#67 – City Hall Observation Deck
414 E. 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64106
Good for: Overcoming a fear of heights.
Tip: While you’re at City Hall, take look around the building. It’s a beautiful, old building with lots of ornamentation and art deco details.
On the 30th floor of the Downtown City Hall, you get one of the most astonishing views of Kansas City. It’s a free attraction most Kansas Citians don’t even know exists, so odds are, you might even have the view to yourself.
About City Hall
Kansas City, Missouri’s City Hall is the fourth-tallest city hall in the world. The building was part of a series of government buildings built in 1937 to counter the effects of the Great Depression.
The buildings were constructed under the influence of Tom Pendergast, the early-1900s political boss of Kansas City. Pendergast owned the concrete company that constructed the buildings. I’m guessing he made a lot of money from the deal – the City Hall construction alone required 20,000 cubic feet of concrete, 7,800 tons of stone and 6,800 tons of steel.
City Hall’s architecture is a mix between flamboyant Beaux-Arts and 1920’s Art Deco. A lot of buildings in downtown Kansas City are similar style, including the Jackson County Courthouse and The Midland.
About the City Hall Observation Deck
Unfortunately, the City Hall Observation Deck is only open to visitors Monday through Friday, 9am to 3pm. Their hours are limiting, so I visited on a day off.
Forget trying to find a parking spot on the street. As someone who has visited City Hall on multiple occasions to switch driver’s licenses and license plates, I don’t even try anymore. If you can, take the KC streetcar to the Metro Center stop and walk the five blocks to City Hall. Or, pay for a parking garage nearby.
When you arrive, you’ll go through two rounds of security, as City Hall is very much in operation. As you make your way in (go through the entrance by the Abraham Lincoln sculpture), you will go through a metal detector. Then you’ll be instructed to take the elevator to the lower level, where your ID will get copied. Security will take you up to the 28th floor. Walk two flights of stairs and enjoy the amazing 360º view.
There’s plenty of places to get a great view of the city, like the Downtown Library patio and the Liberty Memorial, but City Hall is my personal favorite. The view is incredible, it’s free and you can get in and out relatively quickly. Worth a stop if you happen to have a day off! xx, Libbie