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The Lyric Opera of Kansas City Center

HJM Architects, Inc.

Shared By

Andrew Kesel, HJM Architects Inc.

Project Name

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City Center


1725 Holmes


Project Status


Year Completed



58,600 sq. feet

Construction Cost



The Lyric Opera of Kansas City


  • General Contractor: McCownGordon Construction
  • Structural Engineer: Jonson LLC - Structural Engineering Services
  • Civil Engineer: Shafer, Kline, & Warren, Inc.

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Project Description

In 2007, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City announced plans for a new headquarters located in the Crossroads Arts District. The new digs would serve to consolidate production, administration, and set storage. Previously the Lyric had been scattered throughout the City: rehearsals were held in a church basement, sets were built in an old school house in the East Bottoms, painting was done in a parking lot, and administrative services were located in the rafters of the Lyric Theatre. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City Center is comprised of two buildings linked via a covered bridge. Through a partnership with Solar Link US, the Lyric will also join the sustainable design movement by adding 228 solar panels to the roofs.

The Production Building accommodates production and rehearsal spaces, as well as educational and community outreach spaces. The renovated industrial building at 712 E. 18th Street was completely gutted and reconfigured to serve a variety of functions including: set construction, set and backdrop painting, wig and wardrobe production, coaching rooms, staging areas for talent, and a rehearsal floor that replicates the foot print of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center stage. Production flows through large overhead doors from the north end of the building to the south - with final products exiting through the overhead dock doors. The facility also includes a large multi-function meeting/education room that can be opened to the rehearsal floor allowing the building to host large events. Taking advantage of lower ceiling needs in some spaces, the building also gained a large mezzanine space used for storing set props.

The Administration Building, located at 1725 Holmes, is a two story build-to-suit piggy-backing administrative space on top of set rental inventory storage space. The set rental inventory storage is located on the first floor and primarily accessed from the loading area off of Charlotte Street. With 12’ clear height and wide bays, it is capable of storing 12-15 full size opera sets with scenery. The sets can be easily rolled into the Michael & Ginger Frost Building for touch-ups before being packed and shipped. The main building entry, a dramatic two story space, is located off of Holmes Street and provides a visual connection to the Production building. The space is filled with natural light and is open to the reception area above. The second floor reception area is adjacent to the Board Room and a partially covered outdoor deck with views of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. The three areas function separately during daily operations, but are designed to work together during larger events. The various groups (ticketing, development, marketing, finance, education, and production) are consolidated into an open work environment washed with natural light.
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