DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

Kansas City, MO


Box Building - Adaptive Reuse, Historic Preservation

In 2015, DRAW completed the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of a century-old structure in the Crossroads Historic Freight District in Kansas City – a district included in the National Register of Historic Places. The triangular-shaped, load-bearing brick building was constructed in 1909 to serve as a box manufacturing plant for the Central Box Company, which supported the thriving railroad industry in Kansas City at the time.

Abandoned for several decades, the “Box Building” has entered its second century with a new identity as a light-filled commercial building. The DRAW team rehabilitated the 5,800-square-foot, two-story building to accommodate the firm’s architectural and planning studio on the second level and commercial tenants on the first level.

Respecting the history and integrity of the building, the design introduces numerous sustainable strategies, such as high-efficiency lighting, low-flow toilets, low-VOC finishes, reclaimed wood, recycled materials, locally sourced products, and a high-efficiency mechanical system. The historic character of the building remains strongly intact, however, maintaining original structural elements, existing openings, interior volumes, distinctive interior finish elements, and even the repurposing of the former elevator shaft as a small meeting room on each level.

The team renovated the building with painstaking attention to preserving the historic character of the structure. As a result, rehabilitation costs were offset by historic tax credits and incentives through the Missouri Works Program.

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Status: Built
Location: Kansas City, MO, US
Firm Role: Design Architect