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15.7-acre site adjacent to Crown Center, between Main Street & Penn Valley Park

Index to Projects in Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

Gross Area
618,000 s/f

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Time Frame
Planning: 6/03–
Construction: 6/05–
Completion: 2/08
Public Dedication:
  June 11, 2008

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri
Completed 2008


Lead Designers:



Henry N. Cobb
Yvonne Szeto
Michael W. Bischoff


Bank headquarters

Click on image to enlarge

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City occupies a large, centrally located and exceptionally prominent hillside site just south of the World War I Liberty Memorial. The Bank is housed in a 618,000-square-foot complex comprised of a 14-story limestone-clad office tower rising above a two-story limestone base containing its cash processing and operations facilities.

The office tower, placed close to Main Street at the northeastern corner of the site, is shaped in such a way as to achieve a well-scaled and classically-proportioned civic presence, while at the same time appropriately deferring to the splendid Memorial of which it is privileged to be the neighbor. The tower's distinctive form is composed of a five-bay screen rising above a columned porch and standing in front of a gently-curved wall that frames the screen and extends westward beneath it to form the north face of the two-story base. A glazed entry pavilion placed in front of this extension complies with the banks strict security requirements while also welcoming visitors arriving on foot through the park or by car from Memorial Drive.

The Bank's two-story operations building, extending westward and southward from the office tower, is tucked into the rising hillside so as to present a low-lying profile both to Main Street and to Penn Valley Park. Fronting Main Street, the mandated 100-foot vehicle setback provides space for a layered landscape composed of interspersed flowering under-story and canopy trees, arranged in terraced groups along its entire length, and situated to mitigate the visual impact of the barrier walls and fencing necessitated by the bank's sensitive internal operations. By contrast, the landscape treatment on the north and west sides is informal, so as to be seen as a natural extension of the adjacent parkland. At the southernmost end of the site, the parking garage is nestled into the hill in such a way as to minimize its bulk as seen from Main Street. Trucks enter the Bank's remote vehicle inspection facility (RVIF) from Wyandotte Street, leaving Main Street unencumbered by the turning movements of service vehicles.

Internally, the bank's program called for state-of-the-art office space to serve its varying economic policy departments in conjunction with exhibition and meeting space reflective of the new facility's role as a vital institution within Kansas City. Conceived of as district hub for conferences and events generated within the federal reserve system, the resulting circulation, dining, meeting and amenity spaces within the operations base revolve around and receive ample daylight from a central courtyard, providing a pleasurable working environment intended to foster a sense of community and shared purpose for those working within the complex.

The generous size and hillside topography of the 15.7-acre site have permitted a building configuration that comfortably and efficiently accommodates the Bank's functional requirements. Of equal importance, this splendid site has invited, indeed commanded, a work of architecture embodying the stability, dignity and civic responsibility that characterize the Bank's mission as the regional presence of an important Federal institution.


Major Components

Two-story operations base with

    public components:
    main lobby with public exhibition space, conference center with 300-person divisible meeting room, staff dining with outdoor courtyard, executive dining

    operations components:
    remote vehicle inspection facility, cash receiving and processing;

300,000 gsf standard offices over 14 stories; executive offices; parking for 1,000 cars




Kansas City Business Journal:
Capstone Award: Architectural Design


Pei Cobb Freed & Partners services

Architectural Design including construction documentation for building envelope and major public spaces; Interior Design for major public spaces; coordination with associate architect on construction documents and construction administration


Landscape Architect

Olin Partnership, Ltd., Philadelphia, PA


Associate Architect

Ellerbe Becket, Kansas City, MO



Walter P. Moore Structural Engineers, Kansas City, MO


Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing

Smith & Boucher, Overland Park, KS



Photo credits

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