Kansas City

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Kansas City: Recreation


Kansas City is regarded as one of the most cosmopolitan cities of its size in the United States. Second only to Rome, Italy, in the number of its fountains (more than 200), Kansas City also has more miles of boulevards than Paris, France. Country Club Plaza, the nation's first planned community, boasts Spanish-style architecture, beautiful landscaping, and a plethora of shops, restaurants, hotels, and apartments. More than 1,000 of the city's structures are included on the National Register of Historic Places; among them are the Scarritt Building and Arcade, the Kansas City Star Building, Union Station, and the Kansas City Power and Light Building. The Mutual Musicians Foundation, a hot-pink bungalow acquired by the Black Musicians Union Local 627 in 1928, received a National Historic Landmark designation.

A unique feature of the city is a system of underground limestone caves that were formerly quarries. This 20-million-square-foot "subtropolis" is now a commercial complex used for offices and warehouses. The Hallmark Visitors Center showcases the history and most recent developments of the Hallmark Greeting Card Company. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, captures Truman's political career and years as 33rd President of the United States. The nation's second largest urban park, Swope Park, includes the Kansas City Zoo and a braille trail.

One of the city's most popular attractions is Worlds of Fun, a 175-acre theme park featuring MAMBA, one of the tallest, longest, fastest steel coasters in the world. Also extremely popular are the Sprint IMAX Theatre in Swope Park and Oceans of Fun, a tropically-themed water park featuring a million-gallon wave pool and giant water slides.

The towns around Kansas City are full of historic homes and sites, including the home and presidential library of Harry S. Truman in Independence. One of the more unusual sites is the Jesse JamesBank Museum in Liberty, the site of the first daylight bank robbery in the United States. History aficionados can still see ruts created by covered wagons along the Santa Fe Trail, established in 1821, and the Quindaro Ruins in Kansas City, Kansas, represent the largest underground-railroad archeological site in the nation.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City's 18th and Vine District honors the history of African American baseball before 1947, when Kansas City Monarchs shortstop Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier by joining major league baseball. Sports fans will also enjoy a tour of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Champions in Overland Park, Kansas, to commemorate great moments in intercollegiate athletics through multi-image and video presentations, displays, and exhibits.

Arts and Culture

Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in the United States and ranked in the top 15, maintains a permanent collection that represents art from all civilizations and periods, from Sumeria to the present. Opened in 1933, the museum covers 20 landscaped acres and is home to the only Henry Moore Sculpture Garden outside the artist's native England. A new 165,000-square-foot expansion designed by internationally acclaimed architect Steven Holl is slated to open in 2007.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, built in 1994, presents rotating contemporary exhibits free of charge to the public. The Liberty Memorial Museum, conceived as a "monument to peace," is the nation's only public museum devoted solely to World War I and America's involvement in that conflict. Its dedication in 1921 brought together five Allied commanders who met for the first and only time in their lives. The Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City is one of only three museums of its kind in the country. The Kansas City Museum features hands-on science and history exhibits; its "If I Had a Hammer" program gives fourth through twelfth graders hands-on experience assembling a house. The museum's Science City at Union Station, a $234 million project that opened in 1999, combines the best of a museum, science center, theme park, and theater. Other museums in the city include the Black Archives of Mid-America, the Federal Reserve Bank Visitors Center, and the home and studio of the late painter, Thomas Hart Benton.

Kansas City, "the mother of swing and the nurturer of bebop," is noted for a distinctive jazz musical style, which consists of a two-four beat, predominance of saxophones, and background riffs. It has been played by musicians in local clubs since the early 1900s. The late Count Basie and Charlie "Bird" Parker, regarded as two of the greatest practitioners of the genre, began their careers in Kansas City. The Museums at 18th and Vine celebrate this heritage. The American Jazz Museum section is the first museum in the country devoted exclusively to this art form. The museum's interactive exhibits tell the story of "America's classical music" in an entertaining and educational format. In addition to in-depth exhibits on such greats as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Charlie Parker, the museum includes artifacts such as a Charlie Parker saxophone and a discovery room where visitors can listen to jazz performances. In the evenings, visitors can swing into the Blue Room, a jazz club recognized by Downbeat Magazine in 2004 as one of the 100 greatest jazz clubs in the world.

Kansas City ranks third in the nation for professional theaters per capita, boasting more than 20 equity and community theater companies. The Gem Theater Cultural and Performing Arts Center, one of the Museums at 18th and Vine, is a historic structure. With its neon marquee, it has been transformed into a 500-seat state-of-the-art facility for musical and theatrical performances. The center also hosts dance theaters and multimedia events for the public.

The Missouri Repertory Theatre performs a seven-show season, hosting nationally known actors and performing a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol each holiday season. Among the other theater companies in Kansas City are the Coterie Family Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Quality Hill Playhouse, Unicorn Theatre, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

Folly Theatre, a former burlesque house refurbished in 1981, is the first theater to appear on the National Historic Register; it hosts professional theater productions. The Midland Center for the Performing Arts, also on the National Historic Register, is a 1920s movie palace that was refurbished and reopened in 1981. Touring Broadway shows are presented in this ornate structure, which is decorated with gold leaf overlays, Tiffany glass, and bronze chandeliers.

The Lyric Theater is the home of the Kansas City Symphony and Lyric Opera, which presents all of its performances in English, as well as the headquarters of the State Ballet of Missouri. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents professional productions of Shakespeare's plays in Southmoreland Park in June and July. One of the nation's largest outdoor amphitheaters, the 7,795-seat Starlight Theatre is located in Swope Park and presents musicals and concerts in the summer.

Festivals and Holidays

Kansas City offers entertaining, educational, and flavorful festivals and events year-round. The culture and unique foods of many different countries are celebrated at the Northland Ethnic Festival (April), Taiwanese Festival (May), Annual Greek Festival (June), Sugar Creek Slavic Festival (June), and Ethnic Enrichment Festival (August), and Kansas City Irish Festival (September). The "Rhythm&Ribs" Jazz Festival in June combines two of Kansas City's favorite thingsbarbeque and jazz. Food is also the theme of the Platte City BBQ Fest (June) and a festival introduced in 2005 that is sure to become a favorite: the Kansas City Chocolate Festival on October 1.

Other events celebrate Kansas City's Midwestern heritage: notably the Prairie Village Art Show (June), Heart of America Quilt Festival (October), and Missouri Town 1855 Festival of Arts, Crafts, and Music (October). There are fairs aplenty, including the Platte County Fair (July), the oldest continuously running fair west of the Mississippi. The more arts-minded visitor will appreciate the Women' Playwriting Festival and the Kansas City Comedy Arts Fest in March, the Filmmakers Jubilee Film Festival in April, and the variety of music and theater festivals throughout the summer.

Autumn brings a full calendar of harvest festivals and horse racing. In November the 100-foot-tall Mayor's Christmas Tree is illuminated by 7,200 white lights, with 47,500 more strung throughout Crown Center Square. After Christmas the tree is made into ornaments for the next year, which are sold with proceeds going to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund. Christmas in Kansas City would not be the same without the annual production of "A Christmas Carol" by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre or the "Festival of Lights" at Country Club Plaza.

Sports for the Spectator

Kansas City athletes compete in three of the most modern sports facilities in the United States. The Truman Sports Complex consists of 40,000-seat Kauffman Stadium and 79,000-seat Arrowhead Stadium. Arrowhead is the home of the Kansas City Chiefs in the Western Division of the American Conference of the National Football League, and of the Major League Soccer team the Kansas City Wizards, MLS Cup Champions in 2000. Kauffman Stadium is the home of the Kansas City Royals of the Central Division of baseball's American League. Kemper Arena, close to downtown Kansas City, features an award-winning circular and pillarless structure that allows unobstructed and intimate viewing from all locations. The Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League play home games at Kemper Arena. Professional golfer Tom Watson, a Kansas City native, is affectionately known as the city's "fourth sports franchise."

Sprint Center, the 20,000-seat arena scheduled to open in 2007, will house the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Kansas City is also headquarters of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Since the Kansas City Speedway was inaugurated in 2001, racing fans have enjoyed NASCAR, Indy Racing, and Truck series events at the 1.5 mile tri-oval track.

Sports for the Participant

The beautiful and popular Kansas City parks offer an outlet for sports enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, golf, hiking, jogging, swimming, boating, ice skating, or tennis. Swope Park, the second largest city park in the nation, provides two 18-hole golf courses, a swimming pool, and a braille trail. The 250-acre Shawnee Mission Park is one of the best spots for sailing and canoeing. Fishing and sailing are available at nine public access lakes within an hour's drive. The area has facilities for amateur auto racing as well as horse- and dog-race tracks.

Those who enjoy gambling spend time on the Missouri River just north of downtown, where four riverboats offer a number of opportunities to court Lady Luck. There is no admission charge to board the boats, most of which have cruise times every two hours from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. and offer numerous dining choices and virtually nonstop entertainment.

Shopping and Dining

The City Market, at the north end of Main Street, offers shopping in a bazaar-like atmosphere. A Saturday morning trip to City Market for produce is a local tradition. Further south on Main Street, the Country Club Plaza, developed by Jessie Clyde Nichols in 1922, enjoys the distinctions of being "America's Original Shopping Center" and Kansas City's most popular tourist attraction, welcoming 10 million visitors each year. Located five miles south of downtown, the Plaza covers 55 acres and contains almost 200 retail and service businesses, including 40 restaurants. The Plaza, with its tile-roofed, pastel-colored buildings and imported filigree ironwork, borrows heavily from Hispanic architecture in honor of Seville, Spain, Kansas City's sister city. The European ambiance is enhanced with a number of towers, fountains, and horse-drawn carriages. The Plaza inaugurated America's outdoor Christmas lighting tradition in 1926.

Hallmark Cards's Crown Center, described as a city within a city, is a one-half billion-dollar downtown complex of shops, restaurants, hotels, offices, apartments, and condominiums over 85 acres. The Crown Center Shops occupy three levels topped by Halls Crown Center, a 100,000-square-foot specialty store. Crown Center revitalized the inner city by creating a downtown suburb where families can live and work. Town Pavilion, a tri-level shopping complex at the base of a major office building downtown, is connected by walkways to other office complexes. Just a couple miles from downtown lies Westport, Kansas City's historic district, featuring boutiques, restaurants, and nightly entertainment. In nearby Olathe, Kansas, shoppers converge at the 130 outlet stores of the Olathe Great Mall of the Great Plains.

Kansas City barbecue is one of America's most savory contributions to world cuisine. Since 1908, when Henry Perry first started selling 25-cent slabs of barbecued meat cooked on an outdoor pit and wrapped in newspaper, Kansas City barbecue has held its own alongside traditional Texas and Carolina versions. The process requires that the meat be dry rub-spiced, cooked slowly over woodpreferably hickoryfor as long as 18 hours, and slathered with rich, sweet-tangy sauce. More than 90 Kansas City barbecue establishments serve ribs, pork, ham, mutton, sausage, and even fish. Each establishment prides itself on its own unique recipe for sauce; the most famous sauce, KC Masterpiece, was developed in the 1980s by Rich Davis. The barbecue restaurant owned by the legendary Arthur Bryant has been described by food critic Calvin Trillin as "the single, best restaurant in the world."

Kansas City ranks number three in the United States for sheer number of restaurants. Elegant dining is possible at establishments like the Savoy Grill, Le Fou Frog, Fedora Café & Bar, and the Peppercorn Duck Club, famous for its rotisserie duck and ultra chocolatta bar.

Visitor Information: Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, 1100 Main St., Ste. 2200, Kansas City, MO 64105; telephone (816)221-5242; toll-free (800)767-7700

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Kansas City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Both the geographic and population centers of the United States lie within 250 miles of Kansas City, making the metropolitan area a natural hub for intermodal transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution. The Kansas City area economy is a diverse one. The trade, transportation, and utilities category is the region's largest employer; government is second, followed by professional and business services, then educational and health services. Major manufacturing employers are Hallmark Cards (founded in Kansas City in 1910); Harmon Industries, Inc. (founded in Kansas City in 1946), manufacturers of railroad signal and communication equipment, traffic control systems, rail/highway grade crossing hardware and allied components; and American Italian Pasta, the largest producer of pasta in North America.

In addition to the federal and state governments, local employers with more than 5,000 workers include Sprint, Ford Motor Company, Kansas City School District, and the University of Kansas. A number of companies have made recent announcements to relocate significant operations or expand existing operations to the Kansas City metropolitan area. These include Federal Express, Wausau Supply, Procter & Gamble, and H&R Block.

Items and goods produced: grain mill products, roasted coffee, chips and similar snacks, meat products, bakery products, apparel, millwork and plywood, furniture, paperboard containers and boxes, converted paper products, commercial printing and publishing, drugs, soaps and detergents, agricultural chemicals, plastics, concrete, mineral wool, fabricated structural metal products, ordnance and accessories, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic/electrical equipment, motorvehicles, search and navigation equipment

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The Kansas City Area Development Council is a bi-state, regional coalition of business, government, economic development, and chambers of commerce leaders. The council works with community partners to attract business and industry to the bi-state metropolitan area. Businesses locating within the Kansas City area are eligible for several incentive programs that, at the time of initial investment, offer direct cost reductions. Some of the programs also reduce annual operating costs. Businesses and individuals located in the metropolitan area are also affected by a tax structure that is quite favorable when compared to most regions of the United States. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's Business Resource Center provides information for the research and business planning stage.

State programs

Businesses relocating to or expanding in the Kansas City area can take advantage of a wide range of financial incentives provided by state and local government agencies. These include state income tax credits, real and personal property tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions, financing programs, workforce training, and a number of other programs.

Job training programs

The New Jobs Training Program (NJTP) provides education and training to workers employed in newly created jobs in Missouri. The new jobs may result from a new industry locating in Missouri or an existing industry expanding its workforce in the state. In greater Kansas City, NJTP services are provided by the Metropolitan Community Colleges system. The program provides assistance in reducing the cost associated with expanding a workforce or locating a new facility through several training services, including customized training designed for the specific needs of the industry, adult basic education, general occupational skill training, and on-the-job training. The Missouri Customized Training Program (MCTP) helps Missouri employers with funding to offset the costs of employee training and retraining. It assists new and expanding businesses in recruiting, screening, and training workers, and it helps existing employers retain their current workforce when faced with needed upgrading and retraining.

Kansas City's Center for Workforce and Diversity Development, the hub of workforce development initiatives designed to seek solutions by building coalitions and collaborations to overcome workforce barriers. Initiatives include centralizing and supplying information about legislation and activities relating to the Welfare-to-Work program, child care and school-to-career initiatives; promoting diversity programs in the workplace; facilitating the metropolitan-wide Workforce Industry Consortia, where workforce issues are discussed and solutions created. Through the Workforce Industry Consortia, area businesses identify specific industry skill standards, gaps, and required training needs.

Development Projects

In 2004 Mayor Kay Barnes envisioned a "New Kansas City," driven primarily by development projects in the metropolitan area's urban core. More than $4 billion in major infrastructure improvements are planned, with work currently progressing on a $200 million expansion of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a $157 million Convention Center renovation and expansion project, and a $330 million entertainment district. Future projects include the new H&R Block headquarters, a Metropolitan Performing Arts Center, a Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and Sprint Center, a $250 million sports arena slated for completion in 2007. Beginning in summer 2005, a new bus rapid transit system, the Metro Area Express (MAX), connects many of these destinations.

Since 2000, more than $500 million has been invested in new downtown residences, and another Sewer and Water Bond is being proposed to update the city's aging infrastructure and promote even more residential development.

Jim and Virginia Stowers have committed $300 million to build a second facility for the existing Stowers Institute for Medical Research; each facility will employ 500 people when staffed to capacity.

Economic Development Information: Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 2600 Commerce Tower, 911 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64105-2049; telephone (816)221-2424; fax (816)221-7440; email [email protected] Kansas City Area Development Council, 2600 Commerce Tower, 911 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64105-2049; telephone (816)221-2121; toll-free (888)99KCADC; fax (816)842-2865; email [email protected] Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, 10 Petticoat Lane, Ste. 250, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816)221-0636; toll-free (800)889-0636; fax (816)221-0189

Commercial Shipping

Located at the juncture of three interstate highways, four interstate linkages, and 10 federal highways, Kansas City is served by more than 300 motor freight carriers, including Yellow Corp., the nation's largest less-than-truckload carrier, which is headquartered in Kansas City. Kansas City is the third largest truck terminal in the United States. The second-largest rail center in the United States, Greater Kansas City is served by four of the country's eight Class I rail carriers, as well as three regional lines and one local switching carrier (Kansas City Terminal). Kansas City is connected via the Kansas and Missouri rivers to the nation's inland water system and is served by seven barge lines; 41 docks and terminal facilities exist in the metropolitan area. As an important inland port, Kansas City ranks first in the country in Foreign Trade Zones space. Kansas City International Airport (KCI) and four other airports in the metropolitan area are capable of supporting large cargo aircraft.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Employment in the Kansas City area economy increased by 20 percent during the 1990s, which ranked Kansas City among the fastest growing major Midwest labor markets. Unemployment, however, has risen steadily from 3.1 percent in 1999 to 6.2 percent in 2004. The Kansas City area labor force is said to be well-educated, motivated, and highly productive. Production workers in Kansas City take fewer sick days than workers in 33 major metros. Like the rest of the country, Kansas City has experienced a labor shortage; in the late 1990s this resulted in the loss of potential major employers to other parts of the country.

The local economy has managed to remain remarkably steady, largely due to its diversity; because it is not tied too closely to one particular industry, it is not subject to rapid economic peaks and valleys.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Kansas City metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 965,900

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 50,800

manufacturing: 83,700

trade, transportation and utilities: 202,200

information: 45,300

financial activities: 70,900

professional and business services: 127,700

educational and health services: 108,900

leisure and hospitality: 92,300

other services: 40,400

government: 143,900

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $20.65

Unemployment rate: 5.7% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Federal government 29,452
Sprint Corporation 9,300
State of Missouri 8,987
Hallmark Cards, Inc. 6,900
A T & T 6,200

Cost of Living

Kansas City's cost of living has consistently been at or below the national average. A major component of the overall low cost of living is the affordability of housing in the area. In the first quarter of 2005, Kansas City was the second most affordable market among metropolitan areas with populations exceeding one million.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Kansas City area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $228,375

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 95.5 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: graduated from 1.5% to 6.0%

State sales tax rate: 4.225%

Local income tax rate: 1.0% of earnings

Local sales tax rate: 1.5%

Property tax rate: 1.32 per $100 of assessed value of improved and unimproved land, personal property, and footage on or abutting boulevards, parkways, and trafficways

Economic Information: Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 2600 Commerce Tower, 911 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64105-2049; telephone (816)221-2424; fax (816)221-7440; email [email protected] Kansas City Area Development Council, 2600 Commerce Tower, 911 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64105-2049; telephone (816)221-2121; toll-free (888)99KCADC; fax (816)842-2865; email [email protected] State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development, 301 W. High St., PO Box 157, Jefferson City, MO 65102; telephone (573)751-4962; fax (573)526-7700; email [email protected]

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Kansas City: Recreation


The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs was chartered by Congress in 1960 to honor the nation's farmers. Funded by private contributions, the 172-acre facility traces the history of agriculture in the United States with exhibits on rural life, customs, and material culture. Its many attractions include the Museum of Farming, the National Farmer's Memorial, a gallery of rural art, and a restored nineteenth century farming village.

The Huron Indian Cemetery located in the heart of downtown is the burial ground of the Wyandot Nation, founders of the first town in the evolution of Kansas City. Established in 1832, White Church Christian Church is the oldest church in the state that is still in use. The John Brown Statue at 27th Avenue and Sewell pays tribute to the Brown-led antislavery movement from Quindaro, Kansas. In council chambers at City Hall the history of Kansas City is told through stained-glass windows and a large mural. The Rosedale Memorial Arch, dedicated in 1923 as a memorial to World War I soldiers, replicates the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In 1993 a monument was added underneath the arch in memory of soldiers who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Grinter House, built in 1857 and furnished with authentic period furniture, is the restored home of one of the first white settlers in Kansas City, Moses Grinter, who operated a ferry across the Kaw (Kansas) River.

Children will be interested in the Children's Museum of Kansas City, featuring interactive discovery-based exhibits. Nearby Kansas City, Missouri is home to the Kansas City Zoo; Worlds of Fun, a theme park with more than 50 rides and shows; and Oceans of Fun, a tropical-theme water park.

Arts and Culture

The centerpiece for the performing arts in Kansas City is Memorial Hall, a 3,300-seat venue that hosts cultural, religious, and entertainment events year-round. The Wyandotte Players perform live family-oriented theatre at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Performing Arts Center. Commedia Sans Arte is an improvisational comedy troupe performing at the historic Alcott Arts Center (formerly the Louise May Alcott Grade School). Open-air concerts take place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs.

Kansas City, Kansas's Granada Theatre is home to the Grand Barton Theatre pipe organ. One of the most impressive instruments of its kind, it weighs more than 20 tons and rises more than two stories in height. Built in 19281929 by Boller Brothers in a Spanish-Mediterranean style, the Granada Theatre was restored in 1986 and operated as a nonprofit performing arts center during the 1980s and 1990s. It was under renovation in 2005.

The stone and brick foundations of the Quindaro Ruins and Underground Railroad, called "the largest known archeological shrine to freedom," offer a rare glimpse into Kansas's abolitionist past. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in nearby Independence, Missouri contains documents and memorabilia from the Truman presidency, including a popular White House in Miniature exhibit.

The Wyandotte County Historical Museum in Bonner Springs displays local and regional artifacts, including Native American relics and other items from the county's early history. The Strawberry Hill Museum is dedicated to Kansas City's Eastern European heritage. It is located in the former St. John the Baptist Children's Home, an original Queen Anne-style building constructed in 1887. Neighboring Kansas City, Missouri, is the home of the nationally renowned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and a number of other museums of note.

Festivals and Holidays

Kansas City is nicknamed the "City of Festivals." The city and Wyandotte County celebrate history, culture, tradition, and ethnic heritage with annual events in which crafts, foods, and music play an important part. Recognized as one of the top 100 attractions in North America, the Renaissance Festival spans six fall weekends beginning on Labor Day weekend. Several ethnic festivals are scheduled throughout the year including Polski Days, the Croatian Festival, the Kansas City Scottish Highland Games, and Oktoberfest. The Wyandotte County Fair takes place the last weekend in July. The Great American Barbecue takes place in May, featuring barbecue contests and a Barbecue Ball. Grinter House is the location of a number of special events, including the Applefest in autumn.

Sports for the Spectator

Greyhound, thoroughbred, and quarter horse racing take place at the dual-track Woodlands complex. The privately funded racetrack includes two separate enclosed spectator facilities, a one-mile horse track with a straightaway for thoroughbreds and quarter horses, and a greyhound track suitable for year-round racing. Lakeside Speedway has a half-mile asphalt oval track and is part of the NASCAR Winston Racing Series. The Speedway hosts many national touring series; racing takes place every Friday night from March through September. The recently completed Kansas Speedway is a state-of-the-art facility featuring a 1.5-mile racing track, 80,000 spectator seats, driving schools, custom car shows and more. In addition to NASCAR, IRL and ARCA races, the Kansas Speed-way also hosts community events.

Nearby Kansas City, Missouri has much to offer the sports enthusiast. The American Royal, the world's largest combined livestock show, horse show, and rodeo, takes place in autumn at the American Royal Complex in the stockyard district. The Kansas City Chiefs play in the National Football League at Arrowhead Stadium, part of the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals compete in the American League Central Division at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Comets play indoor soccer and the Kansas City Knights play ABA basketball, both at Kemper Arena.

Sports for the Participant

The Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department manages 44 parks and 7 recreational centers with facilities for tennis, golf, swimming and picnicking. Wyandotte County Lake offers a 400-acre lake with marina, 1500 acres of wooded land, a model railroad, picnic shelters and excellent fishing. Private facilities can be reserved for small and large groups. The 360-acre Wyandotte County Park includes lighted softball fields, tennis courts and a soccer pitch. Meeting space is also available.

Wyandotte County has three first-rate golf courses. Painted Hills offers rolling fairways and a panoramic view of the city. Dub's Dread is a challenging 18 hole course. The newly-remodeled Sunflower Hills is considered the premier public course in the metropolitan area, with 18 hole championship design and PGA management staff.

Shopping and Dining

Legends Shopping Center, an open-air shopping and entertainment destination, is expected to open in the Village West district in summer 2005. Village West already offers 400 acres of retail, sports and dining venues. Indian Springs Marketplace is home to the Children's Museum of Kansas City as well as a range of shops and services. Country Club Plaza and Crown Center are located in Kansas City, Missouri. City Market, also in Missouri, is a colorful farmers' market open seven days a week. Union Station is a fully refurbished 1914 landmark, now featuring unique shops and restaurants, an interactive science centre and theatre facilities. Kansas City restaurants are known for their barbecue, steaks, chicken, and ethnic cuisine, including Mexican, Greek, Asian, and Italian.

Visitor Information: Kansas City, KansasWyandotte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 727 Minnesota Ave., PO Box 171517, Kansas City, KS 66101, telephone (913)321-5800; toll-free (800)264-1563

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KANSAS CITY , Missouri commercial and industrial center on the Missouri River opposite Kansas City, Kansas; Jewish population totaled approximately 19,000 or 1.1 percent of the total city population which is listed as 2,692,000 (2005).

As early as 1839 several Jews had found their way to the settlement of Wyandotte, Missouri, which was not renamed "Kansas City" until 1889. Among the earliest Jewish residents were Herman and Benjamin Ganz, Henry Miller, and Lewis Hammerslough. During the Civil War, 12 Jews served in the local home guard and another, Lieutenant Colonel Reuben E. Hershfield, was commander of nearby Fort Leavenworth.

Kansas City, mo, is part of the greater Kansas City area, which incorporates Kansas City, Kansas, as well as their surrounding suburbs. The first Jewish organization in Kansas City was a burial society founded in 1864. Three years later a local chapter of B'nai B'rith was formed. The first synagogue, Bnai Jehudah, was established in 1870 as a Reform congregation. An Orthodox congregation, Keneseth Israel, was organized in 1878; a decade later its more liberal wing split off to become Congregation Beth Sholom. Bnai Jehudah opened the city's first Sunday school in the 1880s and Keneseth Israel founded a talmud torah in 1901. As the Jewish population of Kansas City grew, other institutions were not long in following. The city's first Jewish social group, the Progress Club, was established in 1881. In 1895 a chapter of the Council of Jewish Women was formed and in 1901 The Jewish Family and Children Services was established to aid in resettlement and counseling. In 1913 the first Hadassah group came into being after a visit by Henrietta Szold. A branch of the Workmen's Circle was created in 1904. A Jewish Home for the Aged was opened in 1912 and a Jewish Community Center and ymha-ywha in 1917. The Kansas City United Jewish Charities, chartered in 1901, established the Jewish Educational Institute in 1907 and a health center, the Alfred Benjamin Dispensary, in 1919. While the ujc was extending its services, newcomers developed other agencies which provided help in ways often more acceptable to their recipients, such as the Hebrew Ladies Relief, the Hebrew Free Loan Society, the Jewish Orphans' Home, and the Wayfarers' Lodge. Zionism had its supporters in Kansas City from the time of the first Zionist Congress in 1897, and several Zionist groups were formed shortly after. The 1920s witnessed the continued growth of institutional life. The weekly Kansas City Jewish Chronicle has been reporting on Jewish activity in the area since it began publication in 1920. In 1926 the Jewish Memorial Association was formed and soon after it received a bequest of $200,000 for the erection of a hospital with a kasher kitchen. The building, first called Menorah Hospital and later the Menorah Medical Center, was dedicated in 1931.

The economic crisis of the 1930s posed a severe economic threat to Kansas City's Jewish institutions, and in 1933 the situation became so bad that the Jewish Community Center was almost forced to close its doors. To meet this challenge, several leaders of the community evolved a plan for setting up a federation and conducting a campaign for immediate needs. The joint drive was a success and since then the federation has continued to minister to the community's financial wants. The trend toward consolidation continued into the late 1930s and 1940s. In 1939 the Rabbinical Association was organized by Samuel S. Mayerberg and Gershon Hadas and in 1945 all community organizations were joined together into a council combined with the federation. In 1968 Kansas City had seven congregations: Bnai Jehudah, Beth El (est. 1958), and the New Reform Congregation (est. 1967) were Reform; Ohev Sholom (est. 1930), Beth Israel-Abraham (est. 1958), and Kehilath Israel (est. 1959) were Orthodox; and Beth Shalom in the Overland Park suburb was Conservative. In addition to congregational schools, a Jewish day school, the Hebrew Academy, was founded in 1966. Adult Jewish education, formerly offered through the School of Jewish Studies (1946–56), was under the joint direction of the Jewish Community Center and the congregations in 1968.

In that same year, in the social services field, the United Jewish Charities, which was renamed the Jewish Family and Children's Service in 1960, continued to offer a wide variety of programs. The Jewish Vocational Service, helped into existence in 1950 by the Federation and Council for the initial purpose of finding jobs for newcomers, was largely occupied with guidance for young people. The Menorah Medical Center, enlarged in 1951 and again in 1960 and 1963, had a capacity of 335 beds. In 1966 the Jewish Educational Program was founded to help assist the Jewish community of Kansas better to understand their heritage.

Jews have played important roles in almost every phase of Kansas City's growth. The settlers, who often began as peddlers, soon moved into retail business and later became wholesale merchants. A goodly number became manufacturers and developed such enterprises as the important center for the manufacture of women's garments. Jews have been prominent dealers in grain and flour, cattle and hides, meat-packing and produce, insurance and real estate, and, in recent years, securities and banking. Civic and political participation by Jews has been significant for many years. Several Jews were on the board of trade as early as 1869. From 1904 to approximately 1934 Jewish aldermen and councilmen sat continuously on the city council. From 1932 to 1937 Rabbi Mayerberg assumed a leading part in spearheading the long, bitter, and ultimately successful campaign against the city's corrupt, machine-dominated government. After World War ii, Richard H. Koenigsdorf was city counselor and then circuit judge. Kenneth Krakauer and Bert Berkley were presidents of the chamber of commerce, Irving Fane served on the police board and Richard L. Berkley was Republican county chairman. Early in 1948, when Jewish settlements in Palestine were under heavy Arab attack, several residents of Kansas City called upon Eddie *Jacobson, a fellow townsman and a close friend of President Truman, to persuade Truman to grant an audience to Chaim Weizmann, a mission which he successfully carried out.

In 1968 it was estimated that approximately 60 percent of the Jewish population was self-employed, approximately 20 percent were employed by others, and another 20 percent were in the professions. This relative isolation of Jewish economic achievement had its social counterpart in the generally small amount of intermingling with non-Jews. The major downtown social club began accepting Jewish members only in 1967. Other clubs still retained an informal practice of exclusion. The two Jewish country clubs, on the other hand, were almost totally devoid of non-Jews. Yet, the rate of inter-marriage had steadily increased while the size of the Jewish population had remained practically unchanged from 1948 to 1968. Today many of the Jews in the Greater Kansas City area have moved out of the city center and into suburbs such as Overland Park, Kansas. With a general population of over 160,000 (2004 estimate), Overland Park has become the new center of the Jewish community in Greater Kansas City. Several Jewish institutions have moved into Overland Park in recent decades, including the Jewish Historical Society and Temple Bnai Jehudah. This is part of a larger trend across the country, as Jewish populations in many metropolitan areas move steadily from the heart of the city and into more residential suburban communities.

[Gershon Hadas /

Ben Paul (2nd ed.)]

In the early 21st century the Kansas City metropolitan area contained 12 synagogues, 7 Jewish cemeteries, and several new organizations devoted to Jewish life. The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education was founded in 1993 in Overland Park, with an endowment of $2.4 million. The Kansas City community also sponsors the Village Shalom senior living community, located in the heart of the city. Although small in numbers, the Jewish community of Kansas City works hard to maintain its identity and ensure that its members receive a strong Jewish education.


L.A. Campbell, Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri (1875), 715; American Israelite (1900), no. 28; The Reform Advocate (March 28, 1908); Sachs, in: Missouri Historical Review, 60 (April 1966), 350–60.

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Kansas City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Wyandotte County, which once could claim the second largest meat packing industry in the world, has diversified into a transportation, medical, and manufacturing center. Principal industrial activity involves automobile manufacturing, food production and distribution, railroads, bakery products, and meat processing. Agriculture continues to be important in the rural area west of the city.

Items and goods produced: fiberglass, cement, creamery products, soap, fiber box, brick, tile, automobiles

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Businesses

Local programs

The mission of Wyandotte Development Inc. is to foster, encourage, and assist new and existing businesses in Wyandotte County. Its Economic Development Team consists of the State of Kansas, municipal governments and utilities, and other entities as needed. Its goal is for each member to develop a proposal within 10 days of meeting with a potential business prospect. The Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce offers networking opportunities, legislative efforts, community development and business/education partnerships to its 780 member companies.

State programs

The Kansas Department of Commerce is the state's leading economic development agency. It provides incentive programs in the form of tax credits, loans, grants, and services. Its Business Development Division is comprised of five different sections: Business Assistance, Business Finance, National Marketing, Workforce Training, and the Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development. The Kansas 1st program links qualified job seekers at post-secondary institutions with employers.

Job training programs

The state of Kansas helps fund the training needs of Kansas businesses through three major workforce training programs: Investments in Major Projects and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT); Kansas Industrial Training (KIT); and Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR). Qualified businesses include those new to Kansas or existing businesses which are expanding or restructuring. Programs are custom designed to meet a company's specific training needs and can involve pre-employment or on-the-job training.

Development Projects

Adjacent to the Kansas Speedway, the 400-acre Village West project is still under construction. The Legends Shopping Center is scheduled to open in Village West in summer 2005. Kansas City International Airport will finish $218 million worth of terminal renovations in 2005. The University of Kansas Hospital has broken ground for a new state-of-the-art cardiac health facility with completion expected in June 2006. Federal Express has selected the Kansas City area for a new $76 million regional distribution center.

Economic Development Information: Wyandotte Development Inc., 727 Minnesota Avenue, PO Box 171337, Kansas City, Kansas 66117; telephone (913)371-3198; fax (913)371-3732. Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson Street, Suite 100, Topeka Kansas 66612-1354; telephone (785)296-3339; fax (785)296-3490

Commercial Shipping

Kansas City is one of the largest transportation hubs in the nation. Local firms provide a complete range of intermodal services, including rail, air, truck, and water, for the receiving and shipping of goods. The Greater Kansas City area is served by four Class I rail carriers, three regional lines and a local switching carrier.

The Kansas City business community profits from commercial freight activity at Downtown Airport, a general aviation facility in neighboring Kansas City, Missouri. A trans-shipment point for 225 motor freight carriers, Kansas City is part of the Kansas City Commercial Zone, where exemption from Interstate Commerce Commission tariff supervision is granted to shipments originating from and received within this region. Shippers and motor carriers independently negotiate rates. A number of warehouses are maintained in the area.

Seven barge lines offer shipping from the Kansas City area of the Missouri River. There are 41 docks and terminals in the city. The shipping season runs from March through November.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

The following is a summary of data regarding the Kansas City, KansasKansas City, Missouri metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 965,900

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 50,800

manufacturing: 83,700

trade, transportation and utilities: 202,200

information: 45,300

financial activities: 70,900

professional and business services: 127,700

educational and health services: 108,900

leisure and hospitality: 92,300

other services: 40,400

government: 143,900

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $16.57 (Kansas State)

Unemployment rate: 5.6% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
University of Kansas Medical Center 4,900
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, USD #500 3,500
General Motors 3,350
Unified Government of Wyandotte County 2,300
Associated Wholesale Grocers 1,300
Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad 1,200
United Parcel Service 907
Teletech 825
Kansas City Kansas Community College 750
U.S. Bulk Mail Center 600
Swift Transportation 600
Keebler Foods 550

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Kansas City area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $228,375 (MSA)

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 95.5 (MSA) (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 3.5% to 6.45%

State sales tax rate: 5.3%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: city, 1.25%; county, 1.0%

Property tax rate: 1.83% per $1,000 assessed value

Economic Information: Kansas City Area Development Council, 2600 Commerce Tower, 911 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64105-2049; telephone (816)221-2121; fax (816)842-2865; email [email protected]

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Kansas City: History

River Site Aids Westward Expansion

The area along the Missouri River now occupied by Kansas City was originally territory within the domain of the Kansa (Kaw) Native Americans. The first persons of European descent to enter the region were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who camped at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in 1804 during their Louisiana Purchase expedition. Several years later, in 1821, Francois Chouteau opened a depot for the American Fur Company on the site; after a flood destroyed his warehouse in 1826, he relocated to the site of a ferry boat service, where the town of Kansas soon developed.

In 1832 John Calvin McCoy settled nearby and built a store; the following year he platted the town of Westport in Missouri, offering lots for new business development. Westport was soon competing with neighboring Independence, the seat of Jackson County, to be chosen as the eastern terminus of the Santa Fe Trail. Meanwhile Chouteau's settlement, Kansas, developed more slowly; in 1838 the Kansas Town Company was formed to sell property near Chouteau's warehouse. Both Westport and Kansas Town prospered under westward migration until the height of the Gold Rush in 1849, when an epidemic of Asiatic cholera reduced the local population by one-half and drove business elsewhere.

The Kansas Town settlement remained substantial enough, however, to be incorporated in 1850 as the Town of Kansas and then as the City of Kansas in 1853. By 1855 overland trade had returned and the city began to prosper once again, just in time to be disrupted by the nation's conflict over the issue of slavery, during which Southern and Northern forces vied for dominance in the Kansas Territory. Kansas border ruffians invaded Wyandotte County, Kansas, creating havoc in the City of Kansas, which fell into disrepair and economic difficulty with the outbreak of the Civil War. In a pivotal conflict, the Union Army resisted a Confederate Army attack at the Battle of Westport (Missouri) in October of 1864.

Rail Center Develops Architectural Refinement

When the Missouri Pacific Railroad arrived in 1865, the City of Kansas at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers was found to be the perfect location for a railroad distributing center. The first stockyards opened in 1870 and, after weathering the grasshopper plagues of 1874, the City of Kansas emerged as a wheat and grain exchange center. The economy was further stimulated when the Kansas River was bridged in 1866, followed by the construction of the Hannibal Bridge across the Missouri River in 1869. Kansas City adopted its current name in 1889 and annexed Westport in 1897.

The figure who exercised the greatest impact in transforming Kansas City into a beautiful metropolis was William Rockhill Nelson, an Indiana native who settled in Kansas City in 1880 to become owner and editor of the Kansas City Star. Nelson persuaded the community's elite to commit themselves to civic betterment. Through Nelson's constant nudging, a residential development project was begun, turning a rundown neighborhood into the exclusive Country Club district that contained the internationally acclaimed business section, Country Club Plaza. Carefully landscaped with parks, fountains, and European statuary, this enclave remains Kansas City's most popular tourist attraction. At Nelson's encouragement, George E. Kessler planned Kansas City's much-admired boulevard system, which helps define its distinctive character. The city still contains a number of architecturally significant buildings, especially in the Art Deco style, which credit their existence to Nelson's ability to convince people to express their civic pride through architecture, landscaping, and city planning.

In the 1920s Democrat Thomas J. Pendergast introduced machine politics to Kansas City, with mixed blessings. Although civic improvements were initiated, Kansas City developed a reputation for a corrupt government that functioned under "boss rule," a reputation that continued until 1940 when reformers were voted into office. Since then, Kansas City has prospered through urban redevelopment projects. Crown Center, Hallmark Cards' "city within a city," is credited by some with halting the drain of business into the suburbs. As of 2005, $4 billion in major infrastructure improvements are planned or in progress. The development touches nearly all areas of Kansas City lifebusiness, entertainment, arts and culture, residential housing, and transportation. The local life sciences industry is also growing and garnering Kansas City international respect.

Kansas City is a sophisticated community offering many attractions, from a lyric opera company to five professional sports teams, and from world-class shopping to its famous Kansas City barbeque. Famous natives include pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart; director Robert Altman; actors Edward Asner, Noah and Wallace Beery, and Jean Harlow; composers Virgil Thompson and Burt Bacharach; rocker Melissa Etheridge; professional golfer Tom Watson; and baseball player Casey Stengel.

Historical Information: Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64123; telephone (816)483-8300. University of Missouri, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, 302 Newcomb Hall, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110; telephone (816)235-1543

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Kansas City: History

Wyandot Tribe Establishes Townsite

Kansa Native Americans were the first inhabitants to occupy land near both banks of the Kansas (Kaw) River at its confluence with the Missouri River, the site of Kansas City. The explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped on Kaw Point, the land between the two rivers and now part of Kansas City, in 1804 during their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The land became part of the Delaware Indian reservation in 1829, and the Delaware sold the land in 1843 to the Wyandot.

The Wyandot, an integrated tribe of Native Americans and whites from western Lake Erie and the last of the migrating tribes, founded a town called Wyandott in the eastern part of the Wyandott Purchase. An educated and cultured agrarian society, they built the first free school in Kansas and reestablished their Ohio church; they also opened a community-owned store. The Wyandot, knowing their land would be highly prized by white settlers, decided to approach Congress on the issue of establishing a Territory, and elected Abelard Guthrie, a white member of the tribe by marriage, as a delegate to the Thirty-Second Congress. Guthrie was not admitted but Wyandot leaders decided to organize Kansas-Nebraska into a provisional territory on July 26, 1853, thus focusing national attention on their community.

Slavery Issue Dominates Territory

The next year Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which inflamed sectional sentiments on the issue of slavery in the territories and helped to contribute to the outbreak of the Civil War. The Wyandot petitioned for and received the rights of citizenship, which enabled them to divide their land among the individual members of the tribe and open the reserve to settlement. The Wyandott City Town Company was formed in 1856 to plan and develop the town, which was incorporated as a town in 1858 and as a city the next year. In July 1859 members of a convention at Wyandott wrote the constitution by which Kansas would enter the Union as a free state; however Senate politics delayed the signing of the bill until January 29, 1861. The state was known as Bleeding Kansas in the decade before the Civil War, as settlers on both sides of the slavery controversy populated the area. Wyandott citizens became active in antislavery efforts and African-Americans began moving to the region after the Civil War, their migration reaching a peak between 1878 and 1882.

Beginning in 1860, when James McGrew opened the first slaughter house, and continuing when eight years later Edward Patterson and J. W. Slavens started a packing house, the city was a meat processing center. This industry received its biggest boost when Charles Francis Adams, descendant of two former presidents, built the first stockyards in the city and convinced Plankington and Armour to relocate their meat packing business from Missouri in 1871.

Stockyards, Consolidation Contribute to Growth

Small towns around Wyandotte such as old Kansas City, Armstrong, and Armourdale sprouted up near the rail lines and packing houses. Through consolidation and legislative annexation, the city of Kansas City was created in 1886 when these towns combined with the larger Wyandotte, which vied for the naming of the new city after itself. The name Kansas City was picked, however, because it would be a more attractive inducement for the selling of municipal bonds. Argentine became part of Kansas City via petition in 1909, and Rosedale followed suit by legislative enactment in 1922. Quindaro Township, once a town named after Guthrie's Wyandot wife, was absorbed through expansion. Turner was added in 1966, thus continuing the expansion of Kansas City's borders. In 1992, the city annexed part of Wyandotte County.

Kansas City was one of the nation's first cities to locate a model industrial park away from residential areas, the Fairfax Industrial District. The city completed a two-decade urban renewal project in 1980. Still, like many other aging, working-class cities, Kansas City was plagued by a loss of population to the suburbs. Seeking to reverse that trend, a group called the Citizens for Consolidation, backed in part by Kansas City, Missouri, businesses, spearheaded a movement to consolidate city and county governments. In 1997 Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approved the consolidation into a system called the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. Former school-teacher Carol Marinovich was elected the first mayor/CEO of the new government. By 2000, the consolidation had resulted in a considerable increase in government efficiency. With city and county officials on the same team, the city was able to lure the $283 million Kansas International Speedway to Kansas City; the project was completed in 2001.

Today, the Kansas City area is recognized as one of the fastest-growing labor markets in the country. Entrepreneur magazine ranks it among top U.S. cities for small business and Expansion Management magazine identifies it as one of the best places in the U.S. to locate a company. Kansas City's cultural and recreational attractions also make it a popular Midwest tourist destination.

Historical Information: Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum, 631 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, KS 66012; telephone (913)721-1078. Kansas City Kansas Public Library Kansas Collection, 625 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101; telephone (913)551-3280; fax (913)279-2032

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Kansas City: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Kansas City 33 School District is a major provider of public elementary and secondary education in Kansas City. It is also one of the most comprehensive magnet school systems in the country.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Kansas City 33 School District as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 35,964

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 61

middle schools: 9

senior high schools: 18

other: 23 magnet schools; 6 alternative schools

Student/teacher ratio: 12:1

Teacher salaries

average: $41,356 (2004)

Funding per pupil: $9,813

More than 150 private and parochial schools operate in the metropolitan area.

Public Schools Information: Kansas City School District 33, 1211 McGee, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816)418-7000

Colleges and Universities

Kansas City is home to several colleges and universities. The largest institution is the University of Missouri at Kansas City, with an enrollment of about 15,000 students. Granting baccalaureate, first-professional, master's, and doctorate degrees, the university operates a College of Arts and Sciences, a conservatory of music, and schools of business and public administration, computing and engineering, education, law, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, medicine, and biological sciences.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees are awarded in specialized and professional areas by a number of the area's colleges. The Kansas City Art Institute, which began as a sketch club in 1885, offers a four-year fine and applied arts curriculum. Church-related institutions in the city include Avila College, which serves 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students in average class sizes of 18; MidAmerica Nazarene University, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as a Play Therapy Certificate Program and an adult-friendly Accelerated Associate of Arts; and Rockhurst University, a Jesuit institution that awards bachelor's and master's degrees in several programs and also awards nursing degrees to students at the Research College of Nursing. An extended campus of Central Missouri University offers courses and Internet classes in Kansas City.

Libraries and Research Centers

Approximately 60 libraries are maintained in Kansas City by public agencies, educational institutions, private corporations, cultural organizations, hospitals, and churches and synagogues. The Kansas City Public Library, with holdings of over 2 million volumes and more than 34,000 periodical subscriptions, operates 10 branches, including the new $50 million Central Library Branch unveiled in 2004 and the Plaza Branch opened in April 2005. Special collections include African American history, Missouri Valley history and genealogy, oral history, and federal and state government documents.

The Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology is one of the largest privately endowed libraries of its kind in the country, holding more than 1 million volumes and more than 15,000 periodicals. Special collections include National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Energy technical reports, Soviet and European scientific and technical publications, and United States patent specifications. The Kansas City Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration holds records of various federal government agencies. The University of MissouriKansas City operates four facilities, specializing in law, dentistry, health sciences, and the humanities.

The 600,000-square-foot Stowers Institute for Medical Research boasts one of the nation's finest laboratory complexes dedicated to conducting basic research into complex genetic systems to unlock the mysteries of disease and find the key to their causes, treatment, and prevention. Jim and Virginia Stowers have committed $300 to build a second facility as large as the first, which already enjoys a nearly $2 billion endowment.

Public Library Information: Kansas City Public Library, 14 West 10th St., Kansas City, MO 64105; telephone (816)701-3400; fax (816)701-3401

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KANSAS CITY. Located in northwest Missouri at the junction of the Kansas (or Kaw) and Missouri Rivers, Kansas City sits very close to the geographic center of the United States. From its beginning the area has served as a transportation hub, first for the Kansa (or Kansas) tribe of Native Americans and later for European and American traders and settlers who established permanent settlements. French trader François Chouteau established a trading post along the river near the present downtown in 1821, while American John C. McCoy built Westport to service the Santa Fe Trail a short distance away in 1835. The river settlement was platted and renamed the City of Kansas in 1853 and incorporated with Westport in 1889 to form Kansas City. With fifteen railroads and the river system at its heart, the city quickly became a major shipment point for agricultural products from the Great Plains to the West and a processing center for livestock from the Southwest.

As the twentieth century progressed, Kansas City's industrial base expanded to include steel making and machine tools, automobile assembly plants, oil refining, and a large garment industry. The Pendergast machine of brothers James and Thomas controlled much of the city's Democratic politics from the 1890s until 1939, when Thomas was jailed on income tax evasion charges. Despite this, the city managed to develop an innovative city council with six members elected on a district basis and six elected at large, along with the mayor. During the twentieth century the civic leaders embarked on major city beautification and cultural projects to change the city's image from that of a dingy "cow town." The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw the development of ragtime by Scott Joplin and the Kansas City style of jazz with more saxophones and constant background riffs as performed by musicians such as Charlie Parker and Count Basie. Through the twentieth century the city remained a major transportation center, particularly with the coming of three interstate highways during

the 1950s and 1960s. It continues to expand, growing to an area of 313.6 square miles by 2001 and a population of 441,545 according to the 2000 Census—up from 434,829 in 1990, but still down from 448,159 in 1980. Kansas City also serves as the regional center for an eleven-county metropolitan region of nearly five thousand square miles in both Missouri and Kansas. Drawing on the rural areas around it, the metropolitan population has continued to grow; from 1.5 million in 1990, it increased to nearly 1.8 million in 2000.


Glaab, Charles Nelson. Kansas City and the Railroads: Community Policy in the Growth of a Regional Metropolis. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1962.

Hartmann, Rudolph H. The Kansas City Investigation: Pendergast's Downfall, 1938–1939. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Matthew L.Daley

See alsoTransportation and Travel .

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Kansas City: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The major daily newspaper in Kansas City is the morning The Kansas City Star. Several community newspapers also circulate weekly and monthly, including Dos Mundos bilingual newspaper. Ingram's is a monthly business and lifestyle magazine.

A number of magazines and journals are published in Kansas City. Among them are the nationally distributed Flower and Garden Magazine (the magazine's demonstration garden is also located in Kansas City) and Fishing World.

Television and Radio

Five television stationsmajor network affiliates and one PBSare based in Kansas City. Broadcasts are also received from stations in neighboring Fairway, Kansas, and Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Five AM and FM radio stations in Kansas City broadcast a range of program formats, including music, news, and information; many more are available from nearby cities.

Media Information: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108; telephone (816)234-4636

Kansas City Online

City of Kansas City home page. Available www.kcmo.org

Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. Available www.edckc.com

Experience Kansas City. Available www.experiencekc.com

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Available www.kcchamber.com

Kansas City Area Development Council. Available www.smartkc.com

Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association. Available www.visitkc.com

Kansas City Star. Available www.kansascity.com

Missouri Department of Economic Development. Available www.ecodev.state.mo.us

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Available www.dese.mo.gov

Selected Bibliography

Christo, Wrapped Walk Ways, Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri, 1977-78: Essay by Ellen R. Goheen; photos by Wolfgang Volz (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1978)

DeAngelo, Dory, Kansas City, A Historical Handbook (Kansas City, MO: Two Lane Press, 1995)

Fleisher, Mark S., Dead End Kids: Gang Girls and the Boys They Know (University of Wisconsin Press, 1998)

Hemingway, Ernest, Ernest Hemingway, Cub Reporter; Kansas City Star Stories (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970)

Kansas City: A Celebration of the Heartland, (Kansas City: Hallmark Cards, Inc., 1991)

Pearson, Nathan W., Jr., Goin' to Kansas City (Music in American Life) (University of Illinois Press, 1988)