This spring, the Kansas City Fed marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of its head oﬃce, the newest headquarters building in the Federal Reserve System.
The 600,000-square-foot facility at 1 Memorial Drive houses 1,600 employees and sits near Kansas City’s historic Union Hill area, where the southern edge of downtown meets midtown. It occupies a prominent hillside just south of the National World War I Museum and Memorial that once was the site of St. Mary’s Hospital. The headquarters building and grounds are bounded by Main Street to the east and Penn Valley Park to the west.
The building was designed by Henry N. Cobb, one of the founding principles of the New York City architectural ﬁrm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. The limestone-clad tower comprises 12 oﬃce ﬂoors above a two-story base containing space open to the public and guests, and room for operational activities.
The public can enter the building on the ﬁrst ﬂoor, which houses a cash-processing area and vault; the Money Museum, a 3,000-square-foot, hands-on exhibit space; and a theater where visitors can watch a short ﬁlm about the Federal Reserve.
The Bank’s conference center is on the second level, and since its opening in 2008, the Bank has hosted 16,000 events for more than 400,000 people. These events include numerous community programs, research meetings and symposiums, and meetings for Federal Reserve staﬀ from across the country.
Growth over the years
In March 2008, Kansas City Fed staﬀ began relocation from the bank’s former headquarters at 925 Grand Blvd. The move to 1 Memorial Drive was completed in June of that year. In the years since the new headquarters opened, most oﬃce ﬂoors have been reconﬁgured, and the parking garage has been expanded to accommodate new business lines and changes in the workforce. The Bank’s Kansas City workforce—874 in 2008—has nearly doubled as several Federal Reserve System responsibilities have moved to Kansas City to take advantage of operational eﬃciency and the city’s location in the central United States.
Many of these additional responsibilities are within the central bank’s information technology function. The Kansas City Fed has overseen System initiatives to centralize operations, including the transition of local IT help desks to the National Service Desk in Kansas City and the migration of most Reserve Banks’ servers and networks to a national operations structure.
In 2011, the Kansas City Fed established a Treasury Services Division to house the growing areas of support provided to the U.S. Treasury. This includes program management, business analysis and other leadership and operational services to Reserve Banks and U.S. Treasury business partners.
The Bank has eﬀectively managed growth and change while maintaining a high level of performance in the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District, which includes Colorado, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, northern New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Headquarters facts and figures
- If you unstacked the 14 ﬂoors, the building would cover more than 10 football ﬁelds.
- The Spirits of Commerce and Industry, the two large-scale ﬁgurative bronzes at the building’s entrance, were created by artist Tuck Langland and are based on relief sculptures at the Bank’s former headquarters at 925 Grand Blvd.
- The bank’s vault has a 540,000-cubic-foot capacity, enough to hold nearly 100 railroad cars.
- 425—The number of employees in 2008 who are still working for the Bank.
- 700—The number of cameras throughout the facility.