The 1900 Building is mixing business with pleasure: Best of KC 2018
This month, we published The Pitch‘s annual Best of Kansas City issue. You can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also included a list, compiled and written by our editorial staff, of some our current favorite things about Kansas City in 2018. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout October.
This past year, the 1900 Building raised its local profile upon the opening of fine-dining destination The Restaurant at 1900. Less known, perhaps, is the way this rehabbed 1960s-era office building — located on the Kansas side of the intersection of State Line Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway — is reconfiguring the city’s fine-arts scene. The building is beautiful (they retained the mid-century tulip columns on the facade), its multiple venues are intimate, and they book the best of the best.
Like who? Before the performances spaces were even finished, scrapes and jangles from improvising percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani echoed off the raw concrete walls. Trumpeter Hermon Mehari and singer-songwriter Krystle Warren, in from Paris, performed an invite-only show in the Parkway Room. Christine Brebes flew in from Buenos Aires for a big old long-lost family reunion of a 20th anniversary show with Tango Lorca at Rose Hall. And soprano and musicologist Victoria Botero produced a series of women’s music for capacity crowds, bringing together stories and songs from Sephardic, Christian, and Muslim traditions in “Morena,” revealing the humbling truth that the struggles and joys of women are for all time, across all cultures. Then there’s premiere ensembles like Bach Aria Soloists and Kansas City Chorale, who found a welcome space here, and Park University’s International Center for Music, which moved its entire recital series from Parkville to Mission Woods.
Spaces like this don’t just appear like manna. The 1900 Building is a deliberate contribution and direct benefit to the region’s artistic community. It’s a welcome reminder of the joys that can sprout from mixing business (it’s a functioning office building, remember) with pleasure.
The 1900 Building. 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kansas.