SEMO Construction in 1967

 

Southeast Missouri State College – now University – was yanking buildings out of the ground like crazy in 1967. I roamed the campus taking photos of the work that was taking place so we could show it in the February 25, 1967, Achievement Edition.

Kent Library Expansion

This was the beginning of the Kent Library expansion project. Dearmont Hall is on the left.

Soft spot for construction workers

I’ve always had a soft sport for construction workers, particularly crane operators, because of the hours I spent watching Dad operate a dragline. He could drop the bucket exactly where he wanted it, pull in a load of dirt or gravel, swing it over and dump it into truck without spilling a rock or banging the bed of the truck. The men working under him had absolute faith in his ability to hit his target, because a mistake could have killed them.

When I was about 10, Dad was setting a big tank for someone. He had the load locked down and suspended about five feet off the ground while a worker for his client was leveling the dirt below it. He stepped off the crane for a break, then sent me back to get his jug of iced tea. When I climbed up into the cab, the tank owner went berserk. “Kid, get DOWN off there. If you touch something, you could kill that man.!”

I froze until Dad hollered back, “If I thought he was going to touch anything, I wouldn’t have sent him.” Turning to me, he said, quietly, “Fetch me the jug, please.” I realized then how much confidence Dad had in me.

Built in the old Home of the Birds

One Missourian photo caption said, in part, that the 12-story structures on the new North Campus will serve hundreds of students when they are first opened in the summer. A service center has two high-rise dormitories  attached to the corners. Under contracts recently awarded, two more buildings, identical to the first, will be built on the remaining two corners of the service center, which will provide students food service and recreation areas.

By building the tall structures in the valley of what past generations called the Home of the Birds, the college was able to keep the height of the buildings at the level of existing buildings. That avoided a top-heavy effect.

2010 Aerial of dorm area

This photo is looking east toward the high-rise dorm area. Academic Hall, not visible, would be at the right.

Houck Stadium, Kent Library

This photo, taken November 6, 2010, shows Houck Stadium at the bottom. The large building at the top center of the picture is Kent Library. Dearmont Hall is on its right.

Photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Southeast Missouri State University 1966 Aerial Photos

Southeast Missouri State University – Kent Library

I love looking at Fred Lynch’s collection of Frony pictures, including the February 22 photo of Kent Library from the 1940s.¬† His f/8 and Be There blog makes my job easier.

  • They jog my memory about things I’ve shot.
  • He and Sharon Sanders do all the research I’m too lazy to do. Instead of doing a lot of writing, I can send you directly to the work they’ve done.

(I KNOW that it was called Southeast Missouri State College at the time these pictures were shot, but I’ll go with the current name to make it easier for folks who use search engines to find it these days.)

SEMO has several good maps to help you identify campus buildings

The photo above shows Kent Library in the upper left corner. Dearmont Hall is to its right. The Grauel Building is under construction at bottom right.

Academic Hall, Kent Library, College High School

This photo, from a slightly wider angle, picks up Academic Hall in the center, , then clockwise to College High School, the Grauel Building at the bottom, Dearmont Hall, Kent Library and the baseball field at Capaha Park at top left.

Houck Stadium and Field House, Academic Hall, Kent Library, Broadway & Pacific

This photo centers on Houck Stadium and Houck Field House, but includes the intersection of Broadway and Pacific at the bottom right. You can see Howard’s Sporting Goods, the Esquire Theater and Vandeven’s Merchantile.

Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

There’s a two-story building at the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway, across the street from Howard’s, that is no longer there. I can remember there was a tiny gap between it and the building to its west that was just large enough for a kid to walk through. Here’s what The Missourian had to say about it.

In the mid-1800s, Frank C. Krueger purchased property on the southwest corner of Harmony (now known as Broadway) and Pacific Street. It has been said the Krueger erected the building that once stood at the end of Cape Girardeau’s city limit during the 19th century. Broadway to the west of Pacific Street was a gravel road known as Jackson Road. Krueger opened up a general store on the east side of the building, and he established a saloon on the west side. It soon became known as the “Last Chance” saloon headed west out of Cape Girardeau and the “First Chance” as one entered town. The saloon provided the last chance to have a drink when leaving Cape Girardeau and first chance upon entering town. Krueger died in 1882, and the building saw several proprietors after that. In the 1920s, the east section — 901 Broadway — housed Miller & Foeste grocery for many years. In the 1940s, the Last Chance Tavern opened on the east side. Oscar Becker operated the Last Chance Pool Hall on the west side — 903 Broadway — for more than 45 years. In the later years of the building, it would house a restaurant and pizza business before returning to a tavern, called the “Second Chance.” In November 1994, the building was razed.

Three buildings north of the intersection, on the right-hand side of the street is a two-story brick building that was a bottling company. I wish I knew more about it. A good chunk of that area has been gobbled up by the university for parking.

BurritoVille replaces the Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

This is the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway on Oct. 28, 2009. The Last Chance – First Chance – Second Chance Saloon is gone, replaced by BurritoVille and some other businesses. I guess that may not be much of a loss. When Son Matt and his family visited Cape in 2008, he gave BurritoVille a rave review on my bike blog.

Northeast corner of Pacific and Broadway

The Esquire Theater is on the left and Howard’s / Craftsman Building / Vandeven’s Mercantile (depends on your era) is across the street.