TWA Administrative Offices Building

11500 Ambassador Dr., Kansas City, Missouri

A four-story building, executed in the Modern Movement Miesian style



The TWA Administrative Offices Building is a low four-story horizontal glass and marble box that rises 60 feet above grade. Each of the exterior elevations is identical in treatment and dominated by the visualIy contrasting curtain wall composed of dark giass set in black aluminum frames and white marble spandrels that clad the steel structure. The resulting grid is seven bays wide on the north and south elevations and eleven bays wide on the east and west elevations; each bay is 36 feet wide. Thirty-six-foot square modules form the building's welded steel frame and the building has a rectangular footprint measuring 252 feet by 396 feet. Each wail section contains six large giass panels that are 10 feet 3 inches tall; the two outermost panels of each section are 4 feet 7 inches wide and the inner panels are 6 feet wide.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in May 2014



Street View 


"The TWA Administrative Offices Building, erected in 1968-1971, is located at 11 500 Ambassador Drive, gust east of Interstate 29 and sixteen miles north of downtown Kansas City. The building and its surrounding open lawn and original driveways and parking areas occupy a 30-acre site across Interstate 29 from Kansas City International Airport. The building is highly visible from Interstate 29, standing alone on a slight knoll. The property includes the main TWA Administrative Offices Building, the architect-designed site, the original emergency generator building, and the massive air-cooling tower as contributing resources.

"The TWA Administrative Offices Building is a four-story building executed in the Modern Movement Miesian style The building conveys an overall horizontal effect underscored by the dramatically contrasting black and white grid of the exterior walls, which are eleven bays wide on the east and west elevations and seven bays wide on the north and south elevations. The welded steel frame of the building is organized into 36-foot square units that form a rectangular footprint measuring 252 feet by 396 feet that comprises 500,000 square feet of space. Bands of tinted grey-black glass separated by thin black aluminum muntins and panels of white marble form a curtain wall that conceals the structural members. Each elevation is identical in wall treatment and the building lacks any additional architectural ornament or adornment. A low, horizontal dark metal entrance canopy in front of the entrance door system is the only visual cue from the exterior of the building denoting the location of the primary fašade. The separation of the canopy from the building and the lack of a dominant entrance on the primary fašade underscore the visual impact of the geometric wall grid."

~National Register of Historic Places Registration Form

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 6, 2007
Reference number
Architectural styles
Modern Movement; Other architectural type; Miesian
Areas of significance
Commerce; Transportation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 2
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • May 10, 2017: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • May 28, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Photos and Added Description