ICRI 2012 Project Award Winner
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Project of the Year: Low-Rise Category

The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity
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Kansas City, Missouri

Submitted by Structural Engineering Associates, Inc.

Todd Bolender Center

Kansas City Ballet
Kansas City, MO

Project Engineer/

Structural Engineering Associates, Inc.
Kansas City, MO

Repair Contractor
J.E. Dunn Construction
Kansas City, MO

Material Suppliers/

Sika Corporation
Lyndhurst, NJ

Prosoco, Inc.
Lawrence, KS

During the first half of the twentieth century, trains were a primary mode of transportation for people, freight, and livestock across the United States. The Union Station complex in Kansas City, MO, with its passenger terminal, express facilities, and rail yards, was a main terminal for this transportation. 

The “Union Passenger Station Power House,” as it was originally named, provided energy for the train station and a number of surrounding buildings. It was constructed during 1913 and 1914 and was designed by the famous period architect Jarvis Hunt from Chicago, IL. Hunt also designed the Kansas City Union Station, as well as a number of other notable railroad terminals in the country. 

The building’s structural steel frame is composed of hot-rolled, built-up steel sections with riveted connections and load-bearing, multi-wythe brick masonry exterior walls. These walls are complemented with architectural terra cotta bands and façade inlays, which are supported by exposed reinforced concrete foundation walls that are over 2 ft 
(0.6 m) thick. The building’s exterior dimensions are approximately 94 ft (28.7 m) wide along the east and west elevations and 198 ft (60.4 m) long along the north and south elevations for a gross building area of about 18,612 ft2(1729 m2). 

The building was vacant for over four decades. With its age and exposure, the structural components of the building experienced moderate-to-severe corrosion and deterioration of the interior and exterior structural concrete, masonry, and steel framing elements. In an effort to make a new home for the Kansas City Ballet while reusing an existing historic structure, the Power House required significant historic restoration to make this possible. However, with a carefully programmed renovation and structural modifications, the design team was able to save the building and meet the requirements of the performing arts organization. 

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