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Constructed in 1914, this Union Station was known as the third largest train hub in the country, right behind New York's Grand Central and Pennsylvania stations. It has since lost this distinction, yet it remains one of the popular city attractions; the station has been newly renovated and is even more resplendent with its grandiose high ceilings, arched windows, theaters, exciting touring exhibitions and the beloved Science City museum. Other than the architectural eye candy, there is plenty to do inside the station - browse through shops or eat at one of the many fine restaurants.
This 29-storey structure was built in 1937 and is somewhat of an anomaly because most City Halls usually have only two or three floors. Nonetheless, it displays a Beaux-Arts style in its facade and the interior reflects design based on Art-Deco motifs. It is open daily during normal business hours and if you are in the area, the Italian marble lobby is worth a look.
The Kansas City Public Library is centrally-situated in Kansas City, Missouri with its branches spread across city. Founded in 1973, it is one of the largest and oldest libraries in the city. It has a distinct collection of local history, maps, photographs, printed and unpublished materials, post cards and much more. Apart from offering books and documents, the library also provides various classes for distinguished age groups. Exhibitions are also held occasionally that tend to surpass knowledge and information.
This impressive cluster of bars, restaurants, lofts and cafes known as River Market is located where the new city was first established in the 1850's. The district sits on the South side of the Missouri River and its location provides beautiful views while city dwellers shop in the wide variety of specialty stores, markets and boutiques. Every day of the week more than 40 local vendors haul in regional goods and crafts which attract hordes of shoppers to the massive City Market. The reasonable prices and unique choices are only part of the draw; many of the quaint in-house businesses can be found in some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Kansas City.
Often Kansas City is referred to as the "City of Fountains" and considering there are more than a hundred different ones in town, the moniker is apt. This fountain is the most popular and probably the most photographed in KC. It is reminiscent of the 'Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi' located in Rome's Piazza Navona with its four equestrian figures that represent mighty world rivers. In fact, this fountain was created entirely in Paris then transported to the Mackay Estate in New York before it was finally moved here.
Upon first glance, Loose Park doesn't conjure up images of a bloody Civil War battle within the cozy confines of this now tranquil place. Where the park now sits was the site of the bloody Battle of Westport, considered the 'Gettysburg of the West' due to the large number of troops who engaged. Inside the park, there is a monument to this battle, a replica cannon and for a little more levity, the Laura Conyers Smith Memorial Rose Garden.
This log structure in nearby Independence has bore witness to a long and somewhat notorious history in this Midwestern town. It was initially constructed with slave labor to be used as a courthouse, then Joseph Smith from the Mormon church used it as a mercantile store and in the 1930's, former President Harry Truman was a presiding judge when it was re-converted back into a courthouse. Admission is free and private tours can be arranged in advance.
This center is the information hub for those that want to learn more about where the great expansion of American began. It is part of the larger three-trails historic area and run by the non-profit Historical Society of New Santa Fe. However, these 'three' trails have nothing to do with hiking excursions, in fact, they signify three of the largest primeval American highways that came through the region. The Santa Fe, Oregon and California all coalesce here. Inside, there is a museum which depicts life on these trails, a replica pioneer depot, and relics from the Battle of Westport; one of the largest Civil War battles fought in the West.