The Interstate Flats in Midtown Kansas City is an exceptional adaptive reuse of the historic headquarters of the Interstate Bakeries Corporation, makers of internationally recognized brands such as Hostess and Wonder Bread. The two-story brick building was constructed in 1952 and received a substantial addition in 1965. The distinct mid-century design appealed to Antheus Capital and MAC Property Management, who purchased the building in 2014 to complement their portfolio of rehabbed early-20th century apartment buildings in the neighborhood, many of which Rosin Preservation consulted.
Rosin prepared the National Register of Historic Places nomination for Interstate Bakeries Building. While in many ways the project was similar to the partnership’s previous rehabilitation efforts on their other buildings, the conversion of a mid-century office building to residential use presented unique challenges. Rosin worked closely with Kansas City architecture firm, El Dorado, to ensure design met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The exterior, including primary façade windows, was restored. New metal sun screens were installed above the front and rear entrances to mimic designs seen in original building plans. The design team loved the building’s mid-century aesthetic and maintained the Mad Men vibe of the lobby and public spaces, down to installing period-appropriate round HVAC diffusers. The majority of the building originally functioned as flexible open office suites. Private offices surrounding open office pools were defined by moveable Houserman partitions that featured aluminum frames, frosted glass, and wood doors. As the office suites were transformed into apartments, the movable partitions were reused as interior walls within the units enhancing the retro feel of each apartment. The most challenging piece of the project was the traditional, wood paneled executive suite, designed in stark contrast to the rest of the building. After much discussion among the owner and the project team, the historic wood paneling was retained and incorporated into two apartment units. These were among the first to lease. Another creative twist was the conversion of original carports into tenant amenity space by sensitively installing a glazed wall behind the structural posts at the building wall. The design of this area continues the fun retro spirit of the building and creates an active connection to the back courtyard.
Renters were eager for the opportunity to live in a mid-century building, and Interstate Flats leased up quickly. State and federal tax credits made the project economically viable and ensured preservation of the building’s unique design elements.
12 E Armour Boulevard Kansas City, MO