On July 7, the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUPD) in the College of Arts and Sciences will move out of Epperson House and into a renovated building designed by Kivett & Myers – one of Kansas City’s most prominent architectural firms from the 1930s to 1970s.
Located at 5005 Rockhill Rd., Katz Hall opened in 1965 and housed the UMKC School of Pharmacy. The first new campus building to open since 1949, it signified a new era for the UMKC campus. It is named after Isaac and Michael Katz, founders of a major Midwest drugstore chain and contributors to the building’s construction.
According to AUPD faculty members, a key benefit of relocating to Katz Hall is that it will provide larger, more flexible spaces for design-studio courses. Key features include a wood and model shop and a fully-networked exhibition room. The reception area, faculty offices and public spaces will feature furniture collections from renowned, mid-century modern designers.
“Katz Hall is a building that has the character of mid-century modern design and of good architecture,” said Ted Seligson, FAIA, visiting professor at AUPD. “It will present a strong architectural image of our department to the university and to the community.”
Kivett & Myers was known nationally for its 1967 design of the Truman Sports Complex, its 1972 design of Kansas City International Airport and for several other notable buildings, which received design awards. Kivett & Myers later merged with HNTB Corp.
In addition to sharing an architectural design connection with Kivett & Myers, AUPD shares a personal connection. Seligson worked as head of design for Kivett & Myers in the 1950s and 1960s. Later, John Eggen – who designed Katz Hall – and Seligson left Kivett & Myers to form their own architectural firm. Tom Nelson, FAIA and BNIM principal, worked on the design and drawings of Katz Hall, as well.
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.