We at KC Restoration are always excited to get to work on the beautiful historic buildings that have made Kansas City the wonderful city we get to call our hometown. One such building has been the New York Life Building that is now filled by Catholic Charities and the diocesan center. Jury and Associates Commercial Realtors hired us to refinish the entrance and refresh the building’s metal surfaces including an informational plaque explaining the history of the building.
Located just down the street from the Central Library, the brick and brownstone hirise completed in 1890 is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building’s original name came from the New York Life Insurance Company which originally commissioned the building to be identical to one in Omaha completed the year prior. Its designer Frederick Elmer Hill came from New York City to oversee the construction, staying on several more years as he took on other projects around Kansas City. To learn more about Hill or his beautiful building, check out Wikipedia’s entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Life_Building_(Kansas_City,_Missouri).
Through our work at the building, we also learned that Catholic charitable work took root locally in 1879 with the establishment of orphanages in Kansas City and the St. Joseph Diocese in 1880. By 1917, Bishop Thomas Lillis merged several Catholic charitable institutions into a single effort that has continued to this day, now under the name of the Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Today, more than 1,400 agencies, institutions, and organizations make up the Catholic Charities network. Catholic Charities USA is the nation’s largest network of private social service providers. We at KC Restoration hope that the brightened, renewed entrance benefits such a notable institution dedicated to helping others in our community.