This year is the Centennial for our building in the River Market. We’ve been here for 1/12th of its history, and we hope to have quite a few more. Our office is in the heart of the heart of Kansas City. We’re right next door to the wonderful City Market entrance at 5th and Walnut.
Our building was originally built for the Harnden Seed Company. Not much information is available about the company itself, but their catalogs of varying types of seed are still available online. Harnden Seed Company sent their first mail order catalog in 1886 and operated through the 1920’s. The building is now owned by Planters Seed Company.
As I’m out and about doing my daily work, people always ask where Umbrella is located. When I tell them right next to the City Market sign or around the corner from Harry’s everyone’s eyes light up with recognition and sometimes envy.
Walking to the office from the myriad of parking locations gives a sense of time and place.
This is the oldest continuous commercial location in Kansas City and has a unique history with unique characters. From the original fur trappers selling their wares, a new Frontier town, mobsters straight out a movie, to the 21st century streetcar riders, we all enjoy our little slice of KC.
We’re proud to call KC home and even more proud to be part of River Market. Or the Quay, or Westport Landing, or City Market. Umbrella is a steward of this great location and we take great pride calling it home. As a company we are looking to be here for another 100 years in the River Market.
General Facts about the River Market area:
- Built 1917
- National Historic Register since 1963
- Originally, Main, Delaware and Grand streets were natural ravines between towering bluffs immediately south of the river. 1850-1860 bluffs were significantly graded changing topography as the commercial center of KC
- River Market existed since 1857 as we now know it. Original commercial use from 1839
- Original owners of building were Harnden Seed Company (Midwest Seed Company)