One hundred years ago, excavation work was giving way to construction for 925 Grand, an architectural showpiece that would be the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s headquarters for more than 80 years.
Many other downtown locations had been considered before the fast-growing Bank purchased the Glendale Building site at the northeast corner of 10th Street and Grand Avenue. The Bank’s head office had been inside the R.A. Long building just across the street.
A few facts about 925 Grand:
- At 21 stories, it was a skyscraper for its time. Over the years, taller buildings sprang up downtown.
- It officially opened in November 1921 and remained the headquarters until 2008, when the current head office opened at 1 Memorial Drive.
- The building contractor was the George A. Fuller Co., builder of Kansas City’s Union Station. The architects—Graham, Anderson, Probst and White—designed Chicago’s Wrigley Building, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.
- Cost of construction was estimated at $4.3 million
- Air conditioning was installed in 1934.
- In 1953, former President Harry Truman began leasing an office on the 11th floor until work was completed on the Truman Library in nearby Independence, Missouri.
- The building can be seen in the rock band U2’s 1997 “Last Night on Earth” music video, which was partly filmed along Grand. The video featured a cameo by Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs, a Lawrence, Kansas, resident at the time.