Cold Storage Building

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Thanks to the expansion of the railroad system, Kansas City became one of the fastest growing cities in the country. This, along with Kansas City’s rich agriculture and beef industry with a need of refrigeration, caught the eye of the expanding Chicago-based United States Cold Storage Company. In 1922, the company hired S. Scott Joy to build a cold storage building at 500 E. Third St. in Kansas City and construction started in March of that year. By October, and after $1.5 million, which would be almost $20 million today, the 450,000 sq.-ft., six-story cold storage building (in other words, a giant refrigerator) was finished. In order to keep the building’s rooms cold, the walls were 13 inches thick and filled with cork. Then, cold saltwater pumped through 77-miles worth of piping to keep the building at, or below, zero degrees. The building also provided more than 100 tons of ice to local costumers. In 2005, the building became slotted for a mass $35 million renovation into 224 apartments. However, because the building was kept frozen for the more than 80 years while providing the agricultural and beef industries with refrigeration space, it had to be thawed for more than six months before the renovations could begin. Now, the building offers one-three bedroom apartments ranging from $575 to $1,300 a month.