Artificial city

The interesting man-made cave known as SubTropolis is a goldmine for business | CJ Combes

SubTropolis.Americasroof at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What is SubTropolis?

There are plenty of interesting places to visit in Missouri if you take the time to check them all out. If anything, the SubTropolis is an interesting topic.

SubTropolis is huge. Located in the bluffs above the Missouri River, it is a man-made cave spanning 1,100 acres or 55 million square feet. SubTropolis would be the largest underground storage facility.

What is SubTropolis? SubTropolis was created through the exploitation of a 270 million year old limestone deposit. In the mining process, the limestone is removed by the room and pillar method, leaving 25 foot square pillars that are on 65 foot centers and 40 feet apart. (Source.)

SubTropolis Developer

With his trademark phrase, The largest underground shopping complex in the world®, SubTropolis through Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, Inc. was developed by the late Lamar Hunt, former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sub-Tropolisa vast underground industrial park, is one of those places you might not go to visit, but it is an interesting subject to read.

One of the coolest things about SubTropolis, however, is that it’s open to the public. Anyone can enter through one entrance to the mine and exit through another. That being said, it is unclear how the exhaust gases are vented from the facility. We assume, however, that the site has a ventilation system. (Source.)

During the 1960s, Ford used SubTropolis to store their vehicles. Other tenants in 1964 included Russell Stover and Pillsbury. Previously, in the 1940s, it was a mining process on a 270 million year old limestone deposit called Bethany Falls. The deposits were recycled in the city, including the pavement.

Some SubTropolis facilities are open to the public.

While in SubTropolis, pass bird botanicals, a colorful flower garden filled with exotic orchids open to the public on Tuesdays. (Source.)

The 40th anniversary of the Groundhog Race originally scheduled for January 30, 2022, has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2022. The race benefits children with disabilities who receive services at Ability KC. Athletes can participate in 5K, 10K and “Tunnel-to-tunnel experiences” at a constant temperature of 65-68 degrees along the cobbled underground streets inside the SubTropolis. Click here to register.

Take the opportunity to celebrate with us and be part of history. In honor of our 40th anniversary, Gus is taking us back to the 80s! Dig up your favorite 80s outfit and run/walk to some groovy music. We offer fun and creative activities. Stay tuned for more details. (Source.)

Why keep anything underground?

There are several important reasons for underground storage. One is temperature control. You don’t have temperature or humidity changes like you do above ground, so underground storage has no condensation and is also more energy efficient for tenants who use the facility for the storage.

There are wide streets paved with completely dry storage spaces which are brilliantly lit. Everything underground is protected from the weather elements, especially tornadoes.

SubTropolis is also a business complex where some companies actually do business. With all the awesome details, this would be a unique place to go and drive for a meeting.

SubTropolis tenants also save an average of 30-50% on rent compared to above-ground facilities due to the cheap cost to develop underground space. (Source.)

Interior of SubTropolis.Photo by: ErgoSum88, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The government locations listed below use the facility for storage:

  • The United States Postal Service
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • The United States National Archives and Records Administration

SubTropolis is also close to other projects developed by Hunt – the Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun amusement parks.

The video below provides an overview of the limestone structure as well as some of the stored elements. It’s not just an interesting installation. He claims to have gone green long before green became popular.

Thanks for the reading.