Kansas City Loft District - Kansas City Brings Loft Spaces to Life.
If you think the Midwest lacks culture, a sense of style and an eye for fine arts, think again. Kansas City aims to bust that myth by embracing and adoring the arts while maintaining a strong sense of self, true to its Midwestern roots.
A one-of-a-kind, Kansas City is famous for its European architecture, world-renowned fountains and its support of the arts whether visual or performing. With live theater abounding within the city and musical entertainment aplenty from classical to the sweet sounds of jazz, Kansas City is a wondrous place for those with a penchant to appreciate the beauty of the arts.
Though quite worthy of a cosmopolitan distinction, Kansas City isn’t so pretentious as to not enjoy some of the world’s finest barbecue and the simpler things in life like farmer’s markets, street performances and more. Plus, as it marvels in the arts, the city holds tightly to its past, celebrating its rough and tumble Wild Western history through museums, re-enactments and preservation efforts.
History and the arts come together perhaps most poignantly within the city’s loft districts. The Crossroads District is alive with artists carving a niche for themselves in this massive metropolitan area. The Rivermarket/Downtown areas as well have their own beat while celebrating the past in style.
Crossroads District – Artists’ paradise
An urban mixed-use community located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads District is famous for its loft living, culture, entertainment and galleries. The district is an older area of the city where formerly vacant buildings have been renovated for use as galleries, restaurants, shops and lofts. Watched over by the Crossroads Community Association, the district is making a name for itself throughout the city, bringing life into an area formerly devoid of it.
Welcoming visitors to view the transformation, the community holds a monthly event called First Fridays, which are fast becoming a district trademark. Taking place on the first Friday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m., First Fridays are a gallery hop of sorts where patrons of the arts are free to tour galleries at a leisurely pace and jump aboard free trolleys to arrive at their next destination.
Getting to the Crossroads District is easy:
- From North Kansas City (Barry Road): 19.3 miles, 33 minutes approximate driving time: Start at Interstate 29 and Barry Road going toward the on ramp. Merge onto I-29. Take ramp onto U.S. 169 then take ramp onto Interstate 35. Take the left ramp onto Southwest TRFY, which will become Belleview Avenue. Turn left onto Ward Parkway and then right on Wornall Road. Turn left onto 66th TER, which will become Grand Avenue.
- From Overland Park (West 95th Street): 11.6 miles, 24 minutes approximate drive time: Start at West 95th Street in Overland Park going toward Mullen Road. West 95th will become Cottonwood Street. Turn right on Widmer Road and then take a right on Santa Fe Trail Drive. Turn left onto W. 95th Street and take the left onto Interstate 35 North toward Des Moines. Take exit 227/75th Street. Turn right onto West 75th Street. Turn left onto Ward Parkway and then take a right onto 66th TER. Continue on to Grand Avenue.
Rivermarket/Downtown Where It All Started
- North Kansas City (Barry Road): 22.9 miles, 42 minutes approximate drive time – Start at Interstate 29 and Northwest Barry Road going toward on ramp. Merge onto I-29 and take the ramp onto Interstate 635. Take the left ramp onto U.S. 69, which will become 7th Street or U.S. 169. Follow U.S. 169 onto South 7th TRFY, which will become Rainbow Boulevard. Turn left onto Shawnee Mission Parkway and take the ramp onto Ward Parkway. From Ward, take the ramp toward Wornall Road. Bear right on Wornall Road and turn left on West 99th Street. Turn right onto Walnut Drive.
- Overland Park (West 95th Street): 12.2 miles, 17 minutes approximate drive time – Start at W 95th Street in Overland Park going toward Mullen Road. West 95th will become Cottonwood Street. Turn right onto Widmer Road and then take a left on Santa Fe Trail Drive. Turn left onto W. 95th Street and go right onto Interstate 35 South toward Wichita. Take exit 222A onto Interstate 435 East. Take exit 75A/Wornall Road. Turn left onto Wornall Road. Turn right onto 99th Street. Turn right on Walnut Drive.
If historic landmarks, fantastic dining and the arts are a siren’s call, then Kansas City’s famous loft districts are worth checking out.
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