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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Commerce Trust Company Historic District
Reference Number 15000772
State Missouri
County Jackson
Town Kansas City
Street Address Bounded by East 9th Street , Walnut Street, East 10th Street and Main Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/9/2015
Areas of Significance Commerce
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000772.pdf
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The Commerce Trust Company Historic District (District) in Jackson County, Kansas City, Missouri, is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A. It is locally significant in the area of COMMERCE. The District is unique within the urban core as an expansive, unified complex of deliberately connected buildings that occupies an entire city block in the financial center of downtown Kansas City. The District includes two previously listed buildings, the National Bank of Commerce Building (1908) and Commerce Tower (1964), and one previously listed structure, a sunken garden (1964). The two remaining buildings located on the block, Commerce Garage (1941) and Tower Garage (1999), directly connect to the listed buildings via interior corridors. Together, the buildings form a unified complex that illustrates the commercial development of Commerce Trust Company during the first half of the twentieth century. While two of the buildings in the District are already listed, this nomination has been written to convey new information that demonstrates the significance of the entire Commerce Trust Company complex. Founded in 1865 as the Kansas City Savings Association, Commerce Trust Company quickly grew to become Kansas City's leading bank. Development of the District, the largest banking complex in Kansas City's urban core, showcases the continued growth and impact of the bank on downtown Kansas City. The National Bank of Commerce Building (1908) was constructed as the company merged with other local financial institutions to become the largest bank in the city. With increasing use of the automobile in the mid-twentieth century, Commerce Garage (1941) enhanced the viability of the bank and was one of the earliest parking garages in the city constructed specifically for a bank. The largest private office building in the state at the time of construction, Commerce Tower (1964) demonstrates a nationwide trend for high-rise office towers and showcases the bank's dedication to downtown revitalization. It likewise necessitated a two-story addition to Commerce Garage in 1964 to provide additional parking for customers and employees. The non-contributing Tower Garage (1999) illustrates the continued impact of the automobile as more parking was needed to serve the bank in the dense downtown setting. Growing and expanding to enhance the viability of the bank, the District is significant as a reflection of Commerce Trust Company's substantial commercial impact on Kansas City and its legacy as a highly successful financial institution. As the leading financial institution in the city throughout its history, Commerce Trust Company has been committed to operating within and supporting the central business district with a variety of services and amenities. Capital from Commerce Trust Company perpetually supported the growth of numerous businesses that contributed to the overall economic development of Kansas City. The period of significance begins in 1908 with the construction of the National Bank of Commerce Building and ends in 1965, the fifty-year closing date for periods of significance where activities begun historically continue to have significance but no more specific date can be determined.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria