By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
April 24, 2013
Dedicated on Feb. 22, 1899, Kansas City’s new Convention Hall was as state-of-the-art as you could get for that time period.
City fathers celebrated the construction because there was finally a building large enough to accommodate larger conventions and gatherings of up to 20,000 people. The cost to erect the structure was $225,000. A little over a year later, however, the hall burned almost to the ground. Only stone walls from the building’s foundation remained. Additionally, a short 90 days later the city was to host the Democratic National Convention. Labor and trade unions set aside their differences as the city worked to reconstruct the hall in time for the convention. This is what established the Kansas City Spirit. The effort was successful and the convention was a huge success. The Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan for the second of his three unsuccessful bids for the presidency.
This postcard, which shows the first Convention Hall, is actually a business calling card for the Union Bank Note Company of Kansas City, Mo. It does not have any space for a message or an address on the back. The card was never mailed.