Workhouse Castle in Kansas City: What's next?

Posted at 4:43 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 17:43:24-04

It seems to be from the middle ages. The towers catch your eye when driving through the 18th and Vine District.

One may think the limestone structure once housed royalty instead of wrongdoers. The building was constructed back in 1897 and was used as a city jail for people who committed petty offenses to work off their debt. The jail closed in 1924 and, after being used for various thing, was abounded in 1972.

Outside of the Workhouse.


Today, although tarnished and littered, the 119-year-old building still possesses a sense of majesty - attracting people to come take a look.

“It’s gorgeous,” Caitlin Morloc said. “I was just Googling places to go. Today is my birthday, so we were trying to find place to come for my birthday. We’ve never been and it was really cool to see inside.”

Trash and graffiti cover the inside of the Workhouse Castle.

Caitlin and Jacob Morloc have lived in Kansas City all of their lives and took their first visit on Monday. 

“I’m sure it’s on the Historic Register Society so it’s not going to go down, but you hate to just see it fall in on itself. Hopefully at some point you can get a group and put a little money into it and make it some sort of event place or, you know, tours.”

The Workhouse was listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places on Nov. 29, 2007. 

In 2014, an engaged couple took on the task of restoring the Workhouse Castle with the permission of the property owner. According to the website, the plan was to clean up Workhouse Castle for their wedding and eventually make it into a community center. 

Where does it stand now? 

41 Actions News will update this story when new information emerges.