Happy Friday eve everyone and welcome to another edition of Around the Town Thursday! Today we’re back to exploring Kansas City and we’re highlighting the Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building.
Front of Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building
Entrance to the Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building
Originally built in 1910, the Livestock Exchange Building was the headquarters of the Kansas City stockyards. According to the National Register of Historic Places application: “At the turn of the century the stock yards covered 207 acres with accommodations for 70,000 cattle, 40,000 hogs, 45,000 sheep and 5,000 horses and mules daily. By 1871 seven railroads were operating in the stock yards; today there are over ten miles of track inside the yards excluding acres and acres of track to the east and west.”
The stockyards themselves were originally established in 1871 in Kansas City, Kansas along the Kansas River and Missouri Pacific railroad tracks. According to the Kansas City Kansan newspaper article “How KC became 1 of great stock markets of world”: “In the heyday year of 1923, 2,631,808 cattle were received at the Kansas City yards.” The stockyards originally contained five acres and by 1883 another 125 acres had been added. While there were earlier buildings erected on the grounds of the stockyards, the brick building that currently stands is considered the highlight of the period from 1871 to 1909.
Currently (after a thirteen million dollar renovation in 1991) the building serves as an office building, containing everything from restaurant facilities to a post office to a health club. While not ornate in decor the building has beautiful original oak woodwork and a simple, yet beautiful Grecian key floor border.
This important piece of Kansas City history has withstood time, floods and the closing of the Livestock Exchange. It’s now a part of the National Register of Historic Places, which will provide the opportunity for future generations to actually see this beautiful building.