View from KFVS Tower

I’ve seen Cape Girardeau from the ground and from 1,500 feet in a small plane, but I had a chance to see it from the 11th floor of the KFVS Tower recently. That’s a nice height to pick out landmark buildings.

This view is looking west down Broadway. You can click on any image to make it larger. The building at bottom left is the old Federal Courthouse. The tall building with yellow brick in the foreground is the Marquette Hotel. The pink building with a mural is where the old Idan-Ha Hotel stood before it burned. The nearest intersection is Broadway and Fountain.

Broadway to the east

This photo looks in the opposite direction – east on Broadway toward the Mississippi River. The Missourian is on the bottom right. The metal roof in the foreground is the N’Orleans. On the right is the First Presbyterian Church. The rusty steeple near the top of the photo belongs to the former General Baptist Church.

Common Pleas Courthouse

A view to the southeast picks up the corner of the First Presbyterian Church, the red tile roof of The Southeast Missourian, the Common Pleas Courthouse and old library, the steeple of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and the Bill Emerson Bridge.

Cement plant in distance

This photo is similar, but it shows a bit more of the neighborhood and gives a glimpse of the cement plant way off in the distance.





20 Replies to “View from KFVS Tower”

  1. Judith- I knew your sweet mom. My dad was a clown host on the ” little rascals” tv show. He had live children as guests. Hildagarde was the receptionist. We would talk to her when we visited dad.

  2. I learn more stuff every day…Linda’s dad was a Clown on the little rascals! Wow now that is NEWS. I never knew that!
    I weaseled my way into the Marquette Hotel Top floor a couple of years ago an got to Cape from a different angle, but the KFVS tower is way cooler…Nice job lad!
    I wonder if the comman folk can get to see the KFVS top floor?

  3. Great site. I’m checking to see if you have any photos of:

    1) New Wells

    2) The area where SEMO Builder’s Supply now is


    1. Tim,

      Glad you like it. I have several good recent aerials of the SEMO Builder’s Supply area. Were you looking specifically for the lumber yard or something in that general vicinity?

      Nothing in New Wells springs to mind. I go up that way quite a bit, but usually turn right at C and CC to get to Altenburg. Do you have anything in particular in mind? That might jog my memory of any old stuff.

  4. Wonderful shots Ken. I worked at the old federal building across from KFVS when the post office was there, from 1957 until 1961 when I transferred to Melbourne , Florida with the postal service, so that area was really my old stomping grounds. I also worked at Stroms news agency for 8 years which was just west of the post office , from age 8 to 16!
    Joe Whitright “45”

  5. Would like a dollar for every trip I made up and down Broadway as a kid. Nice shots Ken, never got to the top. Got into the station area a few times. Who keeps offices at the top?

    I know this is pushing it, any pics from the KFVS tower at Trail of Tears?? 😉

    1. The World’s Tallest Structure slipped away from me. I started working on getting permission to go to the top of the tower when I was at The Jackson Pioneer. By the time the OK came, I was at The Missourian, which like to pretend that TV didn’t exist. Since I couldn’t publish the photos, I turned down the junket.

      Been kicking myself ever since.

      Brother Mark, who worked at KFVS as a kid, said the view from the roof is even more spectacular. I don’t know who has offices where. I wound up on the 11th floor as a lucky fluke.

      1. Used to go up there back when cb radios was the craze, could talk for miles. They used to have a guy up there that monitored all transmissions out and log them, with an old typewriter. The flashing red lights on the tower where controlled by mercury switches that rolled on a cam. Tilting them back and forth. Remember equipment on the level we where on and being able to see thru grated floors to a lower level.

        We were not suppose to be there, the gate was locked. We found a way around it… I think they guy enjoyed the company!

  6. In the mid to late ’60’s….Mr Hirsch (?) and a group of his friends formed a small club which was housed in the top of the KFVS tower building. From the leather chairs and couches, placed at the windows, one could view the town as you did. There might even have been a bit of a liquid imported from Scotland there. The Gentlemen was all in their ’70’s then and they thought it was quite the get away.

  7. Judith Bader Jones, before your dear Mother worked at KFVS, she worked with my Father at the Boy Scout Office. She was a lovely lady and I remember her well.

  8. Does anybody remember the guard dog that lived in the Marquette Hotel, and had access to the roof? I guess Thad put him there to discourage trespassers.

    It was back in the mid ’70s, my parents were friends with a couple of guys who were DJs at the old KFVS radio station, and one of them used to walk outside onto Broadway and bark and that dog would bark back! It was one of the craziest things I’d heard of…until a couple of my high school classmates broke into the Marquette and stole bellhop uniforms. That trumped the dog on the roof.

  9. Ken, I shot 35mm stills from the top of the tower one year when I worked at the TV station. I rode to the top inside the elevator to the top (took a half hour) and then documented the lighting strikes the tower had taken. Some pretty good “bites” from lighting hitting the tower, no real damage, just black marks and you could tell when the electricity made contact with the metal. I’ll send you the photos if I can locate them.

    More information about my ride to the top and what else I learned about the tower that day, but only if I can locate the photos.

  10. Back in the early 80’s when I was the Personnel Administrator at First Federal, KFVS allowed First Federal Main Office Administrators to meet with Branch Managers from their other 12 offices in the KFVS tower. It was very delightful to be able to look out over Cape and be so proud of our wonderful “hometown”. We have so much for which to be grateful living here in the Cape Girardeau area. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

  11. Ham radio clubs typically ask owners of tall buildings for permission to put repeaters on their roof. Anybody know if that is, or ever was, the case at KFVS? If so, maybe some local ham has photos from up there.

  12. Wow! A blast from the past! Thanks Ken. I lived very near the river when I was growing up and walked many miles up and down Broadway, going to the old Rialto and Broadway Theaters. We loved to watch Kenny Dillingham making pizza dough at Tony’s Pizza; it was amazing how he could throw that dough in the air and catch it. The TV show with the clown was mentioned in one of the comments; I was on that show as a child and my family tried to take pictures of me and my 15 min of fame; when the film was developed we had a multitude of pictures of our TV’s blank screen. LOL!

    1. I bet your family used flash. That’s why you got a picture of the TV, not the image that was on the screen.

      I’ve seen people try to copy something that’s being projected and wind up with a washed-out projection screen with nothing on it.

  13. My dad, Carl Meyer from Farmers and Merchants Bank, was a member of the Tower Club. The members used to make jokes about the building being Oscar Hirsch’s last erection. Each member had his own locker containing hard liquor, and there was always beer and soda in the fridge, along with pretzels in a community cabinet. I recall a once-a-week catered lunch brought in by a chef named Vince. Each member had his own key to the building and a key to the Tower Club. Dad enjoyed taking visitors from out of town there after hours. It was quite exclusive, as one blackball was all that was necessary to keep a prospective member out. Does anyone know if it’s still in operation today?

  14. Ken, I also remember seeing James Arness of Gunsmoke fame come up broadway to KFVS . Got to see him from the post office when it was in the old federal building. You might remember blnd Carly Lawson who has a little stand in the lobby where he sold candy, cigars and all sorts of stuff!
    Joe Whitright

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