Building 51 | Building 51 | late 19th century ornamental cast iron kansas city board of trade building staircase baluster with highly stylized tendril motif – burnham & root, architects
8965
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late 19th century ornamental cast iron kansas city board of trade building staircase baluster with highly stylized tendril motif – burnham & root, architects

51-14607-12

Category

Non-Chicago Artifacts

About This Item

well-executed american 19th century ornamental cast iron interior trade building straight staircase baluster featuring a highly stylized tendril motif. the wonderfully designed baluster retains the original bower-barff “rustproof” black enameled finish. the iron baluster was salvaged from the kansas city board of trade building prior to demolition in 1968. over fifty architectural firms participated in a competition to design the new headquarters of the kansas city board of trade. some of the more notable respondents to submit drawings and/or plans, included peabody & stearns of boston, george b. post of new york and john root of chicago, who was awarded the commission in 1886. built at a cost of $700,000, the twelve story board of trade building was designed on an h-plan, with two major wings joined by a monumental entrance arch, skylighted concourse, and a soaring elevator tower. inside was a two-story lobby with a skylight supported, in part, by cast-iron columns. marble stairways on either side led to a gallery serving the mezzanine offices, while passage through the lobby led to the elevators. the building design is closely related to the rookery (1888) in Chicago. architectural historians consider the board of trade building in kansas city to be an important step in the evolution of john roots design work, which eventually led to his greatest achievements, (i.e., the monadnock building (1892) in chicago, etc.). richard nickel photodocumented the building prior to demolition in 1968. one of nickel’s documented photographs (shown above), clearly illustrates a partial arrangement of the building’s balusters “in situ.”