Downtown Kansas City

The central business district of Kansas City, Missouri and the Kansas City metropolitan area is known as “Downtown Kansas City.”  It is located between the Missouri River in the north, to 31st Street in the south; and from the Kansas–Missouri state line east to Bruce R. Watkins Drive as defined by the Downtown Council of Kansas City; the 2010 Greater Downtown Area Plan formulated by the City of Kansas City defines the Greater Downtown Area to be the city limits of North Kansas City and Missouri to the north, the Kansas–Missouri state line to the west, 31st Street to the south and Woodland Avenue to the east.

The Loop is one of the most prominent features of Downtown Kansas City.  Altogether, the Loop covers an area of nearly one square mile.  In 2006, the Downtown Loop had nearly 8,000 residents.  The Downtown Loop encompasses Quality Hill, the Central Business District, the Entertainment District, and the Government District.

Districts in The Loop in Kansas City, Missouri

The Library District is an officially designated area roughly bounded by 9th and 11th Streets on the north and south, and Main Street and Broadway on the east and west in Downtown Kansas City.  This area includes the Kansas City Club, the Community Bookshelf, and the 10th and Main Transit Plaza, one of the regional bus terminals.  This area was developed as a commercial and entertainment area in the 1880s, but it now has many innovative and progressive loft-style buildings.  Several surface parking lots remain.

The Garment District is to the east of Quality Hill, across Broadway Boulevard.  In the 1930s, this district housed several large clothing manufacturers, making Kansas City’s garment district second only to New York City’s in size.  Today, this heritage is commemorated by an over-sized needle and thread monument.  Its old industrial buildings have been redeveloped into loft apartments, office space and restaurants.  Henry Perry, famous for his Kansas City-style barbecue, got his start in 1908 from a stand in an alley in the neighborhood.

The Government District is situated on the east side of the downtown loop and consists of Kansas City’s City Hall, the Jackson County Courthouse, Police Headquarters, the Bolling Federal Building and the Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse, which serves as the seat of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The Financial District houses Kansas City’s main skyscrapers, all within walking distance of each other and include, One Kansas City Place, the Town Pavilion, and City Center Square.  The district also includes the headquarters of the Kansas City, Missouri School District and until a few years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The Power & Light District is a nine-block entertainment district developed by the Cordish Company of Baltimore, Maryland.  It is situated along the southern edge of the downtown loop, bordered by Truman Road and Interstate 670 to the south and Bartle Hall Convention Center to the west.

The Convention District consists of Bartle Hall, Municipal Auditorium, Bartle Hall Convention Center, the Power & Light District, and the Sprint Center.

Crown Center is a district developed by Hallmark.  Crown Center includes an aquarium, Legoland, and Kaleidoscope.  There are several stores, and visitors can stay at the Sheraton Crown Center or the Westin Crown Center.  The district is a short walk from Liberty Memorial.  Visitors can connect to Union Station and the rest of Crown Center via a skywalk called the Link.

The River Market is Kansas City’s original neighborhood on the Missouri River.  The district contains one of the country’s largest and longest lasting public farmers’ markets.


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