About two miles east of the Crossroads Arts District’s First Friday event, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUPD) and the Gem Cultural and Educational Center will host a different First Friday Reception. Instead of displaying artwork, AUPD students will present plans for transforming Kansas City’s 22nd and Vine district into a residential, business, light retail, cultural and educational district. The reception – which is free and open to the public – will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 1 at the Vine Street Lofts at 2101 Vine St., Kansas City, Mo.
In the 1920s, the Vine district thrived as a residential, retail and entertainment district energized by legendary jazz musicians. By the late 1950s, though, several jazz musicians moved to New York, residents moved to the suburbs and malls replaced Vine district shops. Although the 18th and Vine Jazz District was redeveloped, the nearby 22nd and Vine district continues to house vacant buildings and vacant lots.
Pat Jordan, the president of the Gem Cultural and Educational Center, would like to see the 22nd and Vine district developed into a residential neighborhood with commercial and retail components that would complement the nearby 18th and Vine Jazz District and attract area residents and tourists.
Through her association with Lauren Wendlandt – AIA and visiting AUPD instructor – Jordan invited AUPD classes to focus on the 22nd and Vine district during the spring 2009 semester. Throughout the semester, Jordan has met with professors and students in one-on-one review sessions.
“These students and professors are bringing new ideas to the area, and I believe sharing resources will solve some of the problems facing urban core areas today,” Jordan said. “The association between UMKC and the urban core could become one of the key factors in its revitalization.”
As a project assignment in their third-year design studio – led by T.H. Seligson, FAIA and visiting professor and Nazgol Bagheri, research assistant – urban planning and design students will present a comprehensive plan and design for a residential and commercial district near the 18th and Vine Jazz District. In a first-year architectural design studio led by Joy Swallow, AIA, AUPD chair and associate professor and Bill Lepentis, AIA and visiting instructor, architecture students will present housing design projects focused on single families; authors or at-home professionals; at-home daycare providers; artists; and families who wish to share living responsibilities with other families. All designs will include sustainable features, such as gardens for planting organic foods or collecting rainwater for irrigation.
The second-year architectural design studio, under the instruction of Seligson and Wendlandt, will present projects for a conference center and accompanying library. Students designed the center to serve as a prominent symbol of scholarship and cultural values, which would function as a global center for local, national and international conferences, lectures and social functions.
AUPD anticipates that these projects will interact with fourth-year urban planning and design studio projects that have addressed issues within the urban environment, such as sustainability in Kansas City’s Washington Wheatley neighborhood (led by Jacob Wagner, assistant professor). Other projects by Michael Frisch, AICP and assistant professor, and Sungyop Kim, assistant professor have addressed similar community issues.
About the Gem Cultural and Educational Center
The Gem Cultural and Educational Center is a non-profit organization that spearheaded the renovation of the Gem Theater. Led by Pat Jordan, the Gem Cultural and Educational Center manages the Vine Street Studio, located in the Vine Street Lofts at 2101 Vine St. in Kansas City, Mo. The Gem Cultural and Educational Center is spearheading the development of the nearby “Water Works” buildings and plans to transform them into a multimedia community arts center.
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.