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In The Loop: October 23, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
“Downtown’s Team” competes in the playoffs tonight
Yes, the KC Current soccer team, uh, currently play their games at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas, but ground has broken on their Downtown stadium, and there’s a buzz about the future of soccer on our riverfront and across Downtown.
Meanwhile, the Current play Seattle tonight at 6:30 p.m. — and the winner goes on to the NWSL title game. Television coverage of tonight’s game will be on CBS Sports Network, with radio play by play on ESPN Kansas City 1510AM and 94.5 FM.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kansas City won, and will play in the championship game on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. on CBS.
And now, on to the The Loop….
Drama at the Warder Grand theater before it ever opened
Originally slated to open Oct. 24, 1887, the Warder Grand Opera House on the northeast corner of 9th and Holmes didn’t see its first performance until one night later. Why the postponement? Construction on the theater was waaaaaay behind schedule and, on the unusually cold night of the 24th, the venue still had no heat, no dressing rooms, few seats — and an incomplete roof (among other issues).
“The parquet and orchestra flooring was not down and the joists that were to carry it supported a maze of scaffolding that extended to the roof,” the Kansas City Star reported about the night of the 23rd. “There were no wings, borders, traps, ropes, pulleys, scenery paint, footlights, stairways, or anything to indicate the character of the place. In all the house not a door was hung; not a light was permanently placed; carpets had never been thought of.”
On the day of the 24th, 34 members of the theatrical troupe Booth and Barrett (featuring Edwin Booth, the brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth) arrived in the morning and stayed at the Coates House Hotel. Meanwhile, administrative members of the ensemble visited the theater — where they quickly developed the opinion that it would be impossible for the actors to perform that night in such a half-done and possibly dangerous venue.
“One or two members of the company visited the Warder Grand and were thunderstruck by the unfinished appearance of the theater,” the Star recounted.
1890 photo of the Warder Grand Opera House, opened in 1887. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
That evening, carriages full of theater-goers descended upon the Warder Grand, unaware that the performance had been called off at the insistence of the Booth and Barrett company manager. News reports claimed that, while some ticket-holders were “not in the happiest frame of mind,” most in the crowd were satisfied with the explanation given, and with the choice to get a refund or use their existing tickets for a performance later in the week.
Warder Grand management had great motivation for the shows to go on: They owed the theatrical troupe $18,000 for the week whether the performances happened or not.
The next night, Oct. 25, with additional time to add seats, remove scaffolding, weather-proof the roof and make other improvements, the Warder Grand Opera House officially opened with a performance of Shakespeare’s Othello. Much of the audience was bundled in winter attire, and the play didn’t begin until around 9:40 p.m., when the last of the lumber and scaffolding was removed from the premises. The Star’s review of the event included the comment, “The auditorium was as cold as Greenland.”
Oct. 26, 1887, Kansas City Times
Peddling terror helped spark West Bottoms revitalization
KCUR 89.3 FM tells the story of how a cluster of haunted houses helped raise the West Bottoms from the dead, but it also begs the question: Will the spooky, seasonal venues be a part of the district’s future?
Last Art Garden KC of the year is this weekend
There is only one Sunday remaining for Art Garden KC in City Market Park, and it’s this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring more than 80 diverse local makers, kids' art activities, open mic performances, and much more. Support the Art Garden crew, get some early holiday shopping done, and show local artists some love. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome.
Enzo Bistro & Wine Bar opening next month
Speaking of the City Market, construction at Enzo Bistro & Wine Bar in the old Bo Lings City Market space is nearing completion, and the doors will open for business in November. Meanwhile, Bo Lings is moving a few spaces east on 5th Street and is expected to open primarily as a carry-out operation this spring.
Buck’s beer is almost here
Boulevard Brewing Co. and Vine Street Brewing have collaborated to create the Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison, with 100 percent of its proceeds going to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Startland News has the full story:
LINK: Boulevard, Vine Street hop to ‘inspire our city’ with a brew in honor of KC baseball icon Buck O’Neil
A change to the skyline?
If developers follow through with plans submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (for height approvals) — and that’s a very big “if” — we could have a new skyscraper on the west side of the skyline, right next to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Their plan is to have the site completed in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. If built as planned, it would be the third-tallest building in Kansas City and the sixth-largest in the state of Missouri. The Kansas City Business Journal has more:
A previous, unrealized proposal by a different developer considered this combination of buildings. The new proposal, if built, would include a tower roughly two and a half times as tall as the largest building shown here.
This week we commemorate the opening of two KC city hall buildings in October: one demolished, one still standing and in use.
The second-ever City Hall building (pictured above looking northeast from 5th and Main) was opened in today’s River Market district on Oct. 24, 1892, and razed in 1938. Our current City Hall building, on 12th Street between Oak and Locust, was opened 45 years and one day later, on Oct. 25, 1937.
The second City Hall featured gardens roughly where Minsky’s is now; the City Hall building itself was located about where the permanent, west-side City Market vendors are today (KC Soda Co., Fountain City Scoops & Floats, Hien Vuong restaurant, Burrito Bros., Dragonfly Tea Zone, Ting’s Filipino Bistro, Tikka House, Cristina’s Produce, and Global Produce). Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Rif Raf Giraffe (Jason Harrington), Dimension 743, 2019. 12” x 12” x 1” mixed paint media on wood. Part of the "Caught Between Space & Time" series and exhibit at Upper Level Gallery, 504 E. 18th St.
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
Crown Center and the 32-story San Francisco Tower condominiums rise above autumn colors on October 20, 2022. The Loop
Who are all these people?
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Last day of Kansas City Ballet presents Giselle at Kauffman Center
Last day of Man of La Mancha at Music Theater Heritage
Last day of American Royal Livestock Show at the American Royal Complex
WEDNESDAY the 26th
National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers Expo, through Friday at Bartle Hall
THURSDAY the 27th
FRIDAY the 28th
Kansas City Symphony presents Symphonie Fantastique, Brahms and Mendelssohn with the KC Symphony Chorus at Kauffman Center
SATURDAY the 29th
Christian Nodal at T-Mobile Center
Halloween Party: CarnEVIL at KC Live! Block and participating venues in Power & Light District
Maya the Exhibition: The Great Jaguar Rises, most days through January 1, at Union Station
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine — or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
For live Kansas City Jazz performances, visit LiveJazzKC.com
Until next week — enjoy the city!
Got a tip or question about Downtown KC?
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Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
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