Kansas City has always been a cowtown, starting with our history as being one of the world’s largest stockyards and continuing through today, as the city has a number of landmark cows. Here are six favorites from around town.
KC was one of the first cities to participate in this international public arts project. Local artists, including designer Kate Spade, brought unique touches to the local cows. When the parade moved on to Tokyo and Buenos Aires, some cows stayed, including a Chiefs-themed cow in Brookside and another at the Plaza Library.
The Hereford Bull
In the middle of an otherwise ordinary park, a bull named Bob gazes out at Kansas City—ninety feet in the air. Bob, which stands for “Bull on Building,” first made his appearance in 1954 outside the American Hereford Association’s former headquarters. Now, Bob sits on a pedestal above Mulkey Square Park. Bob weighs two tons and is over eleven feet tall. He is made out of fiberglass and polyester resin over a steel frame.
Jess and Jim’s Mooing Cow
Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse in Martin City is known for its meat—both on the plate and on the roof. Since 1981, a large cow has decorated the top of the restaurant. You can hear the cow moo by pushing a red button on the restaurant’s patio.
Kamadhenu, the Wish-Granting Cow
For a cow with a lot of history, go see Kamadhenu, a centuries-old sculpture on display at the Nelson-Atkins. Kamadhenu is the wish-granting cow of ancient and medieval India. The sculpture is hollow and “it appears that the cow was intended to literally offer milk,” according to the museum’s description.
The Dairy Barn at Deanna Rose
Looking for a cow a bit more, well, alive? Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead hosts a cow milking demonstration twice a day at its Dairy Barn. Visitors can also practice their own milking skills on a pretend training cow or by using a series of buckets filled with water with rubber nipples attached to them.
Jack Stack Bull
One local bull that gets a lot of love is outside Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue on the Plaza. When Jack Fiorella branched off from his father’s barbecue business and started his own venture, he implemented bull statues outside his restaurants. The bull on the Plaza is one of the original bulls, and its nose is gold from being rubbed so often by passers-by.