John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation
Belger Arts Center
Press Release
Pratt & Whitney Under Construction in 1943 - Cydney Millstein and photographer Richard Welnowski - Kansas City Gallery
Pratt & Whitney under construction in 1943.
Image courtesy of Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., Detroit.

Test Cells - Richard Welnowski - Belger Arts Center - Kansa City
Test Cells, July 2011.
Photograph by Richard Welnowski
Click images for detailed view.


Belger Arts Center Announces New Exhibit
January 5, 2014

In February 2014 the Belger Arts Center will join forces with architectural historian Cydney Millstein, and photographer Richard Welnowski for a very special look at Kansas City from World War II and after. Velocity of Change: The Evolution of Albert Kahn's Pratt & Whitney Plant in Kansas City, documents the progression of a complex that includes a 3,000,000 square foot manufacturing plant originally built in 1943 in less than nine months. The aircraft engine plant was made possible by Kahn's "Warspeed" concept using concrete arches. The Pratt & Whitney complex was specifically planned to assist in U.S. wartime efforts, designing and testing air-cooled Double Wasp airplane engines. At the height of its activity the Pratt & Whitney plant employed 21,000 workers.

Welnowski's contemporary photographs of the plant will be paired with historical images. The contemporary, large format photographs, along with the history of the plant, were prepared for the Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Millstein's firm, Architectural & Historical Research, LLC, was hired, beginning in 2009, to research and document the site per federal stipulations.

This exhibition opens on First Friday, February 7, 2014 with an opening reception from 6-9pm, and runs through May 3, 2014.

Selected Articles:

4/18/2014: Of airplanes and architects: The story of Albert Kahn's Pratt & Whitney plant by Elisabeth Kirsch, The Kansas City Star.

4/08/2014: At the Belger, a look at the architectures of victory and decay by Tracy Abeln, The Pitch.

Since March of 2000 the Belger Arts Center in the Crossroads Arts District has mounted over 60 exhibitions and hosted more than 70,000 visitors. While the Belger Collection features American artists active since 1960 (such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Renee Stout and many others), the Belger Arts Center has also shown works by artists from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Mexico, Israel, South Korea, Wales, and at least nine African countries.

The Belger Arts Center operates on the third floor of the Belger Building at 2100 Walnut Street. Admission is free. The gallery hours are Wednesday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm; Saturdays from noon - 4 pm; and First Fridays from 10 am - 9 pm. For more information, please email; visit; or call 816-474-3250 and ask for Gallery Coordinator Mo Dickens.


  The Belger Arts Center - 2100 Walnut, 3rd Floor - Kansas City, MO 64108 - Office: (816) 474-3250  
  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
Open Wed-Thur-Fridays 10am-4pm & Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment. Open "First Fridays" of each month until 9pm.
Exhibition is always free and open to the public. Please call to schedule tours for groups 10 or more.

 © 2004-2009 Belger Foundation : Website donated Nathan Sharfi 2004. Updated by: Staff 2005,06, Vetter 2007, Sharfi 2004-05,08,09.