Kansas City, MO

One Park Place, formerly known as the BMA Tower represents the Modern style of architecture

CJ Coombs

One Park Place (former BMA Building), Kansas City, Missouri.Charvex, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

It's been years since I was in this building. At that time, it was known as the BMA Tower. Located at 700 W 31st St. in Kansas City, Missouri south of downtown, it’s now known as One Park Place housing luxury condos.

The architectural design has been referred to as International and Modern styles and is advertised now as One Park Place as having 20 stories. You can't miss seeing the building due to its height up on the hill.

The renovation and conversion were performed by The Weitz Company and completed in 2011. “Weitz is the sixth oldest Architectural/Engineering/Construction firm in the United States.” 

Brief history

Originally, the building was for the insurance company, Business Men’s Assurance Company of America, and even before the building was constructed, the site used to be the home of St. Joseph’s Orphanage.

The architectural firm was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and the project manager was Bruce Graham. The building has a steel-frame construction with inset black glass and white marble. This building opened in 1963. There is no ornamental design on this building and it contains 384,000 square feet.

In 2002, BMA sold the building and in that same year, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It was also renamed One Park Place. With some extensive renovation that included removing asbestos, it was repurposed into condominiums.

Some of the condos run as high as $1 million according to some real estate sites, and some may find it pretty pricey. However, when you look at what's known as some unbeatable views, it sounds possible along with the space, decor, and amenities.

One Park Place is a luxury high-rise condominium that soars 20 stories high and offers an abundance of world class amenities. This complex was built on the highest point of the land in the city thus offering spectacular views. (Source.)

Because this building was NRHP listed, Weitz had to ensure the integrity of the building wasn't destroyed as it was considered a historic renovation. An important requirement to be included in the NRHP is that the originality of the building is intact. For example, you don't cover up original brick walls with sheet rock or paint. And, you don't destroy ornate details.

Even though the building has changed names and purpose, some still view it as the old BMA Tower, and even though it isn’t over 100 years old, it carries some significance for Kansas City and the construction is a product of the Modern Movement of architecture.

Thanks for reading.

Comments / 4

Published by

Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

More from CJ Coombs

Comments / 0