The Number of Joplin’s Historic Buildings Decreased By One: Rains Building Lost to Fire.

The Rains Building circa 1902.

The next time you cruise down Joplin’s Main Street, you may notice that yet another of the city’s historic buildings has been lost. The Rains Building, located at 906-908 South Main Street, burned on Thursday night. The building, attributed to one of Joplin’s most prominent and prolific architects, August C. Michaelis, is a tragic loss.

Built in the Renaissance Revival style at the turn-of-the century for brothers Charles and George Rains, it brought an understated architectural elegance to the block.

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.

Rains Brothers Building Image via, Rains Building circa summer 2010.

Here is a link to the Joplin Globe‘s coverage of the fire and here is a link to the National Register of Historic Places, a source for more detailed information on the building.

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.