DuBois Consultants, Inc
Civil & Structural Engineer:
DuBois Consultants, Inc.
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP):
Commissioned Art Title:
“The Light Ramp (Device)” which features a cascading lights display on the north side of the substation with117 solar panels, on the south side, that power the display’s LED lights.
The Crosstown Substation was originally built in 1968 and was an award-winning design by local architects Kivett and Myers. Overtime the wall began to deteriorate; and graffiti and litter covered and surrounded the wall. KCP&L decided to replace the wall with a new design that would reflect the Crossroads’ artistic community spirit, enhance the surrounding area and provide an attractive connection to the 18th and Vine District.
n November of 2011 the design team and KCP&L reached out to the surrounding businesses and residents to participate in a community outreach meeting, to provide input on the new look of the wall. Participants of the meetings included several business owners surrounding the substations, members of the Crossroads Business Association, City representatives, design students with the Kansa City Design Center (KCDC), and residents. A tremendous amount of feedback and ideas were discussed in the meeting and flushed out by the design team and KCDC design students. A summary of ideas was presented to KCP&L stakeholders for a final decision on the novel design you will see today. The design renovates the façade of all four walls and enhances the pedestrian and vehicular experience. It will also provide an opportunity for artist in the surrounding community to display their work in an outdoor gallery environment.
The earlier wall included several deteriorating concrete art pieces in the courtyard and scattered paintings along the wall. DuBois and KCP&L brought on board Kathy Dowell, a local art consultant, to lead this effort. A committee comprised of members of the DuBois design team, KCP&L staff, along with representatives from local art organizations and the Kansas City Municipal Arts Commission interviewed several artists and their proposed projects. Artist Jim Woodfill was selected for his work called “Light Wave”. Although his piece was originally slated to be encased within the glass vitrine on the North wall along 18th street, it was clear during the construction process that he should be involved in the lighting scheme around the remaining substation perimeter, for a cohesive appearance.
During the process it was brought to our attention that the substation location had originally been the site of the Holmes Square Park. This George Kessler-designed park opened in June of 1897. In 1908, the director of the park was Elenore Canny. In 1910 the Board of Police Commissioners swore Ms Canny in as a police officer to bolster her supervisory role as the park’s director and to help her with protecting the children that came to the park. That action elevated her to becoming the first female police officer in Kansas City, Missouri, and one of the first female police officers in America. KCP&L has decided to place a plaque on the gate of the substation commemorating the Holmes Square Park and the accomplishments of Elenor Canny. The material and construction of the plaque was generously donated by A. Zahner Company.
Highlights of the Project: