The Kansas City Power & Light Company erected a new building for its company headquarters in 1931. An instant icon on the burgeoning Kansas City skyline, the massing of the Art Deco masterpiece features distinct setbacks at multiple levels, capped by an internally illuminated “lantern.” Embellishments on the exterior and interior used imagery that harnessed the company’s literal and figurative power. On the exterior, bolts of lightning shoot through metal balconies, brilliant suns dazzle in terracotta bands, and the crowning lantern is a beacon seen for miles. Plaster in the first floor lobby and mezzanine and the elevator doors embraced similar motifs. While KCP&L occupied many of the floors, some of the 32-story tower’s upper floors were leased to other office tenants. All of the office floors featured the rich finishes standard to the period, such as terrazzo floors and polished marble wainscot in the halls.
Previous efforts to redevelop the largely vacant building began in the early 2000s, but never took hold. It was during this time that Rosin Preservation first became familiar with the property. When NorthPoint Development acquired the property in 2016, they were able to capitalize on the downtown housing and rehabilitation trend to transform the building into 293 market rate apartments, some with private patios and stunning views where the building steps back. Rosin Preservation worked closely with the team to ensure that all of the lush Art Deco design elements were preserved. We also provided guidance to ensure that the new six-story apartment building and parking garage, built on the lot to the north, would be compatible with the historic building design and support the historic tax credit project. Ultimately, the historic elevator lobbies and distinctive period corridors were preserved on all floors. The base of the iconic lantern was transformed into a tenant lounge where visitors can for the first time in 80 years appreciate the resplendent cut glass details of the lantern up close. With the restoration of plaster and a new coat of paint, the historic lobby was converted into an elegant Art Deco event space.
106 W 14th Street Kansas City, MO