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Kansas City’s iconic cathedral undergoing $14 million renovation

The landmark golden dome in downtown Kansas City is getting a facelift. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is working on a $14 million campaign to build a new parish hall and several amenities for patrons and the homeless community.

The church is Kansas City‘s highest-profile place of worship, perhaps because of the gold dome that lights up the downtown sky at night. The brick cathedral at 11th and Broadway traces its roots to a frontier log church built in 1835. The cathedral was built in the 1880s. Other buildings were added in the 1950s.

The new facilities will continue the church’s mission serving the growing downtown population. The church will continue to provide a full breakfast to more than 100 homeless people six days a week and provide emergency assistance through its Morning Glory Ministries. That service will move to a renovated space at the Catholic Center on West Ninth Street.

The renovation, called the “Building Glory” campaign, includes demolition of the old rectory and school buildings by building a new 19,000-square-foot, two-story parish center.

“I say old buildings, but you and I are standing in a building that went up in the 1880s, and it’s holding up better than the ones that went up in the 1950s, but it’s a historic place,” Father Paul Turner said. “We want to be sure and accent it, complete our mission and add to the beauty of downtown Kansas City.”

Construction is starting now after three years of planning and campaigning. The church officially broke ground on the project in December. The renovation will feature upgraded parking and handicapped access featuring the new Father Donnelly Hall Evangelization Center. There will be 300 to 400 seats in the multipurpose event space at 11th Street and Broadway, connecting to the cathedral through a welcome center. Upgrades include parish offices, meeting rooms, a reception area, a bridal room, kitchen and additional space.

“We hope that people take an interest in who we are and join into the mission of the cathedral,” Turner said. “People are always welcome here. Many people see the gold dome in the skyline; not so many have been inside, but this is a place where we hope everybody will find a home.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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