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 What books were winners with Library staff in 2018?  From pop culture potboilers to heavy-hitting history reads, check out the favorites that lined our staff's personal shelves this past year.
What books were winners with Library staff in 2018?  From pop culture potboilers to heavy-hitting history reads, check out the favorites that lined our staff's personal shelves this past year.
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What's your KC Q logo
How many man-made underground spaces does KC have? Like SubTropolis or the tunnels connecting the buildings around Barney Allis.

Beneath Kansas City’s urban edges exists more than 20 million square feet of business, said Mike Bell, vice president of Hunt Midwest , which owns SubTropolis — a sprawling underground complex that’s “wide enough to hold 42 Arrowhead Stadiums.” It was developed by Lamar Hunt’s family, who also owns the Chiefs.

Union Station postcard

Question: How did “Union Station” get its name and why do so many other older railroad stations have that name?

It’s true that Kansas City’s Union Station doesn’t have a unique name. In fact, I found a similar question had been addressed by The Smithsonian Magazine in November 2017. The author explains that the term “union station” was used in the 19th and 20th centuries to indicate a hub in which multiple railroad companies operated. For example, you could enter a union station via a train on a small regional line and then switch to a larger national line to continue your journey. By today’s standards, it would be like changing airlines during a layover at an airport.

postcard showing a christmas crown decoration

Question: What happened to all the Christmas decorations that used to be downtown, particularly the crowns strung across the streets with garland?

A timely question as we enter holiday light season in the Kansas City area. Short of digging through the attic at City Hall, my first thought was to consult Monroe Dodd’s 2001 book Christmastime in Kansas City: The Story of the Season. According to Dodd, the Christmas shopping season was a modest affair in the years before World War I. The economic boom that followed the war changed things, and beginning in 1924, a group of downtown retailers pooled their resources to festoon the streets with garland and other decorations. In 1925 they added a parade to kick off the holiday season.

Anne Ducey, Kansas City Public Library's exhibit director.
Nearly 103,000 people visited eight exhibits in Central Library's first-floor Genevieve Guldner and second-floor Rocky and Gabriella Polony Mountain galleries in 2017-18, an average of 302 each day the Library was open. Both numbers were Library records. The daily average spiked further, to 375, in the first few months of ’18-19.
KCTV5 Tower

The KCTV broadcast tower at 31st Street and Grand Avenue once served as a 1,042-foot tall beacon at night, visible for miles around with more than 1,300 white lights tracing its four legs. But the tower has been unlit for more than a decade. Kansas City native Todd Hembree wonders why — and if — the lights will ever return.


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