Monday, October 1, 2012

Music Hall (Municipal Auditorium), 301 W. 13th, Kansas City, MO

Municipal Auditorium is a large, multi-purpose facility in Kansas City, Missouri with three halls: The Arena, Music Hall, and Little Theatre.

The Kansas City Music Hall is a large proscenium theatre opened in 1936 and features Streamline Moderne and Art Deco architecture and architectural details.

 The streamline moderne architecture was designed by the lead architectural firm of Gentry, Voskamp & Neville to appeal to new visitors with cool and confident restraint. True to its name, the style promised to envelop the visitor in modernity, assuring him/her that Kansas City was a rising star in the country, a place to recommend to friends and colleagues.

Alonzo H. Gentry, of the lead architectural firm of Gentry, Voskamp & Neville, was to later design the Truman Library. Hoit, Price & Barnes, the associated architects responsible for the HVAC work at the Municipal Auditorium, had recently designed the Art Deco skyscraper, the Kansas City Power and Light Building (completed in 1931).
When the building opened in 1935, it was called by the Architectural Record "one of the 10 best buildings of the world that year". [1]

The foyer is a splendid display of marble on both floor and walls. Murals adorn the entire theater, and you’ll have to travel a long way to see crystal chandeliers as gorgeous as those adorning the Music Hall. It evokes a sense of grandeur with its high ceiling, marble flooring, and grand staircase and
eats an audience of 2,400 patrons. The hall presents touring Broadway shows, as well as visiting symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies, and other events. It was the main hall of the Kansas City Philharmonic for several decades. And when was the last time you saw an actual orchestra pit or had seats in a theater that featured a pipe organ of over 2,000 tubes and constructed with ivory and gold? That's the 1927 Robert-Morton Theatre Pipe Organ that originally was in the Kansas City Midland Theatre. The organ is owned and maintained by Kansas City Theatre Pipe Organ, Inc.[9]

In 2000, the Princeton Architectural Press called it one of the 500 most important architectural works in the United States.[1]

Jerry performed here on
3/26/76 Jerry Garcia Band (Music Hall)
8/17/80 Grateful Dead (Arena)
7/7/81 Grateful Dead (Arena)

1.)^Alonzo H. Gentry, Architect, Is Dead, Kansas City Times, February 7, 1967
2.)^Kidder G.E. Smith (2000), Source Book of American Architecture, Princeton Architectural Press

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