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Kansas City

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BMA Tower

The BMA Tower in Kansas City, Missouri, also known as One Park Place, was built as a 19-story Modern style office building. Located on a prominent height 3 miles (4.8 km) south of downtown Kansas City, the 280 feet (85 m) building is uniquely visible. The building was planned for the Business Men's Assurance Company of America, an insurance company, on the site of the former St. Joseph's Orphanage. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill with steel frame construction and clad in a contrasting grid of deeply inset black glass and white marble. It was the first high-rise structure in Kansas City snce the building of City Hall in 1936, and opened in 1963.

The building's original marble cladding was replaced after several panels fell from the building in 1985 and 1986. The problem was traced to the thinness of the panels (1.25 inches (3.2 cm) and the method of anchorage to the frame. As a result of extensive investigation, the panels were replaced with neoparium, a glass product that appeared indistinguishable from marble at more than 100 feet (30 m). This failure mode was not uncommon in buildings of this era that employed thin marble cladding. Several buildings, most notably the Aon Center in Chicago were re-clad with materials other than marble. The BMA Building won an Architectural Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Steel Construction and a First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.