I didn’t make it to the fancy opening of the 2014 Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on April 6, but I did notice some strange figures lurking along Broadway on a recent drive. Monday night had a light rain falling, so I decided to cruise down Broadway to see if the nice glistening streets would give a different look to the seven sculptures placed along the street.
This one was located on the north side of Broadway, in front of KZIM radio and across the street from The Missourian. It took quite awhile for the right car to come down the street to make the work shine. I parked my car in the driveway of the old Federal Building so my headlights brighten up the front of the radio studio. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Between Sprigg and Frederick
I didn’t take notes, but this feels like the south side of the street between Frederick and Sprigg looking west.
Between Fountain and Middle
This piece is in front of the Sun & Tan Tanning Salon between Middle and Fountain. I parked my van in what would have been the old Rialto Theater alley and let my headlights illuminate this one.
In front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques
This spooky guy is in front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques and across from Shivelbine’s Music just east of Frederick.
Missed three of the seven
Cruising in the dark and rain, I missed seeing three of the seven. The Missourian listed the following locations for them:
- The north side of Broadway between Fountain and Lorimier streets
- The south side of Broadway between Lorimier and Spanish streets
- The north side of Broadway at the Pacific Street intersection
- The south side of Broadway between Sprigg and Frederick streets
- The south side of Broadway between Middle and Fountain streets
- The north side of Broadway at the Frederick Street intersection
- The south side of Broadway at the Vasterling Suites courtyard
Is it art?
The Missourian’s comment section was full of people grousing about the sculptures. Some questioned if they were art or junk.
I’ll leave that for the experts. I remember one of my photo profs at Ohio University looking at some pictures a student turned in. “These have to be art,” he said, “’cause if they ain’t art, then they’re pornography, and pornography is against the law.”
The Broadway construction project is moving right along. It’s in the 500 and 600 blocks now. Here’s a view looking east.
Bricks and cobbles
I haven’t been lucky enough to have been around when the construction workers have unearthed the old trolley tracks, but I CAN see the bricks and cobblestones that made up the original street.
Looking west down Broadway
The three-story brick building on the left had been a coffee house, but Niece Laurie Everett of Annie Laurie’s Antiques, diagonally across the street, said it is closed now. The old Star service station used to be on the right.
Just beyond the coffee house was my old hangout, Nowell’s Camera Shop. The original cabinets are still visible through the windows. My elbow prints are probably still on some of them from the days when I drooled over new toys.
Old Broadway stories
Here’s a piece that has links to all of the Broadway stories I could remember writing.
Brother Mark took photos of the construction in the 200 block of Broadway.
Missourian Librarian Sharon Sanders runs an interesting blog on Thursdays called “From the Morgue.” Back in the less PC Good Old Days, that what we called the repository of yellowing clips carefully snipped out by the custodian of the newspaper’s history. Folks like Sharon and her predecessor, Judy Crow, really DO know where the bodies are buried and can find the skeletons in closets going back generations. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the newspaper librarian. They used to possess both sharp tongues and sharp scissors.
I’m not sure what Digital Sharon could do to a reporter who didn’t bring back a much-handled envelope of old clips, but I bet it wouldn’t be pretty. On one of our first meetings, I started to raise my camera to take her picture. I don’t normally take no for an answer – I’ve shot Popes and Presidents, rioters and guys with guns – but I put my camera down when she shook her head. I knew right away that she wasn’t somebody to mess with.
I felt fortunate to escape with my life and a photo of a stack of aging clips.
Broadway and Sprigg
Her blog Thursday said one of her most-requested photos is of the building that used to be at the northeast corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street. It’s a vacant lot next to the Last Call Bar today. She’s done all the historical heavy lifting about that block, so it’s worth heading over there.
I don’t have any photos going back that far, but I do have the area today.
This aerial from November 2010 shows a number of landmarks. The red building is the Last Call she mentions. The white building diagonally across the street is the infamous 633 – 635 – 637 Broadway trio of buildings that have been a source of controversy for a long time. One building was razed and the other two are being renovated. In the center of the picture is Trinity Lutheran Church. The brick building to its left is Shivelbines Music and the white building across the street is Annie Laurie’s Antiques.
It’s hard to miss the Last Call if you’re eastbound on Broadway. Its red colors are set off by a blue sky.
Blue-sided building is gone
The blue-sided building with the iconic mural at the top center of the aerial and the ones next to it were torn down at the end of 2011. Walther’s Furniture, across the street, has turned into Discovery Playhouse.
Like a gap in a first-grader’s grin
The northwest corner of Broadway and Sprigg has another empty spot. That’s where the old Chris Cross Cafe used to be. This view is south on Sprigg toward Broadway somewhere around 1966 or 1967. The three-story building on the south side of Broadway was the Cape Hotel. It burned and the spot is occupied by a Subway today.
Just before it was torn down, Brother Mark and I crawled all over the Trinity Lutheran Church documenting it. I posted photos of the bell earlier. Today we’re focusing on the view FROM the bell tower. Those louvered windows had a fairly big space to look through, even if the mesh screening was a bit distracting with some lens choices. Click on the photos to make them larger.
View to the northeast
The building towering over everything else is the KFVS-TV building. To its left you can see the H & H Building and the Marquette Hotel. The bright white object rising above the trees at the top right is the Common Pleas Courthouse. You can barely make out the Walther’s sign on the left side of the frame. It has become the Discovery Playhouse. Across the street was a the building that would later sport a bright blue mural with the words, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” That building was torn down last winter.
View to the north
Switching to a slightly longer lens let me throw the screening out of focus (mostly), but it didn’t cover as much area. The white building to the right was Brinkopf-Howell Funeral home, now Annie Laurie’s Antiques. Shivelbine’s Music would be the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Frederick. Star Service Station was on the northwest corner. I’d sure like some of that 36-cent gas today.
View to the west
The tall structure at the top right is the telephone company’s microwave tower. In the days before fiber optic cable, much of the country’s long distance traffic was handled by radio signals beamed from tower to tower. Southeast Missouri State University’s Academic Hall’s dome barely clears the treetops near the top right.
View to the south
This is looking south from the intersection of Themis and Frederick. The small brick building on the southwest corner was known as “The Mouse House.” Cape-Kil is directly south of it.
Trinity Lutheran Church neighborhood in 2011
Here is an aerial photo I shot of the neighborhood April 17, 2011.