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Thread: Country Club Plaza (urban planners should know about this place!)

  1. #1
    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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    Country Club Plaza (urban planners should know about this place!)

    If your at all interested in urban planning, then wait for these pics to load and visit this place sometime...

    The Country Club Plaza is a large urban mixed use district. Tens of thousands live in the area, there are several hundred shops and restaurants, many entertainment options, a river walk, horse carriages, river walk boat tours, rubber trolley tours, sidewalk performers, theaters, large museums and universities are also nearby. Dating back to the 1920's, the area was developed as the country's first "suburban" auto oriented shopping center and fresh land five miles south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is now a fascinating urban district modeled after Seville Spain. The area is constantly being copied by urban planners, but the history, architecture and urban feel is very unique to KC. It's our pride and joy and our secret.




















  2. #2
    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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  4. #4

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    Wow, I had no idea such a place existed in KC! Can't wait to visit.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Family Ties

    My father's family is from about one mile west of The Plaza. My sister and I grew up thinking every city had such a wonderful place to shop, visit and relax.

    My recommendation is to visit between thanksgiving and Christmas. When lit for Christmas it is a truly wonderful sight.

    Try dinner at the Fairview Hotel for a great meal and an enchanting view. Please enjoy our Plaza!

    Great Photos KCGridLock!

  6. #6
          perryair's avatar
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    I stayed in K.C. once actually in one of the hotels at Country Club plaza. It's nice, I won't deny, but it seemed a bit disneyish.

    There was one neighborhood that was within walking distance of Country Club a bit towards the downtown that I thought was pretty neat. It had bars, some clubs, some vintage stores, restaurants and etc. Can't remember the name though.

    Both K.C. and St. Louis actually kinda surprised me as pretty cool places to visit.

  7. #7
    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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    Re: Family Ties

    disneyish? Never heard it described like that. You mean fake right?

    The area you are thinking of is Westport, it's a pretty cool area. I can see where you like this area because it would not be disneyish at all, just an urban district with it's own flavor.

    KC has many urban districts that are very different from each other yet close together. City Market, Downtown, Crossroads, Crown Center, West Side, Midtown, Westport, etc.

    It's always fun to show off kc to out of towners, especially people from the coast, they are always surprised. I guess they expect KC to be like Green Bay something, not a major city with 2 million people with an urban core the rivals cities of 3 million.

  8. #8
          perryair's avatar
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    Westport, that was it. Definately had a more real feel to it. Country Club was like an upscale mall, but actually turned outwards and designed responsibly.

    Another thing that I thought was cool about KC was that there were so many old buildings converted into lofts there. I do enjoy seeing the reuse of old buildings. All these older cities have assets that they previously thought were liabilities. Unfortunately, in a place like Fort Lauderdale, there really are no old school buildings that are reuseable to that end because pretty much everything here was built in the last 50 years.

    Although there is a project here where someone is actually building a new structure designed to look like an old building that's been converted into loft apartments. We'll have to wait and see how that turns out.
    Last edited by perryair; 18 Jul 2002 at 9:54 AM.

  9. #9
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    The area looks pretty good.I've been pretty scared of KC ever since I found out it scored at the bottem in density of large metro areas,worse than Atlanta.I've heard that the CC area functions more like a downtown than it's real downtown,which has not fared as well.

  10. #10
    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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    Here is a shot of area between downtown and the plaza. KC's urban core is pretty dense for a midwestern city. You can't compare a city by numbers alone. KCMO annexed a ton of land and much of that is still undeveloped. The original part of the city had well over half million people in a very small area in the 50's. The metro area is very spread out though.

  11. #11
    Member KCgridlock's avatar
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    BTW, you are right about the Plaza being more of a downtown to KC than it's real downtown. The plaza killed downtown starting in the 20's. Back then it was a "suburban" shopping center. Now it's a urban mixed used district. Downtown is comming back now and areas surround downtown (city market, Crown Center etc are booming). So the entire Downtown to Plaza corridor will rival cities much bigger than kc in the near future.

  12. #12

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    reiterating, disneyish is an incorrect description of the Plaza. It has become more suburban/urban over the last two decades as suburban values of personal consumption have overtaken the ability to create quality architecture that was once important in American cities. Modern pre-fab additions to the Plaza stand out like a sore thumb against the quality of the structures built in the 1st half of the century creating this faux "disneyish" scene that is noticed by those who understand quality structural craftsmanship and design. The neighborhoods in the Plaza, with their 1920s art nuvuea highrise apartments and well kept old homes are what really make the Plaza so special. They create a very high desity with a wide variety of choices for living. Gridlocks pictures show this well as he has focused alot on South Plaza and Poets Corner neighborhoods with their manhattan like apartments.

    Perryair is correct in recognizing Westport having the urbaninity of a real urban neighborhood. It is my favorite area in the city as it has maintained the local shops and restuarants that were lost many years ago on the plaza. There is nothing fake about it and it represents the possibilities of writings by Jane Jacobs on quality urban neighborhoods. Sadly develpers are slowly picking apart Westport by destroying the old and building cheap high rent apartments and commercial stores.

  13. #13
    great pics !!

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