New York Life Insurance Building (Kansas City)

New York Life Insurance Building (Kansas City)

New York Life Building
Location 20 West Ninth, Kansas City, Missouri
Status Completed
Groundbreaking 1888
Constructed 1890
Use Office
Roof 180 feet (54.8 meters)
Floor count 12
Floor area 200,000 square feet
Architect McKim, Mead and White

The New York Life Building was the first highrise building in Kansas City, Missouri and the first to have elevators.

It was one of six buildings built by New York Life Insurance around the United States.

The building features brick and brownstone exterior, the two-ton bronze eagle (designed by Louis St. Gaudens over the entry and the Italian granite atrium flooring and an H-shaped footprint with 10 floor wings on either side of a 12-story tower.

It marked a dramatic change in the Kansas City skyline where the tallest buildings were three or four stories.[1]

The building on Quality Hill marked the first significant movement of the city south from its founding at River Market along the Missouri River.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 8, 1970.[2]

The building was abandoned in 1988.

In 1996 Utilcorp United conducted a $35 million restoration of the building.[3] Financing assistance came from the Kansas City Tax Increment Finance Commission, the Missouri Department of National Resources, and the National Park Service.


  1. ^ New York Life Building - - Retrieved January 9, 2009
  2. ^ [ Jackson County National Register Listings - - Retrieved January 8, 2008]
  3. ^ Kansas City Is Rediscovering Its Downtown Area - New York Times - October 6, 1996
Preceded by
Records Begin
Kansas City's Tallest Building
180 feet
Succeeded by
Commerce Trust Building

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