There is a whole ensemble of public works buildings surrounding the old Vine Street Workhouse, including this firehouse, above.
Across the street were the original Water and Streets buildings for Kansas City. They now sit empty.
Interestingly, there is new development in the area; down the street from the workhouse are these new apartments, and across the railroad tracks is another group of new buildings.
It seems the city is using the workhouse as a focal point for new development, which is a great idea. Using old landmarks to instill a sense of place in a new redeveloped neighborhood is critical for competing against the suburbs, which often, but not always, do not have such evocative structures to build communities around.