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Around Downtown

A very demanding workday, yesterday was spent, largely, walking around downtown with Geoff. He had to get a Missouri driver's license, seeing as how his terrible, but valid Florida license is in about four different pieces, from standard wear, derived mostly, I contend, from his hockeypuck-sized wallet. It began to warm up yesterday, melting off about the last of the snow we had on the ground here. The sun was out, and the sky was a brilliant blue, lending a spring to our steps, as we made our way to the always cheery Missouri Department of Revenue building. I had never been to Ilus Davis Park before that, and so enjoyed receiving a makeshift tour of it from Geoff. I snapped a couple shots of the surrounding area. Also, the Chili Shack on Oak, between 11th and 12th, makes a mean bowl of chili, and chicken spiedini sandwich.

This building, at 11th and Grand, is undergoing a major rehabilitation. Among the improvements are new windows, and scrubbing the building clean of decades of soot and smog. Here, old meets new.

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From Ilus Davis Park:

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We walked over to a multilevel parking deck, climbed to the roof, and got some shots as we caught our breath. The foundation lines of the Arena are visible now.

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The new H&R Block building is coming along very nicely.

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We wanted to get close to the Empire Theater, which we both predict will, when the construction is complete, will be a major focal point of the area, with its distinctive facade and classic beauty. Unfortunately, it seems to be completely within the construction zone now. As we skulked through some alleys trying to find an unguarded approach, I got this neat shot of One, Kansas City Place.

007oneKCplace.jpg

We started to head home, but first stopped by what it probably one of the most interesting buildings in downtown: the Aladdin Hotel, which until about two years ago, was operated as the Holiday Inn City Center Square, since which it has been lain vacant, perched on the Wyandotte side of Barney Allis Plaza. With the recent explosion of downtown development, a group of investors has repurchased it, with intentions to refurbish and reopen it.

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The building, constructed in 1927, has some very strange adornements on it, especially near the top of its 17-story height.

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Yes, those are sheep heads, as is evidenced here by my camera's impressive zoom. They go all the way around the top of the building.

sheep.jpg

Just below the sheep are some strange sculptures of what look like men with wings. Angels, I suppose.

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It's fun to explore.

9:16 PM, Dec 22, 2005

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