KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Symphony has planted new roots in an old building in the Crossroads District, bringing life back into the walls that were silenced amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The symphony’s new headquarters will be in the Webster School building at 1644 Wyandotte Street, according to a statement from the KCS. The organization’s administrative offices are currently across the street, and this move will centralize more of its operations.
Webster House restaurant previously operated out of the historic building. However, the fine dining eatery and antique shop announced permanent closure in late April 2020. It was forced to close on March 17 during the beginning of the pandemic restrictions.
“The Webster School building will be the front door to the Kansas City Symphony, where we will provide new ways for the community to interact with us through recitals, educational programs, events and opportunities to meet our musicians,” Danny Beckley, Kansas City Symphony executive director, said in a statement.
Shirley Helzberg saved the old schoolhouse from the wrecking ball in 2001.
The historic structure sits just across the road from the Symphony’s main performance venue, Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center. The organization said the space will provide performers a place to practice together year round.
“We are deeply grateful to Shirley Bush Helzberg and her family for making this incredible opportunity available to the Symphony. This facility will become a new cultural asset for the people of Kansas City, promoting the advancement of the symphonic arts.”
Webster School opened in 1886 and served the Kansas City School District for 45 years, according to the symphony’s statement.
“Now, the landmark’s new purpose as headquarters to a major American orchestra will further solidify its iconic stature on Kansas City’s skyline.”