The Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: The Grome Building on Main Street Joplin

Grome Building in Joplin Missouri

Grome Building sometime before 1913.

The Grome Building was constructed in 1901 at a cost of $24,000 (more than $548,436.36 in 2011 dollars) for Edward Zelleken, one of Joplin’s wealthiest German immigrants. The building at 506 S. Main Street was home to the Ben F. Wurzel Clothing Company and medical and dental offices. Notably, the offices of Garstang & Rea were located in the Grome Building home until their move to California. In later years, the building was home to Ralph L. Kassab’s business. At some point in the second half of the twentieth century, the beautiful facade was replaced with the current exterior. Nonetheless, the Grome Building still stands, one of the century old residents of Joplin’s historic Main Street.

Grome Building in Joplin Missouri Today

Grome Building as of July, 2010.


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5 Responses to “The Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: The Grome Building on Main Street Joplin”


  • Comment from Crystal

    If the July 2010 facing was to be taken off would it reveal the original 1901 look?

  • Comment from Brown

    It would likely reveal the windows and perhaps some of the of masonry. Though, very likely, much of the beautiful stonework is gone. We’d be very happy to be told otherwise, though!

  • Comment from jdb

    I think you might be surprised what you find beneath the false fronts on some downtown Joplin buildings. The Joplin Globe building for instance is actually four separate buildings that have an exterior wrap on them to make it look like one big contiguous building. But, when I worked there several years ago, on the floors above the top floor on the side facing 4th Street, where there are three building fronts, you can look out those upstairs windows and see the original ornamentation from the original facades still intact, though covered by an ugly grating. I believe the first floor was striped back during the 1960s/70s exterior makeover, but the second and third story exteriors of those three fronts are still intact, maybe just waiting for the day for the right person to come along and restore the exterior to an appropriate historic look.

  • Comment from Brown

    Hi JDB, thank you for the good news about the consolidated buildings that make up the home of the Globe. We hope that this is the case for the majority of the historic buildings in Joplin.

  • [...] Like many buildings along Joplin’s Main Street, it was home to several different businesses including the Miner’s Hardware Company, the Bullard-Bell Company, and the Roosevelt Hotel. By the 1970s, only the first floor was in use as an antiques shop. When the building was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, it was noted that little, if any, alterations had marred Rains Brothers Building original design over the years, unlike many other buildings. [...]


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