Location Challenge: Kansas City, MO
The Documerica, State of the Environment traveling exhibit is about to head west from New England to Kansas City, Missouri! For the month of May, the exhibit will be in the hands of EPA’s Region 7 office, which more locally serves Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and nine tribal nations.
Each Monday throughout May, we’ll be posting a location challenge based in that area of the midwestern United States. If you live nearby, we encourage you to match these scene(s) as they exist today and submit them to State of the Environment on Flickr. Let us know which Documerica image you matched in your photo caption, as the best entries will be considered for a side by side display within the U.S. National Archives Exhibit: Searching for the Seventies: EPA’s Documerica Project that is planned for March – September of 2013 in Washington, DC.
Original caption: Union Station at Kansas City, Missouri. Because of the demise in passenger trains over the last 20 years only a portion of the terminal serves travelers. The remainder is used as a convention hall. In its heyday the station served more than 200 trains daily compared to six per day in 1974. Amtrak is working to upgrade passenger service and attract more riders. June, 1974 by Charles O’Rear.
Original caption: Amtrak train at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, being boarded by passengers bound for New York City. Only a portion of the station handles rail travelers; the remainder is used as a convention center. In its heyday the terminal served more than 200 passenger trains per day compared to six per day in 1974. The corporation is working to modernize rail passenger service and interest more people in that mode of travel. June, 1974 by Charles O’Rear.
Original caption: Local EPA worker on a field trip points out a dying fish at the inner city viaduct area joining Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO. June, 1973 Kenneth Paik (1940-2006).
Original caption: Aerial view of Kansas City, showing downtown area (background) and the “west side”, or Mulky Square area (foreground). Mulky Square is a neighborhood of low-income family swellings. The projected interstate 635 will go through it, and most buildings in the path have already been cleared. There is speculation that all these houses are to come down to redevelop the area as an exclusive high rise section. October, 1973 by Kenneth Paik (1940-2006).
These four images give a sense of the environment that was existing in the background of everyday life in the midwest in 1973 and 1974. What are the issues today? How has train travel, development, or water quality changed?
Telling today’s story is now up to you. Share photos of the everyday conditions and the environment for State of the Environment, or for a fun challenge, try to match one of these scenes or another that you find. Search the full Documerica collection to locate images closest to you.
When you follow that link above, you’ll come to a search page like this. Simply type in your town or state to see images of the past. Enjoy, have fun, and we can’t wait to see your contributions to this historic project!
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.