A hotly debated issue silenced by the tornado of 2011, the restoration of Joplin’s Union Depot has quietly started to filter back into the conversation of the city’s future. While the previous discussion was focused on turning the depot into a new home for the Joplin Museum Complex, an idea that the governing boards of the JMC were reluctantly being dragged toward accepting, the new round of talks has removed the JMC from the equation. SPARK is the word now, “Stimulating Progress through Arts, Recreation and Knowledge of the Past,” which is part of the current plan by the city and Wallace Bajjali Development Partners to turn north downtown Joplin into a center for arts and recreation.
As recent articles in the Globe have stated, the new plan for the Union Depot is to renovate it as a home for restaurants, not for the museum. In the current budget of the Master Plan, the city voted in late December, 2012, for the creation of a TIF district which would pay for some of the redevelopment projects, to set aside “$68 million for a performing and visual arts center and Union Depot restoration…” If you were wondering about the JMC, in the same process, money was planned to build a completely new museum home which would be somewhere in the vicinity of north Main Street.
Here at Historic Joplin, while we championed the move of the JMC to the depot, we are just as satisfied with this new idea so long as its implemented and one of Joplin’s most valuable architectural jewels is preserved for future generations.
To learn more about the Union Depot, read our five part history of the depot here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.
The architectural drawing of the Depot.
Brown, January 20th 2013 |
In Joplin’s early history, at any one time there were at least two city newspapers, if not more, fighting for the attention of Joplin’s residents. Crucial to this battle for attention spans, were the foot soldiers of the papers, the newsboys. We have previously covered Joplin’s oldest newsboy, and today we bring you three photographs of newboys who belonged to the Joplin News Herald at the turn of the century. The three boys photographed below were the top three winners in a contest to sell the most newspapers in a two week period. The winner was ten year old Allen Harris, who lived at 411 Pennsylvannia Ave and was described as “the happiest boy in Joplin.” Reportedly, there was no ill will against Harris, who was the youngest contestant, and had loss two fingers to a dynamite cap explosion the previous fall. Harris sold 580 papers to win. Second place went to ‘newsie’ Shiloh Patton, who sold 579 papers, and third place went to Harry Bacon, who sold 561. For his victory, Harris won a brand new watch and his photo in the paper.
Allen Harrison, the winner of the contest.
2nd place winner, Shiloh Patton.
Third place winner, Harry Bacon.
Brown, January 7th 2013 |
Today’s update to the Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea series is the Junge Baking Company Cracker Factory building. The Junge Baking Company was once one of Joplin’s jewels of industry and it comes to no surprise to find that one of Joplin’s premier architectural firms was hired to help expand the factory. Built at a cost of approximately $16,000 in 1904, or the equivalent of near $372,074 in today’s dollars, it was part of a 1904 expansion by the Junge family to increase their capacity and to capitalize on their success. While not every building legacy of the Junge Baking Company remains, the Cracker Factory survives as the current home of the Sebastian Equipment Company at 18th and Main Street.
The cracker factory not long after its construction.
The factory building survives today in the 1800 block of south Main Street.
Brown, January 5th 2013 |