In The Loop: September 18, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
A tweak to the weekly “In The Loop”
It hasn’t quite been a year since I started The KC Downtown Loop, and I continue to pursue my vision for this online publication while making adjustments here and there. (The Loop is more than just this email: check it out at www.kcdowntownloop.com)
The most recent change is this: The “Quick Clip” video element under the “Visuals” section in this newsletter is going away. The amount of work involved in creating a low-quality, 15- or 30-second clip each week wasn’t a good return on investment.
But that doesn’t mean video won’t play a role at The Loop in the future. If you’re familiar with my background, you know that I’ve been involved in video production for 30 years now, and people close to me are some of the best in the video production business right here in KC.
So, we continue to discuss video-based options for The Loop, and hope to have a more compelling, higher quality video element to share with you in the near future. Stay tuned.
And now, on to the The Loop….
Robbery on the Westside
On this date in 1922, the evening Kansas City Star reported about a kidnapping and robbery earlier that day on the Westside of Downtown. The date in 1922 was a Monday, and weekend receipts from the Summit Theater at 1715 Summit Street were the target for two bandits.
Theater owner C.H. Burkey had taken the money from his venue’s safe, placed it in a locked box that he then put in his car, and drove south to his home at nearby 1742 Summit. The plan was for him to pick up his wife and take the receipts to a bank in the central business district Downtown. Before his wife came out to the car however, a young gunman in his twenties accosted Burkey as he waited outside his home. The robber ordered the theater owner to drive further south and at 21st and Summit a second, older robber was waiting. At this point, the younger gunman took over as the driver.
The Summit Theatre, 17th and Summit, in 1940 when it was still a movie house. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Although the kidnapping happened 100 years ago, the Summit Theater (now home to Chez Elle Creperie and Coffeehouse as well as some residential units) and the Burkey home at 1742 Summit (built in 1890) still stand. The route taken through town by the kidnappers also included streets and places familiar to most modern-day Downtowners: West along 21st Street adjacent to Observation Park, then north on Holly Street up to Sixth Street, then east to Delaware and driving north before turning east on 3rd Street. Eventually, the car stopped in the East Bottoms where the robbers took Burkey’s keys and opened the box to steal $407 (not to mention Burkey’s watch and, ultimately, his car).
Burkey was finally released from the car near Santa Fe Street, close to the Missouri River, unharmed. The robbers told him they would leave his car at a specified location near Downtown, but it was not recovered.
Two weeks later, Burkey was robbed by two men in similar fashion — and the theater owner recognized one of the robbers from the previous heist. Meanwhile, a victim from a separate robbery identified the same suspect, a 20-year-old man from Kansas City, Kan., who was arrested on Oct. 11, 1922. Two more suspects, also from KCK, were arrested within days.
A Downtown landmark opens in 1900
This Friday is the 122nd anniversary of the opening of the Standard Theatre, designed by architect Louis Curtiss and located at 12th and Wyandotte. Today, the venue is better known as the Folly Theater, the name associated with the building since 1941.
When the Standard opened as a burlesque and vaudeville house presenting the show “The Jolly Grass Widows,” apparently some Kansas Citians had hoped for some sort of debauchery:
“The pretty new opera house was filled yesterday afternoon with men who went with various grades of expectancy,” the Kansas City Star reported the day after the theater’s opening. “They were interested not so much in how good a show was to be given, but how naughty ‘The Jolly Grass Widows’ might be. No doubt there were many disappointed ones when the entertainment was done, for nothing of positive nastiness had been presented on the stage….”
The Century Theatre, as today’s Folly Theater was known from 1902 to 1923, pictured on a vintage postcard. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
IRS — and 4,200 employees — to stay Downtown
The Kansas City Business Journal reported on Thursday that the federal government has approved a lease to keep an estimated 4,263 full-time employees of the Internal Revenue Service, in addition to 17 employees of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, at its Downtown campus. The IRS Service Center is across Pershing Road from Union Station.
The IRS Service Center. U.S. Engineering
1400KC to become Blue Cross Blue Shield of KC headquarters
An empty, 18-story office tower built for Waddell & Reed (before Waddell & Reed was sold to LPL Financial Holdings Inc. in 2021) will be the new home for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. The insurance company will vacate its offices near Pershing Road and Main Street.
1400KC under construction in November 2021. The Loop
Temporary changes to streetcar schedules
Beginning last Sunday, the KC Streetcar has temporarily adjusted its operational hours during street-resurfacing work. Work is anticipated to last approximately five weeks, weather depending. Throughout this duration, on-street parking on the streetcar route will be restricted. For more information, including specific hours of streetcar operation, click the link here:
Two fewer parking lots in Downtown’s future (that’s good)
Birds-eye view over Bartle Hall and parking lots. City of Kansas City, Mo.
Library Card Sign-up Month
In this link, Kansas City Public Library staffers share their favorite ways they use their cards; checking out audiobooks or listening to them through Libby or hoopla — both among the library’s array of digital resources — was most common. A close second was accessing digital editions of The New York Times or The Kansas City Star. See more here:
Kansas City Public Library Central Branch
Hispanic Heritage Month at the library
Now that you have a library card (or will be getting one soon), celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) with a collection of book recommendations, film offerings, and other resources that explore a rich array of the experiences and perspectives of Latino Americans.
Imagine Downtown KC Planning Update
To inform members and interested stakeholders about progress on the implementation of the Imagine Downtown KC Strategic Plan, the Downtown Council is sharing updates from the quarterly Implementation Committee meetings, beginning with this report from the July 20 meeting.
Also, the Implementation team is seeking more representatives from the diverse neighborhoods that make up greater Downtown KC. To learn more, contact Ann Holliday at email@example.com.
LINK: Catalytic Projects Status (East-West Connections; Innovation Districts; Parks, Open Spaces & Plazas; Streetcar Expansion; Ballpark; Street Reimagination; Loop Reimagination; and Arts, Cultural & Historic Destinations)
KC Current to break ground for Downtown soccer stadium Oct. 6
Fans from across the region are invited to attend the Current’s groundbreaking celebration on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 5 p.m. as the ownership group of Angie Long, Chris Long, and Brittany Mahomes welcomes dignitaries from across the region and from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). A celebration party will cap off the night. Details here:
The Domphan Block Apartments were situated on the southeast corner of 8th and Locust before being torn down for expansion of what was then the city’s library at 9th and Locust. Old St. Patrick’s Church, still standing today at 8th and Cherry, can be seen to the left. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Julie Blackmon, Sidewalk, 2017, archival pigment print, on exhibit at Haw/Contemporary, 1600 Liberty St., in the West Bottoms
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
The KC Streetcar rolling down Downtown’s tree-lined and brick-paved Delaware Street never gets old. 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 Fiesta Hispana at Barney Allis
Last day of Collect-A-Con at Bartle Hall
Last day of Kansas City Symphony presents Copland’s Third Symphony, With Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto at Kauffman Center
TUESDAY the 20th
Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit through Friday at Municipal Auditorium
FRIDAY the 23rd
The Gaslight Anthem at the Midland
Kansas City Symphony presents Broadway's Leading Men through Sunday at Kauffman Center
The Champagne at KC Live! Block
SATURDAY the 24th
Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents Carmen through Sept. 30 at Kauffman Center
GWAR-B-Q with Nekrogoblikon & Crobot at Grinders KC
Ozomatli at KC Live! Block
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?
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact The Loop via social media
Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
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