KC Skyscraper

In Kansas City, go north on Baltimore at 13th Street. See that red brick building at the end of Baltimore at 9th Street? That is Kansas City's first Skyscraper; 10 stories! It was built in 1890 by The New York Life Insurance Company. Not surprisingly, Kansas Citians call it the New York Life Building.

Now, as you approach its' 9th Street entrance, please notice the large sculpture of an eagle out front. Its right in the center, above the 3rd floor. Very impressive. It is a sculpture crafted by Louis Saint-Gaudens.

However, Saint-Gaudens' brother, Augustus, is the more famous of the two artistic brothers. (Their mom is so proud.) At the request of President Theodore Roosevelt, AS-G designed many of America's gold coins. Arguably the rarest coin in the world (only one made) was designed by AS-G. It is the 1907 Indian Head Double Eagle ($20.00 Gold). How in the world, and why, was only one coin struck? As the final 2 designs for the new $20.00 gold piece were being considered, two coins were struck for comparison sake. One coin showed Lady Liberty. It was ultimately chosen, so more coins were made (check your change, it has an eagle on the back). The other design, The Indian Head, was rejected and no more coins were required.

That one coin, now valued at 8 figures, belongs to a private collector and could, no doubt, finance multiple 1890 New York Life skyscrapers.