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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

Grand Avenue: 1908

Grand Avenue: 1908

Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1908. "Grand Avenue north from Twelfth." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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Immortality via street signs

Unlike the Main Street photo from a couple of days ago, I recognize a few more of these names.

Beardsley has a street named after him; it runs along the bottom of the bluff, about 11 or 12 blocks west of this photo. Apparently we liked Van Brunt better, because he got a boulevard about 3 miles east of here.

The Emery, Bird, Thayer building that Michael R pointed out is on the corner of 11th and Grand - the east end of "Petticoat Lane". EBT's warehouse, one block west and four blocks south, still stands, and even has an EBT sign painted on it, although it is now loft apartments.

There was (until very recently) an American Restaurant in town, but I'm not sure if it was related to the one seen here. The modern one was in the Crown Center development, which dates to the 1970s, down around 25th and Grand.

Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City

As the song goes ... except that street banner in the background didn't have a very long shelf life. Henry Beardsley was the GOP Mayor and running for reelection at the time of the photo, but lost to Thomas Crittenden, part of the legendary Pendergast Democratic party machine that later managed to carry a favorite son named Harry into position for the Presidency.

Emery, Bird, Thayer Department Store

The big hulking 5-story building on the left-hand side of the street at the first corner (11th Street) is the old Emery, Bird, Thayer Department Store, built in 1889-1890 and demolished in the early 1970s. This building was designed by the architecture firm of Van Brunt and Howe, which did a lot of work in the Kansas City area after Henry Van Brunt relocated from Boston. You can just make out the words "Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods Co.," in deep foreshortening, running above the first floor arches along Grand.

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