Opulance defines Scarritt building

Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
April 3, 2013 

Built in 1907 by the Scarritt Estate Company (formed in 1903 by the children of the prominent early-day Kansas Citian, Nathan Scarritt, who migrated to Western Missouri in 1848 as teacher and preacher), the Scarritt Building cost $750,000 and was Kansas City’s second “skyscraper.”

The R. A. Long building was first, and the National Bank of Commerce (now Commerce Bank) was Kansas City’s third. For many years, these buildings dominated the downtown skyline as Kansas City’s tallest structures.

The three entrances to the Scarritt Building were on Grand Avenue, Ninth Street and on Walnut through a four-story arcade adjoining the building on the west.

The building was designed by the Kansas City architectural firm of Root & Siemens, which also designed the George Peck Dry Goods Company building, the Westport M.E. Church, and the Country Club Christian Church. One notable residence designed by Root & Siemens is the stone mission home of J.P. Townley, located at 3400 Gladstone Blvd.

For many years the Scarritt Building housed the offices of the Kansas City Gas Company. During the mid 1980s, the building underwent an extensive restoration project totaling more than $14 million. The building stands today as a testament to one of Kansas City’s first families.