KC's Brief but Interesting Arch Craze 

August 26, 2008
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY DAVID MARTIN

A 38-year-old office building at the corner of State Line Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway always catches my eye. The building seems futuristic and dated at the same time, much like the 1967 version of Disney's Tomorrowland. Similar designs appear elsewhere. Linscott Haylett, the architecture firm that imagined the Shawnee Mission Parkway building, sketched the Activities Center and Unity Inn at Unity Village. I am unable to verify this, but the Mormon Visitors' Center in Independence also appears to be a Linscott Haylett design. (A church spokeswoman in Utah says the visitors' center was designed by a company that did not exist when the building opened in 1971; Linscott Haylett Wheat officials did not respond to requests for comment.) An architect I know says Linscott Haylett took inspiration from the work of Minoru Yamasaki, who is best-known for the World Trade Center. The designs in this area look similar to a Yamasaki building that opened in Minneapolis in 1964.

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David Martin
A Minoru Yamasaki office building in Minneapolis that opened in 1964.
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