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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 institution is one of 13 different archival centers that house Federal documents in-perpetuity for the United States. Here, visitors can come for free and peruse the exhibits, learn about how documents are archived, you can even come and find long-lost relatives in their genealogy record archive. However, this particular center holds the documents from the following states only: Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. So if you live in any one of these states and are so inclined, take some time to learn a little about your particular state from the federal perspective.
Each year, more than 150,000 people come to this interactive museum and informational center. Here, you will learn about how the famous Hallmark brand began, meet some of the talented artists, writers and designers, view the massive collection of 'Keepsake' ornaments and make your own gift bow to take home. Located in downtown's Crown Center, the Hallmark Visitors Center is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the greeting card industry and the people behind it.
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.
If one place could illustrate the heartbeat of Kansas City, it would be Country Club Plaza. Known as one of the first malls in the world, this outdoor district has 180 shops, 38 restaurants, numerous hotels and several entertainment venues. The Plaza abounds with activity almost around the clock and the Spanish Colonial architecture combined with the many fountains for which Kansas City is known, create an atmosphere unparalleled anywhere else in the city. During the holidays, the district glows with the twinkle of millions of Christmas lights.
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 historic jail located northwest of Kansas City is held in reverence by the Church of Latter-Day Saints because this is where the religion's founder Joseph Smith was once imprisoned. In the 1830's, many Mormons including Smith arrived from Ohio and tried to establish a settlement around Jackson County. Since they had been expelled from Ohio, the resulting establishments did not sit well with the locals, so in 1838 war broke out and Smith surrendered shortly thereafter. Today, the 'jail' is no longer, however the LDS church still runs the center for religious activities held here and it also has a replica inside of what the old jail looked like.