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Missouri River, Municipal Wharf
Missouri River, Municipal Wharf
TitleMissouri River, Municipal Wharf
DescriptionPostcard of Missouri River, Municipal Wharf
Historical ArticleA 1912 postcard pictures Kansas City's Municipal Wharf. Two double-decked steamboats are tied at the dock.

At the left is the newly finished A-S-B toll bridge, giving the first easy access to the area north of the river.

The Missouri river powerhouse with two tall smoke stacks is above the wharf. It was built between the years 1900-1904 by the Metropolitan Street Railway Co. to provide power for Kansas City's expanding street car system.

In 1900 the company had purchased the Kansas City Electric Light Co., a predecessor of the Kansas City Power & Light Co., bringing transportation and electric service under one roof. Kansas Citians were clamoring for improved street car service and for the new electric lights.

The Street Railway Journal issue of 1903 called it one of the largest electric railway power stations under construction in the United States and probably the largest outside New York City. It was constructed only 22 years after central station electric service was first available in Kansas City, and it represented the revolution in people's lives caused by electricity.

Today the KCP&L owns the building, purchased in 1927, extensively renovated, and now known as the Grand Avenue Station. Here steam is generated to heat some 200 downtown buildings.

The long low white building in the center was the city-owned Main Street wharf house. It is located about where Main Street, if extended north from the City Market, would intersect with the Missouri River. Currently the facility is leased by the city to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, until 1992.

The postcard was published in color by Hall Brothers.

Kansas City Times
April 29, 1983

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectMissouri River
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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