Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity

Kansas City, Missouri

Award Type: Honor Award

The grit of a power station and the grace of a ballet company may not seem like an obvious pairing, but the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity is proving that the two are very much in sync. For years, the Kansas City Ballet moved from place to place looking for a permanent location. When their search led to the long abandoned 1914 Union Station Power House, the ballet knew it was finally home.

The conversion of the former coal burning plant included reinforcement of the building’s structural elements and major repairs to masonry and windows. Industrial details were retained and reused: salvaging a gantry crane and hook as a visual element, repurposing coal funnels into pendant light fixtures, and turning coal bunkers into dressing rooms.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the restoration of an iconic post office in Philadelphia or the transformation of a Greyhound bus station into a Civil Rights museum in Montgomery, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and creating jobs in communities across the country.”