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Monthly Event Hosted by Wright on Main
May 25 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
It was 1940, and the Country Club Plaza was a shopping destination for people from throughout the Kansas City region. Just across Main Street, adjacent to the Fountain of the Four Rivers, leaders of the Community Christian Church were meeting with world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design their new building. Their previous church had been destroyed by fire. The goal was to design a structure unique to all the world, a church of the future. Wright’s design was architecturally innovative in multiple ways—the plan was based on a non-square module; it incorporated concrete cantilevers; and a spire of light was proposed to shine from the rooftop.
While Wright’s design for the light was innovative and cutting-edge, the technology to make his vision a reality was decades away. The church was dedicated in January of 1942 but it wasn’t until January 1994 that the dream of a light shining from the rooftop could be completed. Designed by Kansas City artist Dale Eldred, the Steeple of Light is now an iconic beam of radiance seen for miles around.
The lighting components are housed in the northwest corner of the roof. The beam is created by four searchlights, each with a 4000 watt, 16″ xenon bulb. The bulbs, in conjunction with a parabolic reflector, produce 332 million candlepower of illumination each, for a total of 1.3 billion candlepower. Reportedly seen from the space station, the Steeple is lit on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as other times by sponsorship.
I am sure all of us have driven by this unique structure with its incredible beam of light and wondered what was behind the white walls. We are thrilled to have been granted access to this stunning facility. It is without a doubt a must see. Please join us on May 25th when we gather for our monthly networking session.
The Wright on Main organization was created exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, more specifically to maintain and enhance the historic Frank Lloyd Wright structure at 4601 Main Street, Kansas City, MO and to provide the facility and programming for the cultural enrichment of the community.
Photos from our meeting:
For additional tours, contact Levon Weaver (administrator) at 816-561-6531.