Curator Jessica can’t pass a sign that says “Historical” or any building older than me. One of those side-trips took us into downtown Princeton, Kentucky, where we looked at the monolithic Caldwell County Courthouse. Even I could recognize some of the Art Deco features.
I didn’t think the South was fond of Lincoln
One of the interesting touches was that over the entrance on each side was inscribed the compass direction: North, South, etc. Four visages peered out of the east and west walls.
I was surprised to see one of them was Abe Lincoln. I wouldn’t have expected him to be too popular on a Southern courthouse. Maybe his Kentucky roots made them cut him some slack.
Confederate soldier stands guard
A memorial to Confederate soldiers stands facing south. His back is to Lincoln, who is on the northeast wall.
Father of the country
George Washington is on the northwest wall.
Who is this?
This fellow is stuck looking to the west from the southwest wall. Neither Jessica nor I had a clue who he is.
Another mystery figure
This man was on the southeast wall. The dark area under his nose isn’t a shadow. I don’t know if it was mold or if someone had disfigured the image. It was high up on the wall, so I doubt the latter was the case.
Jessica stopped a woman coming out of the courthouse to see if she could be of any help, but she admitted that she had never noticed the figures. It’s a possibility they were local important people.
This is a reminder that I’ll be at Annie Laurie’s on Broadway on First Friday, November 1, from about 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stop by, take a look at my 2013-2014 Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendars and Smelterville books and give a Southeast Missouri welcome to Jessica who has trouble believing my stories about the region. Laurie says there will be cookies and hot apple cider on hand.
The two buildings at 221 Independence haven’t changed much over the years. I thought they were where Firestone was located and where Dad worked years and years ago, but Mother said I was wrong about that.
Here’s what the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Main-Spanish Commercial Historic District has to say about the property:
221 Independence – These twin Streamline Moderne buildings were built for Jessie Millikan to house the Millikan Motor Co. The eastern building was constructed in 1941 as a showroom and included several garage bays and a paint bay to service the automobiles. The Streamline Moderne style is characterized by the horizontality of the facade which is emphasized by the use of rounded corners, smooth wall surfaces, glass blocks and flat roofs.
West building added in 1950s
To accommodate the growing needs of the company, a twin building with rounded corners, smooth wall surfaces, and glass blocks was constructed to the west in the early 1950s prior to 1955. A driveway runs between the two buildings. In 1996 a residence was added to the rear of the east building and connects to the location of the original paint bay. The addition is not visible from the street.
Little built during ’30s and ’40s
The Haarig Commercial Historical District National Register mentioned the buildings:
Due to the economic constraints of the Great Depression and America’s involvement in World War II, little construction took place in downtown Cape Girardeau during the 1930s and 1940s. The popular Art Deco and Art Moderne styles of this period are limited in the city. A few notable examples include the one-story commercial building at 221 Independence Street. This building was constructed ca. 1935 and reflects the Art Moderne style with a curved corner and structural glass blocks.