This is another entry in the site’s Then and Now series, and one of many that will feature a location in Downtown KC.
Today’s featured location is probably familiar to many, as it is located right across from the Sprint Center at 1200 Grand Boulevard. The two story building was built in 1925 and named for its owner, Frederick Bonfils, a Missouri native who published the Denver Post, and then Kansas City Post from 1905 to 1922.
The building housed commercial tenants on its ground floor for many years. For a time, it also had a pool hall in the basement, which was destroyed by a water main break. One long time tenant was the Wonderland Arcade, which can be seen in the top picture taken in 1950. The arcade was located in the building from the mid-40s through sometime in the early 1980s. It definitely closed before 1983, as the nomination form for the National Register shows the building was for lease.
The building was renovated after the arcade closed. It has also likely been renovated since 2005, as the printing business that was the primary occupant then is now gone. The building remains in good condition today and houses the offices for the NAIA, an athletic association for many small colleges.
- Source for the 1950 photo
- National Register nomination form (lots of info about Bonfils’ life)
- Album of the Wonderland Arcade in 1968
- KCMeesha blog post featuring many photos of the arcade in the 40s.
- Fan site featuring more articles, pictures of the arcade