Kansas City, Missouri audio tour: Change without Direction: A Guide to Downtown Kansas City

Change without Direction: A Guide to Downtown Kansas City

Walking Tour

40 mins

About the Tour

Starting in front of the downtown branch of the Kansas City Public Library, this walking tour takes you through three historic city districts: the Library District, the Garment District, and Quality Hill.

Along the way, you’ll learn about Kansas City’s gradual growth from a river outpost into the regional hub it is today, and how its various stops and starts, its conflicts and resolutions, shaped its character and charted its history.

Tour Producer


Jackson County Historical Society

The Jackson County (Missouri) Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the written, oral, and physical legacy of this county. We do this by maintaining physical collections and promoting the study, appreciation, and interpretation of local and regional history.

Major Landmarks

  • Kansas City Library’s Central Branch

  • New York Life Building

  • Old New England Building

  • The Savoy

  • Mark Twain Statue

  • The Coates Hotel

  • Historic Garment District

  • Jim Pendergast Statue

  • Lewis & Clarke Statue & Vista

Directions to Starting Point

From the Street Car’s Library Stop near 9th & Main, walk south to, and cross, 10th Street. If you were on the northbound street car, you’ll need to cross Main Street. You’ll need to be standing next to a large circle fountain at the southwest corner of 10th & Main.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

The Central Branch of the KC Library has a coffee shop you can visit - it’s right at the start of the tour. The tour also takes you right by a popular steakhouse and jazz club - The Majestic. You can also check out the Savoy Grill. If it’s Saturday, you can pop in to the Historic Garment District Museum between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Best time of day

Anytime during daylight hours.


The tour itself takes about 40 minutes, plus a 15 minute walk back to your starting point. Have something to drink and plenty of battery life for your phone. The tour takes you up a set of stairs at one point. For those unable to ascend stairs, you may choose to take an alternate route south on Washington Street, then west (right) on 9th street to rejoin the route.


Great tour. We learned so much about our city, particularly downtown. Enjoyed the tour very much

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 6 months ago
Change without Direction: A Guide to Downtown Kansas City