UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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normalthings
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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by normalthings » Fri May 11, 2018 11:57 am

rxlexi wrote:
I hope the lot south of the Kauffman PAC ends up as something worthwhile but knowing the absurdity of KC it will stay a grass lot for the next decade+
I wish we knew the current ownership. The lots around the PAC, as the connecting tissue with the xroads, could still be home to some great projects.

I would love to see a brand new, ground up cultural hub inclusive of UMKC Conservatory, Rep, KCUR, and other arts institutions, but don't see the ambition or financial wherewithal to make something on that scale happen. And for the record, the KC Rep's main home on campus at Spencer Theater was fairly heavily renovated by Helix (I think) just a few years ago. I would love to see them in a brand new theater but just don't see it happening...

STL sorta kinda did something similar with the Public Media Commons in Grand Center. Partnership with UMSL, public radio, etc. next to or very near flagship visual and performing arts institutions. Every time I've been it's appeared mostly unused, but I really appreciate the efforts at creating synergy between like-minded orgs. http://publicmediacommons.org/
One of the lots next to PAC is going to be a hotel.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by Highlander » Fri May 11, 2018 1:53 pm

earthling wrote:
FangKC wrote:
You all are going to have to do a lot of work convincing me about more downtown parks. I lived downtown for years, and saw little to convince me that there is a huge demand for downtown parks. Most of them are not used at all, and now another big one (4 blocks) is being proposed for the I-670 cap project. :D
Need to think long term, 10-50 years out. BAP and 12th/Walnut (Oppenstein Park?) may be the only 2 parks in CBD long term as development continues. BAP is currently functional space. There are so many surface lots yet to fill up - ideally these would be higher priority before replacing functional spaces. If 670 cap happens with park space, then maybe develop BAP.
Five years ago, I would have hated this idea (conservatory at BAP) and thought there was still some chance of redeeming BAP to usable and truly functional space. But it's clear now the center of downtown activity has shifted to the SE towards the P&L area and the new hotel which leaves BAP as pretty much dysfunctional rather than functional space. I think BAP went wrong from the very beginning with the failure to integrate the plaza with Municipal Auditorium and conventional center. These are the two big crowd generators in that part of downtown and neither really communicate with the plaza which sits above the parking garage for the auditorium and is bypassed entirely by event goers and it's even worse for the convention center. The rest of square is comprised of hotels and an office building that put a few people but never very many into BAP.

Given the inability of the city to make the plaza viable and the challenges and costs of retrofitting the existing infrastructure to make it work, I do not think the Conservatory is such a bad idea but I would like to have some insurance that the South Loop Cap is going to happen before launching and leaving western downtown devoid of any outdoor space for public gathering (and a capped loop that is not totally controlled by Cordish would be more ideal). The one big issue would be ,dare I say it, PARKING as the conservatory would need dedicated full time parking and would be in competition with event parking for the spaces in the Auditorium garage below.
Last edited by Highlander on Fri May 11, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by WoodDraw » Fri May 11, 2018 2:24 pm

Honest question: does anyone here regularly use BAP?

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by KCPowercat » Fri May 11, 2018 2:46 pm

shortcut

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by tower » Fri May 11, 2018 2:50 pm

WoodDraw wrote:Honest question: does anyone here regularly use BAP?
I imagine that it is used only by people in the Marriott or the Hilton, and only because it is right there. Even someone living nearby would probably go somewhere else for anything that one would need a plaza for.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by earthling » Fri May 11, 2018 2:51 pm

I've sat in the park a few times (working from laptop) in the last year. It's an underused park but not completely dead. I'm not really opposed to using it for development but it is _relatively_ more functional than seemingly countless surface lots and would rather see the latter developed first. And BAP as a park could be more used as downtown residential/workforce population boosts over next 10+ years. Agree that if 670 gets a park, makes more sense to develop BAP but why not target surface lots first as BAP is relatively more appealing to walk along than a surface lot even if not using the park. Develop BAP when 670 cap along the MCG (Monotonous Cordish Wall) actually happens.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by wahoowa » Sat May 12, 2018 12:23 am

there were pretty good pokemon there a long time ago but now most of downtown is worthwhile so

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by JBmidtown » Sat May 12, 2018 12:31 am

wahoowa wrote:there were pretty good pokemon there a long time ago but now most of downtown is worthwhile so
=D>

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by TheLastGentleman » Sat May 12, 2018 1:22 pm

wahoowa wrote:there were pretty good pokemon there a long time ago but now most of downtown is worthwhile so
Pokemon Go, the truest measure of success

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by smh » Mon May 14, 2018 11:13 am

WoodDraw wrote:Honest question: does anyone here regularly use BAP?
Why would anyone use it? The new furniture is very nice, but there is no shade and nothing to do. I was in in Cincinnati over the weekend and what they've done to Washington Park is amazing. Southwest airlines sponsors a nice shaded porch that sells drinks and offers some yard games. Near that is a nice fountain area for kids to run through, along with an interesting playground and some shaded lawn. BAP has none of this. But aside from the expense and planning for fountains and a playground, shade, games, and alcohol seem like an easy lift. And there is a built in customer base with the surrounding hotels. It should be so easy to get people over there and then let the residents discover it over time as a great place to sit on a saturday and enjoy a beer while the kids run around.

To summarize, I feel like we dismiss BAP as a public space but we've never really done even the cheap things required to activate it. In fact, this seems like a chronic KC Parks issue: Absence of programming.

(But do check out the Southwest porch at Washington Park https://washingtonpark.org/features-of- ... ncessions/ )

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by normalthings » Mon May 14, 2018 11:27 am

smh wrote:
WoodDraw wrote:Honest question: does anyone here regularly use BAP?
Why would anyone use it? The new furniture is very nice, but there is no shade and nothing to do. I was in in Cincinnati over the weekend and what they've done to Washington Park is amazing. Southwest airlines sponsors a nice shaded porch that sells drinks and offers some yard games. Near that is a nice fountain area for kids to run through, along with an interesting playground and some shaded lawn. BAP has none of this. But aside from the expense and planning for fountains and a playground, shade, games, and alcohol seem like an easy lift. And there is a built in customer base with the surrounding hotels. It should be so easy to get people over there and then let the residents discover it over time as a great place to sit on a saturday and enjoy a beer while the kids run around.

To summarize, I feel like we dismiss BAP as a public space but we've never really done even the cheap things required to activate it. In fact, this seems like a chronic KC Parks issue: Absence of programming.

(But do check out the Southwest porch at Washington Park https://washingtonpark.org/features-of- ... ncessions/ )
IIRC, KC Parks manages more parks space than Chicago with a fraction of the funding. We need corporate sponsors to help provide the funds to activate out parks. A Cordish led park over the highway would have the corporate sponsor needed to create good programming and such

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by WoodDraw » Mon May 14, 2018 11:42 am

Kansas City has pretty awful park space downtown in my opinion. Everyone gives shit to the cordish space outside Chipotle, but at least I can sit outside and enjoy my lunch.

It shouldn't be impossible to build a nice urban park. At this point, I'd be happy for cordish to do it over the parks department.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by smh » Mon May 14, 2018 11:46 am

I wonder if there is anyone at KC Parks that seeks out corporate sponsorship. Again, seems like a relatively easy project to deploy the UMB Plaza at Oppenstein Park or whatever. BUT I'M NO PARKS PROFESSIONAL

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by WoodDraw » Mon May 14, 2018 11:50 am

smh wrote:I wonder if there is anyone at KC Parks that seeks out corporate sponsorship. Again, seems like a relatively easy project to deploy the UMB Plaza at Oppenstein Park or whatever. BUT I'M NO PARKS PROFESSIONAL
I think it took the FAA threatening to move to get them to even clean up the homeless encampment at Davis park. I know Pickwick reached out to them to talk about using the park for yoga or events and there wasnt much interest.

So I don't have much hope.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by smh » Mon May 14, 2018 11:52 am

WoodDraw wrote:
smh wrote:I wonder if there is anyone at KC Parks that seeks out corporate sponsorship. Again, seems like a relatively easy project to deploy the UMB Plaza at Oppenstein Park or whatever. BUT I'M NO PARKS PROFESSIONAL
I think it took the FAA threatening to move to get them to even clean up the homeless encampment at Davis park. I know Pickwick reached out to them to talk about using the park for yoga or events and there wasnt much interest.

So I don't have much hope.
*labored sigh*

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by scooterj » Mon May 14, 2018 12:03 pm

KCPowercat wrote:shortcut

Ditto. Also bathtub for the homeless.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by GRID » Mon May 14, 2018 12:39 pm

I'm not sure I like this idea at all. Downtown KC still desperately needs usable public spaces and that would be a great spot for some sort of signature public space. Something would need to be done to help the space interact better with the streets (like removing or putting the garage further below ground), but it doesn't make sense to put buildings there. People visiting KC for conventions need a place to go too. Even though it's not used most of the time, I think it's pretty popular when KC has large conventions.

Can the UMKC Conservatory not find something in the crossroads? There are still tons of under utilized lots even around the Kauffman Center.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by TheLastGentleman » Mon May 14, 2018 12:48 pm

My ideal scenario is developing on BAP regardless of UMKC's involvement, then build a park as part of the North Loop removal. The south loop cap would make up for the loss of BAP, which is just in a really bad spot IMO. The old half of bartle has no pedestrian appeal, the marriott is set back like 80 feet from the street, and municipal is just a big beautiful wall. There's even a historic surface lot fronting it. The only building that actually benefits the park is the aladdin. The area is just depressingly ugly.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by earthling » Mon May 14, 2018 12:51 pm

But wouldn't it be more ideal to encourage developing countless ugly surface lots around downtown before replacing something at least half-way functional? Walking along BAP is hardly as unappealing as walking along surface lots in Xroads and North Loop. Target BAP later, not now.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Post by TheLastGentleman » Mon May 14, 2018 1:54 pm

earthling wrote:But wouldn't it be more ideal to encourage developing countless ugly surface lots around downtown before replacing something at least half-way functional? Walking along BAP is hardly as unappealing as walking along surface lots in Xroads and North Loop. Target BAP later, not now.
Aside from parking, which would probably be incorporated in a development scheme anyways, I don't see BAP as being even half-way functional. Anyways, of course it's of higher priority to get other lots filled, but if UMKC wants to develop BAP, we shouldn't stop them.

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