Joplin Museum Complex Boards to Sit On Question of Union Depot

We mentioned earlier today that City Manager, Mark Rohr, was to give a presentation to the boards that oversee the Joplin Museum Complex on moving from Schifferdecker Park to a restored Union Depot building. Thanks to Morgan Schutters, of KODE tv, we now know how the meeting unfolded.

In the presentation, Mr. Rohr estimated the budget for the restoration of the building and associated costs would be around 7.7 million dollars. Of that 7.7 million dollars, no new taxes would be required (unlike the Joplin Museum Complex’s failed attempt to take over Memorial Hall) and it would be funded entirely by existing sources. Much of this would be done using currently available tax credits. Even more importantly, after the planned restoration of the Depot, the building would qualify as a Smithsonian approved museum. We belief, but have not yet confirmed, that this is related to the Smithsonian Affiliation program – in which museum affiliates are eligible to host Smithsonian exhibits and collections. To do that, the Smithsonian requires the museum to be:

“…a viable institution, capable of caring for, protecting, and exhibiting collections in a manner consistent with the standards set by the American Association of Museums, and meeting specific requirements for long-term care and maintenance of Smithsonian collections, as set forth in the Smithsonian’s Collections Management Policy.”

(This status, one would presume, should ease the fears raised by Museum Director Brad Belk last year on the ability to safeguard the JMC’s collections (currently collecting dust and cat hair in the current location).)

Quoted in the report, board member Angie Besendorfer, implied that “a lot of questions” still need to be answered before the boards could make a decision. Likewise, the board told Mr. Rohr that it would need more time to think about the issue.

Should the boards decide to agree to the plan to move the museum into a renovated Depot building, we will be wonderfully and happily surprised. However, we fear that the board members made their minds up quite some time ago. If they haven’t, we urge all those who want to continue to see Joplin move forward on the rise, to once again believe that better days are still ahead, to speak up and out. If you know a board member, tell them you support the move to the Depot. It is an urgent issue which has been delayed for too long, and as Mr. Rohr noted in the meeting, time is running out on the means to make it happen without extra cost to the city and her residents.

Joplin Union Depot Franchise

Earlier this week, we brought you the heated debate that surrounded the passage of the Union Depot franchise, also known as the Scullin franchise.   For those of you who’d like to see the elephant, rather than hear about its parts, we now provide you scans of the original franchise.   Click on the images to be taken to a flickr page where you can read them far more comfortably! [Then click "back" on your browser to return here.]  Thank you to those who helped us in getting a copy!

Page 1

Page Two

Page 3 - contains the perpetuity clause, the 2 year construction clause, and the controversial facilities clause.

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6 - concerns the demand that the Depot company help with 1/3 the cost of constructing viaducts

Page 7 - Note Mayor Jesse Osborne's signature

Source: City of Joplin City Archives

City Celebrates Newman Building’s 100th

Last week the Joplin Globe ran a story on the 100th birthday of the Newman Building, present home to the Joplin city government.  This week, on November 16th (Tuesday), the city will be hosting a celebration of the event starting at 11 am.  The news release offered the following activities:

“Some people may have various pieces in their closets that can work for an outfit – with a little creative thinking and design. If nothing else – scarves with pendants were a big hit during that time – as were HATS!! So if wanting to participate these options might be a little easier and not too hard to find the items.

In addition, vintage cars will line 6th street for viewing and will make a nice backdrop if you would like to get a photo taken by a downtown photographer. These pictures could make a nice holiday gift for friends and family. The cars will be here from approximately 10 a.m. to 12 noon or so. The Newman Building is located at 602 South Main.”

Here’s to another 100!

Renovated Union Depot Proposed Home For Museum

At last night’s City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Rohr proposed that the Union Depot be renovated to be used as a new home for the Joplin Museum Complex. As covered by the Joplin Globe, Rohr believes that existing sources of funding exist and as a result, no new taxes would be required for the project.

Joplin Union Depot

The Joplin Union Depot not long after it was opened. A great future home for the Joplin Museum Complex.

We, here at Historic Joplin, strongly support this proposal.  We hope that it becomes reality and that someday in the near future, we can walk in and enjoy a beautifully restored depot.  Even though the Carnegie Library appears not to have been part of the new plan, we hope it too has a bright future.

Joplin Carnegie Library

The Joplin Carnegie Library as it appears in 2010.

The Museum Issue May Rise Again

On Saturday, July 3, the Joplin Globe spoke with City Manager, Mark Rohr, about an announcement he will give on Tuesday, July 6.  Rohr was responsible for the planning behind the revitalization of the Sunshine Lamp district in 2005.  It was implied in the article that remaining elements of the 2005 plan may be addressed, those being the restoration and use of the neglected Union Depot, the currently privately owned Carnegie Library, and the Rains building.  It was in that plan that the Museum Complex was to theoretically be moved to the depot.

Historic Joplin supported this solution to the museum problem back in April and certainly continue to support it.  The depot is one of the city’s last remaining architectural beauties and there need not be any further Connor travesties by allowing it to fall to pieces or purposely tear it down.

For a two part history of Joplin’s Carnegie Library, click here and here.