Catholic Center, Catholic Diocese, New York Life Co.
An example of impressive design by nationally renowned architecture firm McKim, Mead & White, the New York Life Building brought a level of prestige to Kansas City as downtown’s first skyscraper. Upon its completion in 1890, the building’s 12-story tower soared over the neighboring structures. It was the first time New York capital had been spent in Kansas City, and at a cost of $1,000,000 it was quite an investment. The New York-based company’s investment in Kansas City was a vote of confidence for the up-and-coming Western metropolis. Its striking brownstone façade still exudes a vision of class over Baltimore Avenue. The identifiable bronze bald eagle statue still perches atop the grand arched entrance. The Catholic Diocese obtained the building in 2010, and have since renamed it the Catholic Center.