s central business district. The building consists of a modernist black glass and aluminum covered nine-story office tower atop a two story new formalist style stone base, much in the style of Mies van der Rohe. It was designed by prominent local architect, Edward W. Tanner and was completed in 1960.  The interior of the building is divided into three distinct spaces, consisting of the library at the base, office tower above, and parking garage to the rear, at the building’s south façade.  Having retained its integrity of location and setting, design, materials and workmanship, it has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.  The public library moved from this location approximately fifteen years ago, and in the ensuing years, tenancy by the Kansas City Board of Education had diminished until the building became completely empty two years ago.  Offered for sale by the Kansas City School Repurposing Initiative, a hotel corporation announced plans to demolish the building and construct a 242-room hotel on the site. In the wake of what it called an inadequate incentives package offered by the City, the hotel developers just this week withdrew plans for the hotel development. It is hoped that by listing here a new developer might be found that would utilize the historic preservation tax credit as one of its financial incentives and be able to retain and renovate the building, which has been put back on the real estate market by Kansas City Public Schools.

Listed in 2018

Despite hopes to be reused as a hotel, this building was demolished in 2020.

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