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Monday, July 24, 2017

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS

It's funny how you can live years of your life in an area and only discover some of its uniqueness once you've moved away.

I recently attended an Instameet event (for those who don't know, an event for Instagrammers) in Kansas City, Kansas. I had lived and worked in Kansas City, Missouri, twenty-plus years, and can honestly say I'd never heard of a couple of the places we visited.

Downtown KCKS is home to a truly fabulous Memorial Hall, dedicated as the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall more than ninety years ago. Located within short drives to the airport and downtown Kansas City, Missouri attractions such as the Power and Light District, it has a history as an entertainment venue.

It was the 1963 venue for singer Patsy Cline's last public performance before she and her fellow performers - Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins - died in a plane crash returning to Nashville. In the intervening years, many famous performers including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, REO Speedwagon and Led Zeppelin have performed in the 3,500 seat arena.

In addition, it has been home to a variety of sports events including professional wrestling and martial arts. On the day I visited, a roller derby practice session was in progress.

Although the outside is stately in an understated way, the inside is elaborate in its design. Marble, arches and columns combine to draw the eye. Sixteen arches separated by the columns showcase patriotic quotations. The architects who designed the building had a keen sense of classic beauty.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Needless to say, I loved it and like all the other attendees took many pictures. If you ever get the opportunity, take the time to visit the memorial located at 701 N 7th Street in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

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