Kansas City, MO

The old TWA Corporate Headquarters in Kansas City was repurposed and listed on the National Register of Historic Places

CJ Coombs

Former Headquarters of Trans World Airlines (TWA).BlueGold73 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Some of you might not have heard of Trans World Airlines (TWA). I remember when their planes were active. The former headquarters for TWA is located on Baltimore Avenue in the Crossroads District of Kansas City. On November 20, 2002, this building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

TWA was formed by the merging of two airlines — the Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) which was founded by Clement Melville Keys in 1928 and Western Air Express in 1930.

The precursor to TWA, TAT was formed in 1928 by famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and financier Clement Melville Keys with the goal of designing the first transcontinental airline, mostly with the pursuit of landing juicy government airmail contracts. (Source.)

The decision to have Kansas City as the headquarters for TWA is said to have been made by Charles Lindbergh. "Lindbergh was head of a technical committee to select a headquarters for T.A.T. (Transcontinental Air Transport)." Lindbergh was able to persuade the committee that Kansas City should be T.A.T.'s new headquarters. The headquarters would remain in Kansas City until 1982 when it moved to St. Louis.

The architects of the building were Raymond E. Bales, Jr. and Morris Schechter. Construction ran from May 1955 to October 1956. The signature colors of the building matched TWA's corporate colors of red and white.

With the growth of TWA, its executive offices were moved to New York City in 1964, but the accounting department, ticket office, credit department, and cargo department remained at the headquarters building in Kansas City until 1969. TWA used the building to train flight attendants until the new training facility called the Breech Academy opened in Overland Park, Kansas in late 1969.

The Breech Academy in 1970.Paul Ellmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

TWA trained stewardesses and hostesses at the Breech Academy. It was such a popular facility that other airlines would send trainees there too. After TWA began to train men, the term "hostess" became "flight attendant." Today, the old dorms for the Breech Academy are office spaces.

In 2003, there were plans to repurpose the old TWA headquarters into residential condominiums. It was going to be called TWA Lofts LLC.

However, an urban development firm, The Nicholson Group, retained an architectural firm to restore and renovate the building. In 2006, a Kansas City advertising agency, Barkley, Inc., moved into the building.

This building is just one of many listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Kansas City.

Thanks for reading!

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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

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