A free day in Kansas City! What to do? A grand idea!
Of all the things I was most looking forward to in Kansas City, the biggest was meeting blogger Beth (Gathering Dust).
Once again, it was that terrific feeling of meeting someone you've known a very long time! And I loved every minute!
Beth picked me up and we went to an area of Kansas City called Country Club Plaza. Originally built in 1922 by J.C. Nichols, it was then called "Nichols' Folly." He had a vision that the former hog farm and dumping ground would one day be the first suburban shopping area that could service the up-and-coming automobile owners.
Nichols had traveled in Europe and the Southwest and created a Spanish/Moorish style for the plaza with courtyards, plenty of outdoor seating, tile roofs and beautiful towers.
Sculpture is everywhere, from a large fountain ...
...to a small wishing pool...
...And everything in-between!
There are just lovely bronzes.
There are plenty of tiled mosaics, as well.
I particularly liked this one.
On the buildings you can see strands of light. Beth tells me that at Christmas, everything is lit, with the towers and buildings outlined.
The Plaza managed to survive a number of challenging times including the Depression, the death of its original founder, Nichols, and his son's rise to the top of the company, and a 1977 flood.
Many national stores are there -- you'll find high-end chains like Restoration Hardware, North Face, Williams-Sonoma, Tiffany and more. But my favorite was Paper Source, where Beth and I had a grand time!
After Beth left, I stayed on, shopping a bit...
...and taking photos of the buildings and sculpture.
Several women rode by on horseback, promoting the rodeo. They looked right at home amidst the architecture.
(I loved their horses!)
And I loved the light fixtures...
It was indeed an extraordinary day.
And as the lights went down and I returned to my hotel to figure out how in the world I would get the rolls of paper home that I bought at Paper Source, I just couldn't stop smiling! Thanks, Beth!
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