The Keystone Hotel – Before and After

As you drive north up Main Street and come toward the intersection of 4th and Main Street, you may find yourself blinking from the sun in your eyes.  The sun is there because the tall and towered Keystone Hotel is not.  Below is a photograph of the Keystone (which was built prior to the turn of the century – HJ will be writing up a post on the hotel later) from before 1913.

Keystone Hotel circa 1913

The Keystone Hotel at the busy intersection of 4th and Main Street

And here is today’s occupant of the same bit of earth.  We suppose it’s a step up from simply being a parking lot.

SE corner of 4th and Main Street

The new occupant of the southeast corner at 4th and Main Street

The Keystone Hotel was demolished in the late 1960’s under the “progressive” wave of urban renewal.  Joplin has lost too many of its historic buildings to allow anymore to follow a similar path.


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2 Responses to “The Keystone Hotel – Before and After”


  • Comment from Deb Rowe

    I am bereft of words which can express my sadness when comparing/contrasting these photographs. I am just old enough to remember walking around the corner where the Keystone was located. Funny how various aromas of Main Street are also part of my memories…In this case, I recall how when I would walk past this corner I could often smell pipe tobacco and cigars…Maybe just because someone had opened a door as I was passing. I also remember something about the exterior of the Keystone was green…Odd memory I know…but I’m thinking the doors were green and perhaps some awnings…Again, these are just memories of a four-yr.old or so. I also remember the wave of “urban renewal” in the 60s and how many people in the community thought it was unnecessary, expensive and trendy…Oh, how I wish their voices would have been heard. How can any child today walking around the corner at 4th and Main (as pictured in the second photo) have any significant memory of Joplin and the craftsmanship it once revered? I am so thankful for the citizens of Joplin who appreciate and preserve its history. My best wishes to those who put their shoulder to the wheel in keeping the past alive for children raised in Joplin today.

  • Comment from Brown

    Thank you for the wonderful reminiscence.


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