Proposed Plaza building the talk of the town

One of many iconic buildings on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. Another, the balcony building at 47th and Broadway, is at risk for demolition. Photo by Katy Ryan.

Wow.

As I watched Saturday’s post about the proposed Polsinelli Shughart building on the Plaza circulate through the interwebs, I knew this would be a hot-button issue. Yet I had no idea just how far the discussion had reached until this morning’s Up To Date with Steve Kraske on KCUR, during which Kansas City Star development reporter Kevin Collison said he’d never received such a vocal outpouring (mostly of disagreement) from any story. Ever.

And here in the local blogosphere, discussion continues on sites such as Midtown KC Post, Mo Rage and others. Signs already indicate that Polsinelli Shughart will be making some major changes to the initial design of the building, which is one of the primary causes of such a passionate public outcry. Many, many people (including me) are concerned that the towering steel and glass structure is a complete miss with the surrounding Plaza architecture, an elegant Spanish style that has become one of the district’s trademarks.

It’s incredible to see the show of support that’s already gathered on Facebook (search “Save The Plaza 2010.”) Side note: Wow – the power of social media, eh? Nothing like digital means to add a healthy dose of momentum to a grassroots effort.

I, among others, will certainly be keeping a close eye on this story. I’d also like to thank the commenters on my previous post for bringing up some great points and some unfortunate comparisons (to the overly commercialized Beale Street, for one) that could ring true should this project go forward in its original incarnation.

Stay tuned.

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