A piece of history has come back to Kansas City,
but this time its in the Northland.
Longtime residents of Kansas City will step back
in time this holiday season when they visit the
Zona Rosa Shopping Center at the interchange of
I-29 and Barry Road.
Replica crowns, such as those that adorned the
downtown intersections of Kansas City from the
late 1950s to early-mid 70s, now adorn
the streets of Zona Rosa.
According to Rosemary Salerno, Zona Rosa general
manager, the crowns were originally designed for
the downtown area, and were strung over various
intersections in downtown for two decades.
Manneco, a decor company of Independence who
originally designed the crowns, helped recreate
the crowns that visitors to Zona Rosa will see
over the next month.
Salerno explained that the story of the crowns
includes a neat aspect to their resurrection.
A friend of Salernos is the son of the man
who designed the original crowns that hung in
downtown Kansas City.
After months of research, Salerno learned of
the connection and gave her friend a call. Salerno
said the son, Hoot Mann, agreed to design the
new crowns for Zona Rosa. Mann used the original
sketches, designs, and photographs of his fathers
work on the original crowns to fabricate the new
Mann, along with Holiday by Sardi Design in Baltimore
and a fabricator from California, helped bring
the new crowns to reality for the Zona Rosa staff.
While the current crowns are based off the original
design from several years ago, Salerno stated
there is one main difference. The crowns from
the 50s were made of steel and double the
weight of the current aluminum versions.
The two main crowns in Zona Rosa are suspended
at the Childrens Park and at the intersection
by Express and Forever 21. The crowns are 17'
wide at the top and 12' wide at the bottom and
weigh 2,000 pounds. The third crown sits on the
tree and is 14' wide at the top and 7' wide at
According to Salerno, the management of Zona
Rosa found out about the crowns last year around
Christmas time during a tour with county and city
She stated the development director was asked
by a city or county official what they would be
doing for the holidays. The director informed
them that there would be lights and a tree and
it would be nice if somehow they could tie it
into Kansas City. Thats when a person on
the tour made the comment regarding how Kansas
City used to have these crowns.
"Our company felt like they would be a great
fit, explained Salerno. Our original
intent was to purchase the original ones and resurrect
Salerno stated the companys goal is to
install several each year at different intersections
throughout the center.
"We have a lot of people reliving old memories
they have, said Salerno. A lady commented
how she remembers her parents bringing her downtown
to see the crowns and now she can do the same
thing with her children.