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Kansas City, Missouri
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "City of Fountains" or "Heart of America"
Location in Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in the state of Missouri.
Coordinates 39°06'00?N, 94°35'6.72?W
Counties United States
Mayor Kay Waldo Barnes
City 318.0 mi² - 823.7 km²
Land 313.5 mi² - 812.1 km²
Water 4.5 mi² - 11.6 km²
City (2004) 444,387
Elevation 231 m
Summer (DST) CST (UTC-6)
Kansas City is a city covering parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties in Missouri, USA. Although it is the largest city in Jackson County, the suburb of Independence is the county seat. Situated at the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, it lies along the boundary between Missouri and Kansas, and is directly opposite of Kansas City, Kansas.
Often abbreviated as "KC" (to refer to the entire metropolitan area), or "KCMO" (to refer to only Kansas City, Missouri), Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in Missouri and the center of the 26th largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States. In the Midwest, Kansas City is the 7th largest city (between Cleveland, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska). As of the 2000 census, the city has a population of 441,545. Combined with Kansas City, Kansas, the population is 588,411, but the entire metropolitan area (in both Missouri and Kansas) is approximately 1,836,038. (Census estimated 1,947,694 in 2005)
The Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network, a project of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, recently designated Kansas City as having potential of attaining world city status.
The current mayor of Kansas City, Missouri is Kay Barnes, the city's first female mayor. Elected in March 1999 and again in March 2003, her second of two terms will expire in April 2007.
1.2 Downtown redevelopment
6.1 Mass transit
6.2 Parks and parkways
8 Educational institutions
8.2 Elementary and secondary
9.1 Print media
9.2 Broadcast media
9.3 Film community
11.1 Current teams
11.2 Past teams
11.3 Future teams
11.4 Sporting events
11.5 Sports headquarters
Main article: History of Kansas City
The French explorers Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette were the first Europeans to spot the area that came to be known as Kansas City, doing so via a six-day canoe trip up the Missouri River in 1673. The French settled in the lower Missouri Valley, first at St. Louis in 1765 and later Chouteau Landing in 1821 by François Chouteau, at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers.
John McCoy established Westport in 1833 along the Santa Fe Trail, three miles away from the river. McCoy and a group of investors bought a farm between Westport and the river in 1839 and established the Town of Kansas. 1850 is considered to be the city's formal incorporation date.
By that time, The Town of Kansas and Westport, along with nearby Independence were critical points in westward expansion. Not only did three major trails— Santa Fe, California, and Oregon—start from Jackson County, the area was ripe with animosity as the Civil War approached. As a slave state, Missourians tended to sympathize with the southern states. With Kansas petitioning to enter the union under the new doctrine of popular sovereignty, many from the area crossed into Kansas to sway the state towards allowing slavery, at first by ballot box and then by bloodshed.
During the Civil War, the Town of Kansas was in the midst of battles, almost all of them victories by the Union. The August 1862 Battle of Independence stunted a Confederate advance into northern Missouri (settled by pro-slavery Virginians), and the October 1864 Battle of Westport effectively ended Confederate efforts to occupy the city. However, a successful raid on Lawrence, Kansas led by William Quantrill forced General Thomas Ewing to issue General Order No. 11, forcing the eviction of residents in four counties, including Jackson, except those living in the city and nearby communities, or those whose allegiance to the Union was certified by Ewing.
After the Civil War, the Town of Kansas grew rapidly. The selection of the city over Leavenworth, Kansas for a railroad bridge over the Missouri River brought about significant growth. The population exploded after 1869, when the Hannibal Bridge, designed by Octave Chanute, opened. The boom prompted a name change to Kansas City in 1889 and the city limits to extend south and east. Kansas City, guided by architect George Kesseler, became a forefront example of the City Beautiful movement, developing a network of boulevards and parks around the city. The relocation of Union Station to its current location in 1914 and the opening of the Liberty Memorial in 1923 capped this movement. Further capping Kansas City's growth was the opening of the innovative Country Club Plaza development by J.C. Nichols in 1925.
Kansas City also served as a launching pad for several storied careers. Ernest Hemingway wrote for the Kansas City Star during World War I. Walt Disney moved to Kansas City and established his first animation studio (Laugh-O-Gram Studio) at 31st and Locust in 1923. Several early screen actors, including Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers and Craig Stevens, grew up in Kansas City.
At the turn of the century, political machines attempted to gain clout in the city, with the one led by Tom Pendergast emerging as the dominant machine by 1925. A new city charter passed that year made it easier for his Democratic Party machine to gain control of the city council (slimmed from 32 members to nine) and appoint a crooked city manager. The machine fell in 1939 when Pendergast, riddled with health problems, pleaded guilty to tax evasion. The machine, however, gave rise to Harry S. Truman, who quickly became Kansas City's favorite son.
After World War II, the city experienced considerable sprawl, as the affluent populace bolted for Johnson County, Kansas and eastern Jackson County. However, many also went north of the Missouri River, where Kansas City had incorporated areas during the 1920s and in 1963. The population of the city proper dipped, but over the past 15 years has rebounded to nearly 450,000. Not only has growth in annexed areas (as far north as Smithville and south as Cass County) contributed to the growth, but also successful efforts to revitalize the downtown area. Such growth and ability to annex surrounding areas has allowed Kansas City to easily surpass St. Louis as the largest single municipality in the state of Missouri.
Main article: Architecture in Kansas City
Kansas City has long been praised for its varied architecture, which includes many famous and interesting buildings. Its skyline is notable for various structures, including the immense Bartle Hall Convention Center and numerous skyscrapers such as the Kansas City Power and Light Building and One Kansas City Place (the tallest habitable structure in Missouri), as well as the KCTV-Tower (the tallest freestanding structure in Missouri and 39th tallest tower in the world), and the Liberty Memorial (the United States's national World War I memorial and museum).
The center of Kansas City is roughly contained inside the downtown freeway loop (shaded in red).Main article: Downtown Kansas City
Downtown Kansas City is an area of 2.9 square miles bounded by the Missouri River to the north, 31st Street to the south, Bruce R. Watkins Drive (U.S. Highway 71) to the east and I-35 to the west.
After years of neglect and seas of parking lots, downtown Kansas City is currently undergoing a renaissance. Many residential properties have recently been or are currently under redevelopment. A planned entertainment district, titled the "Power and Light District" is being developed in the southern part of the downtown freeway loop by the Cordish Company of Baltimore, Maryland. Adjacent to the entertainment district will be a new arena, named the Sprint Center, set to open in 2007. The arena, to be designed by a consortium of local architects, hopes to lure an NBA or NHL franchise to the city. Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group has invested in the arena project and will run its daily operations.
In 2003 the Downtown population reached 15,100 people, up from around 13,000 in 2000, aided by ever-increasing real estate development converting vacant commercial buildings to loft-style housing.
See Also: Downtown Kansas City Redevelopment
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 823.7 km² (318.0 mi²). 812.1 km² (313.5 mi²) of it is land and 11.6 km² (4.5 mi²) of it (1.41%) is water.
Kansas City is relatively flat, with only a few riverside bluffs and rolling hills that reach no higher than 300 feet above the plains. The Kansas and Missouri rivers have cut shallow valleys into the terrain, and some areas have small, rocky cliffs (such as the bluff directly across the river from downtown, where the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport sits).
(See also: List of Registered Neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri)
Kansas City lies almost in the center of the country, far from any ocean or significant body of water. This makes for a continental climate with moderate precipitation and extremes of hot and cold. Summers can be very humid, with moist air riding up from the Gulf of Mexico, with July/August daytime highs reaching into the triple digits. Winters vary from mild days to bitterly cold, with lows reaching into the teens below zero a few times a year. Spring and Fall are pleasant, and peppered with thunderstorms as the cold air from Canada mixes with the warm Gulf moisture.
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Kansas City
Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation includes rain and melted snow or sleet in inches. Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high temperature 38 44 56 67 76 86 90 89 80 69 53 42 66
Avg low temperature 21 26 36 46 57 67 72 70 61 49 36 25 47
Rainfall (inches) 1.13 1.02 2.38 3.27 4.55 4.73 3.61 3.62 4.17 3.28 2.30 1.45 35.51
City Population 
2010 est. 456,789
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 441,545 people, 183,981 households, and 107,444 families residing in the city. The population density was 543.7/km² (1,408.2/mi²). There were 202,334 housing units at an average density of 249.2/km² (645.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.68% White, 31.23% Black or African American, 1.85% Asian, 0.48% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 3.21% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. 6.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 183,981 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.06. Growth in Kansas City is increasing, with 3,618 housing permits granted in 2004 and 2005. As of 2005, about 210,000 households exist.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,198, and the median income for a family was $46,012. Males had a median income of $35,132 versus $27,548 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,753. About 11.1% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Main article: Kansas City Economy
Because of its size and regional placement, Kansas City is home to a thriving economy. This includes six Fortune 1000 corporations as well as numerous other major companies and non-corporate employers. The business community is serviced by two major business magazines, one weekly and one monthly, as well as numerous other smaller publications, including a local society journal.
Like most American cities, the main method of transportation is the automobile. Use of the automobile is supported by the existence of many limited-access interstate highways as well as numerous U. S. and state highways. For a list of major highways see Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
The MAX: In July 2005, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority started a new bus system called, "The MAX" (Metro Area Express). The bus route starts in the City Market in Downtown Kansas City, and has many stops along Main Street, The Plaza and southern Kansas City. The MAX buses are able to prolong green traffic lights to stay on schedule.
Buses run 7 days a week from 5:00am to 1:00am. During rush hour periods, the buses make stops every 10 minutes. All other times, the buses make stops every 15-30 minutes. Each bus ride costs $1.25.
Parks and parkways
Kansas City is well-known for its spacious parkways and many parks. The parkway system winds its way through the city with broad, landscaped medians that include statuary and fountains. One of the best examples is Ward Parkway on the west side of the city, near the Kansas state line.
Swope Park is one of the nation's larger in-city parks, comprising over one thousand acres (4 km²). It includes a full-fledged zoo, two golf courses, a lake, an amphitheater, day-camp area, and numerous picnic grounds.
Kansas City has always had one of the nation's best urban forestry programs. At one time, almost all residential streets were planted with a solid canopy of American elms but Dutch elm disease devastated them. Most of the elms died and were replaced with a variety of other shade trees.
Liberty MemorialKansas City ranks second in the world in number of fountains (160), exceeded only by Rome.
39th Street District, known as restaurant row and featuring one of Kansas City's largest selections of independently owned restaurants and boutique shops. A center of literary and visual arts an bohemian culture (website)
American Jazz Museum (website)
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (website)
18th and Vine Historic District
River Market District (website)
Crown Center, headquarters of Hallmark Cards and major downtown shopping and entertainment complex. Connected to Union Station by a series of covered walkways.
Country Club Plaza
Kansas City's Union Station, now home to Science City, restaurants, shopping, theaters, and the city's Amtrak facility.
Liberty Memorial (website)-- Official World War I memorial and museum in the United States. Tower and observation deck restored and re-opened in 2002. Currently an even larger museum is being constructed underneath the monument.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Prospero's Books, A Kansas City Literary staple with 50,000 used book titles in an historic 3-story building. Hosting live readings, music and publishing counter cultural happenings (website)
City Market (website)
Airline History Museum
Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City
Westport, oldest part of the city and a vibrant entertainment district.
Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun
Kansas City Zoo, in Swope Park.
Charlie Parker Memorial, at 17th Terrace and the Paseo
Arabia Steamboat Museum (www.1856.com), in the historic River Market.
Laugh-O-Gram Studio (www.laughograms.com), Walt Disney's original cartoon studio in Kansas City. Now being renovated.
Kansas City Museum (website), located in a beautifully renovated 1910 mansion.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival (website), annual festival that runs through the fall that features live entertainers, a medieval village, rides, games, sword fights, and more.
Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library (website), located in Kansas City suburb of Independence, MO.
Further information: Kansas City Metropolitan Area#Educational Institutions
Calvary Bible College
DeVry University of Kansas City
Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City College
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB)
Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City ( website )
MCC-Business and Technology
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
National American University
Park University (  )
University of Missouri - Kansas City
University of Phoenix - Kansas City
Webster University - Kansas City
William Jewell College
Elementary and secondary
Kansas City is served by a variety of school districts.
School districts that serve Kansas City include:
Center 58 School District
Grandview Consolidated No.4 School District
Hickman Mills Consolidated No.1 School District
Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Lee's Summit R-VII School District
North Kansas City School District
Park Hill School District
Raytown Consolidated No.2 School District
Smithville School District
Private schools in Kansas City include:
The Pembroke Hill School
Rockhurst High School
Saint Pius X High School
The Kansas City Star is the area's primary newspaper. William Rockhill Nelson first published the evening paper on September 1, 1880. The Star competed heavily with the morningTimes before acquiring it in 1926 and discontinuing it in March 1990.
Monthly newspapers such as The Kansas City Metro Voice and The Business Journal, and several weekly papers, including The Pitch, the bilingual paper "Dos Mundos" and various suburban papers also serve the Kansas City area.
Camp newspaper is a news and features monthly that serves the LGBT & Allied community of Greater Kansas City.
Main article: Broadcast Media in Kansas City
The Kansas City media market (ranked 29 by Arbitron and 31 by Nielsen) includes ten television channels along with 30 FM and 21 AM radio stations.
Main article: Film in Kansas City
The city of has often been a locale for Hollywood productions and television programming. Most notably, the 1983 television movie The Day After was filmed in Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas.
Kansas City International Airport
Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport
Richards Gebaur Airport Formerly an U.S. Air Force Base
Kansas City sports teams presently include the following:
Club Sport Founded League Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs Football 1963 National Football League: AFC Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City Royals Baseball 1969 Major League Baseball: AL Kauffman Stadium
Kansas City Explorers Tennis 1993 World TeamTennis The Plaza Tennis Center
Kansas City Wizards Soccer 1996 Major League Soccer Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City Brigade Arena Football 2006 Arena Football League Kemper Arena/Sprint Center (2008)
Past teams include NBA's Kings (Sacramento Kings), IHL's Blades, NFL's Blues and Cowboys (1924-1926), NHL's Scouts (New Jersey Devils), MLB's Athletics (Oakland Athletics), two minor league baseball teams named the Blues (one of which became the American League's Washington Senators, now Minnesota Twins), MISL's Comets (formerly the Attack), the Negro American League's Kansas City Monarchs, the Kansas City Outlaws of the United Hockey League, and the Kansas City Knights of the American Basketball Association.
With the construction of the new Sprint Center arena, Kansas City is hoping to receive an NHL or NBA franchise in the near future. The most likely possibility is the relocation of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL or the NBA with Orlando Magic or a return of the Sacramento Kings.
Kansas City is often the home of the Big 12 College Basketball Tournaments. Men's Basketball is played at Kemper Arena, while women's Basketball is played at Municipal Auditorium. Lately newer arenas in Dallas and Oklahoma City have hosted the tournament.
Arrowhead Stadium serves as the venue for various intercollegiate football games. Often it is the host of the Big 12 Football Title Game.
On the last weekend in October, the Fall Classic rivalry game between Northwest Missouri State University and Pittsburg State University takes place here. Usually, the Bearcats of Northwest and Gorillas of Pitt State are ranked one-two in the MIAA conference.
In 2005, other games at Arrowhead included Arkansas State playing host to Missouri, and Kansas hosting Oklahoma.
Kansas City and nearby Overland Park, Kansas were once the home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and has hosted ten men's final fours, more than any other city. However, with recent men's final fours taking place in indoor football stadiums (notably the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in April 2005), hopes of Kansas City hosting an 11th are pinned on plans to build a retractable roof for Arrowhead Stadium.
In recognition of Kansas City's ten final fours, the National Association of Basketball Coaches are based in the city, and will operate a full-time museum in the new Sprint Center when it opens in 2007.
Kansas City is home to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a NCAA Division II conference of nine schools in Missouri and Kansas.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was formed in Kansas City, and its current headquarters is in suburban Olathe. The national basketball tournament for the NAIA takes place each year in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium.
For more information on Kansas City, Missouri, please visit Wikipedia.
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