A Walking Tour
May 09, 2012
I was curious about a new kind of program scheduled at MCPL—a walking tour. So I joined in and met Dr. Miriani and the tour group at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain on the Plaza. I’ve been the Plaza many times through the years, but I’ve never really learned the detailed history and how the experiences of one person had such a great influence on the architecture and layout of this delightful part of Kansas City.
J.C. Nichols visited Seville as a young man and fell in love with the architecture. He had a dream of building a shopping center for women—a feel good place—patterned after Seville with clay tile roofing, mosaics, lantern style lighting, balconies, towers, domes, sculptures, and fountains. Boulevards were created throughout the Plaza area, and at the end of each boulevard, there is a decoration—a sculpture or fountain.
We walked down the streets of the Plaza, and Dr. Miriani pointed out several key architectural landmarks that captured the flavor of Seville. He also talked about how the stores evolved. I had no idea there was a Sears Store on the Plaza for many years.
New tours of Kansas City are being planned for fall and next spring. Watch for them in our ACCESS Guides and Beyond the Books brochures.
Going on a tour is a fun way to meet new people and a good way to get more acquainted with Kansas City’s history. I hope that you will join us on one of the walking tours.