the wandering chick

Kansas City was the perfect addition to a solar eclipse trip I took with two friends.

Country Club Plaza, the beautiful World War I monument and the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum quickly made me realize that Kansas City is a city worth going back to.

Country Club Plaza is the design of Jesse Clyde (J.C.) Nichols. Started in 1922, he built on a Spanish theme with courtyards, ornate towers and red-tiled roofs.

Nichols based his masterpiece on the idea that the automobile would become an important factor in peoples' lives. When the plaza was first built, it included 9 filling stations. So, when the depression of 1929 hit, it was those filling stations that paid the rent and allowed the plaza to survive.

Today, roughly 15 blocks comprise more than 120 shops and and a few dozen eateries with sculptures, murals and fountains tucked in here and there.

Kansas City's National World War One Museum and Memorial opened to the public in 1926 and was designated by Congress in 2004 to be the nation's official museum dedicated to World War I.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is as interesting outside the building as it is inside. Outside, one can wander the paths to take in larger than life sculptures that adorn acres of lush green lawn. Inside are galleries filled with nearly 35,000 works of art.

The museum, which opened in 1933, is named for William Rockhill Nelson, founder and editor of the Kansas City Evening Star and on whose grounds the building stands and for Mary McAfee Atkins, a former school teacher. Both bequeathed monies for the construction of the museum.

...Kansas City
gondola on city creek
gondola ride on city creek
reflection of buildings on water
Brush Creek runs parallel to the main streets of Country Club Plaza. Gondola rides can be had for a quiet, peaceful ride down the winding canal.
apartments above the trees
Beautiful high-rises tower over the trees that line Brush Creek.
47th Street buildings
After J.C. Nichols died in 1950, his son Miller Nichols took over ownership and management of the Country Club Plaza. He added apartments, hotels and pieces of art such as this fountain, the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, dedicated to his father. The fountain is one of the main scenic attractions of the Country Club Plaza and a gathering point for visitors and locals alike.
Looking west down 47th Street which runs the length of Country Club Plaza.
One of several ornate towers that grace the streets of Country Club Plaza
KC syline
front of art museum building
The Kansas City skyline
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
shuttlecocks on museum ground
Four shuttlecocks are displayed on the front and back lawns of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The birdies, made of fiberglass and aluminum, stand nearly 20 feet tall and nearly 16 feet in diameter.
Kansas City, here we come
statue of headless men
stainless steel tree
This 56-foot stainless steel tree is the work of American artist Roxy Paine. She calls it Ferment.
"Standing Figures" was done by the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz.
WWI monument
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is impressive and informative. On the ground level is the museum and several other features of interest. The exterior of the memorial comprises two sphinxes, the monument tower, which rises 217 feet, an exhibition hall and Memorial Hall. On the far side, the Kansas City skyline makes a stunning backdrop. These are only a few of the features that rank this memorial as one of the best in the United States.
memorial tower
Union Station
Not long after World War I ended, the Liberty Memorial was erected. In a staggering 10 days' time, the citizens of Kansas City raised $2.5 million. That was 1919. Seven years later, the monument was dedicated by then President Calvin Coolidge. One hundred thousand people gathered to witness the dedication, such was the passion of the people for the Great War. Over time, the physical structure began to deteriorate, so it was closed in 1994 for safety reasons. Once again the people voiced their support, and four years later a restored and expanded memorial materialized to what it is today. The Liberty Memorial was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
Union Station is an easy stroll from the World War I Memorial and worth a look-see. The building turned 100 years old in 2014.
WWI Memorial
Union Station building
dancing water
dancing water
dancing water
Dancing water from the World War I monument's fountain
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