To create a permanent neighborhood sense of community, the Upper Room has purchased a former Kansas City Public School building which is being transformed into the Mary L. Kelly Center. The Kelly Center will be a symbol of neighborhood identity, where neighbors will congregate to use its café, computer lab, health club, dance studio, and gymnasium. To foster neighborhood buy-in and promote the Center’s use, all programming will be free to neighborhood residents who volunteer monthly. The Center will also serve as the home of the Charlie Parker Foundation, which will host the archives of local jazz legends and reignite appreciation for the area’s legacy of jazz music. Finally, the Center will house tenants with a stake in the neighborhood, including Church of the Resurrection and the Town Fork Creek Neighborhood Association.
Participants of Eco Abet's 2013 Summer Design Charrette were asked to provide design options for the renovated corridors on all three floors of the building and to convey the sense that the building is a unique place, one that combines elements of a community center, a cultural institution, and a point of neighborhood organization and pride.
To learn more about the efforts of the Upper Room: http://www.upperroomprogram.org/
The design concepts and imagery were a result of the collective talent of Joy Coleman, Vance Kelley, Dana Gould, Todd Renyer, Julia Manghitz, Grant Thome, Ian Pitts, and Emily McVey. Thanks to team sponsors Treanor Architects and Park University.