ow about a little of this and a little of that as we roll ourselves through another week?
Are you or anyone you know interested in buying a fancy glass building near the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City? If so, contact the Kansas City Star. It seems the Star’s press pavilion located at 1501-1649 McGee Street is in need of a buyer. The glass production facility, with eight floors above ground and one below, is on the market. Asking price? A cool $31 million.
Thirty one million sounds like a lot of cash until you realize it’s only about half the amount the Platte County commissioners were wanting to spend on a new jail. (Still blows your mind, doesn’t it?)
The Star press pavilion was constructed to house the newspaper operation’s presses and other related printing facilities. Remember the terrible timing? The building went up just as the economy was crashing and things were about to take a sharp southerly turn for the daily newspaper biz. The unique-looking glass building was designed for printing presses, not as office space for editors and reporters and such, but times have changed and there have been major cutbacks at the Star. I recently asked Hearne Christopher, a Landmark contributing columnist who years ago was the most well-read columnist in the Star, where the Star staffers are operating now.
“They are indeed located in a little annex in the glass printing press pavilion, carved out on the southwest corner. It was never intended to serve as an office but they made it work,” Hearne says.
More information about the status of the Star press pavilion was gleaned recently from David Hudnall, editor of the Pitch. In a blog posting, Hudnall wrote:
“I’ve long assumed the Star’s big, green printing plant downtown will eventually be sold and converted into luxury lofts called ‘The Newsroom’ or something, and it appears that day is drawing closer. The building is on the market for $31 million, though any deal would require retaining the Star as a tenant on a long-term lease.”
A couple of things here. Hudnall describes it as green glass. Others describe it as blue glass. Properly identifying colors is often out of my comfort zone so I will defer to those more skilled at it than I.
Also interesting is that if you purchase the building for $31 million apparently you still have to retain the Star as a tenant. Not sure how that would work if someone really wanted to convert that huge collection of glass into luxury lofts, but I guess anything is possible.
Meanwhile in Platte County, The Landmark continues to hum along in its 1869 building that the newspaper has called home since 1899 in downtown Platte City. I did perform a slight but somewhat exciting renovation project in here on Saturday. I wanted to move my desk about four inches to the west, just to keep my wheeled chair from often rolling onto an un-level section of flooring. In order to move this monster-sized old desk by myself without straining my milk, I had to first pull out a double sized drawer packed with about 37 years worth of files.
When I pulled out that drawer its wooden bottom collapsed, which made me say a word not fit to print. It also was a sign it was time to get rid of many of those old files. Which I did. But only after spending too much time reading and reminiscing about some of the old local news topics those files contained.
Once I get started reading about past local events it’s tough for me to stop. If you’re a history buff you can relate. If not, you’re wondering what kind of a nut does that. On a Saturday afternoon, no less.
I must ask, what is this pickleball thing of which you speak? Admittedly, I used to chuckle at the mere mention of the name but now I’m reaching the curious stage.You hear about folks of all ages playing it. The internet says anyone from age eight to 80 can play, so most of us fit into the target demographic. There’s even a place in North Kansas City called Chicken N Pickle that has gained in popularity, known as being a unique spot for food and fun. I’ve yet to patronize the place but I take a long gander at it every time I drive by. It’s reported to be a wood-clad, chicken-centric joint with a patio, rooftop bar and pickleball courts. I like chicken, I like patios and I like rooftop bars, so even if it turns out I don’t like pickleball the place is still hitting three out of four for me.
So what is pickleball? Leave it to a highly trained investigative journalist like myself to get to the bottom of this. Thankfully the internet is a wonderful thing. I’m starting to think the internet might just catch on. Thank you, Al Gore.
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a Wiffle Ball, over a net. A pickleball game is normally played to 11 points and must be won by 2. You can only score a point while serving. The serve must be hit with an underhand swinging motion and the ball contacted below the hips. When hitting the serve, the server must be behind the baseline and serve into the adjacent service box as is done in tennis. You only get one serve, kids, and if the ball is hit out of the court, into the net or into the no-volley zone (also called the kitchen) it is a side out. The center line, side lines and baselines are considered “in” on a serve but if the ball lands on the no-volley line it is a side out. If the ball hit the net and goes into the service box it is a “let” and the server maintains the serve. You only score points while serving.
Those are the basics. Color me intrigued. Sounds like something we can somehow incorporate into a future Landmark Live. Stay tuned.
(Talk pickleball with Foley via email to email@example.com or track him down on Twitter @ivanfoley or on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube)