Mapping Main Street (Cape)

My friends at Old Town Cape posted a note on their Facebook Fanpage: Hey fans do you have any cool pics on Main Street? Add them to this national documentary site, and help us represent Cape Girardeau!

The site is Mapping Main Street. “When politicians and the media mention Main Street, they evoke one people and only one place. But there are over 10,466 streets named Main in the United States.” The project’s goal is to get photos or video of all of those streets to create a composite of the Main Street that WE live on.

Cape Girardeau’s Main Street

When I was in Cape in October, I walked Main St. shooting photos of whatever caught my eye. I’ve published some of them, and I was holding onto others until I do some research. I’m tossing up these random images for your consideration. Which, if any, of these shots make YOU remember Main Street? If I get enough response, I may send your choices in to Mapping Main Street.

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

Earlier photos of Main Street

I’ve done quite a few pages featuring Main Street buildings and activities. Here are a few links:

24 Replies to “Mapping Main Street (Cape)”

  1. Does anyone else remember the hoopla when Cape was featured in a comic strip in the late 50s or early 60s. I believe the strip was “Captain Easy”, and several panels featured the Themis-Main St. intersection

  2. Beautiful photo looking ‘down Main Street’ from its intersection with Broadway, Ken. Making that turn at the bottom of the hill…well, that’s the image we all have indelibly stamped in our mind’s eye!

  3. it is a good thing cape didn’t try what old downtown st.charlees did..shut off main street to car traffic.that was a mess and st.charles had to redo it.

  4. Ken, I loved the Main Street photos. You captured the architecture well. When Fowler Jones and I were first married in 1964 we lived upstairs in a bldg. across from Hechts. Our building had a back entrance which faced the river and two barn owls lived upbove us. At night they swooped out for a flight over the Mississippi. Thank you for the pictures. Our place also featured a first rate place to watch the parades.Fowler later sold the building to his brother John Jones when we moved to Columbia, MO so he could do graduate work.
    Judith Bader Jones

  5. The only thing missing that I can see is large trees like in St Charles. Trees make it much cooler to shop and much more interesting to walk around, you just want to stay longer.

  6. These are all great Ken! Really. I love how you captured so many of the architectural features. The picture of Langs is pretty neat not only because it shows how long the business has been around, but the window also reflects buildings across the street. And I agree with Larry on the intersection of Broadway & Main.

  7. I was reading the the comments about downtown and thought of the picture you had done earlier, Common Pleas Courthouse and Port Cape Girardeau taken from the Themis St. floodgate looking west. That is a good picture to represent Cape’s towntown although it is not of main street but does include some of it.

  8. Wonderful photos! I see Janet’s family Zickfield store is included and also Becky Lang’s family jewelry store. Janet and Becky ’66 CHS Class. Roseanne Hecht started with our group, but then transferred to an Eastern boarding school, if I remember it correctly. We would see Roseanne in CG during school breaks. She got her ears pierced while at boarding school before any girls in CG did.

  9. My dad was long-long-time manager of Zwick’s Shoe Store where my mom also worked and which was the next shop north of Hecht’s on Main. Because I spent so many hours there as a kid, I have many fond memories of Main St. My husband and I bought our wedding rings at Zickfield’s Jewelry Store. The last time I was in Cape, Main Street had changed quite a bit.

  10. In looking at your pictures, the present storefronts have been changed so much from when I was a kid that none are familiar. However, if I were on Main Street, I could still point to the location of many of the former stores. Seeing the info plaque about the telephone exchange reminded me that the phone numbers were only 3 digits (I was very small then), and you told the number to the operator who then connected you to your party. Just before the dial phones were installed on Main Street, we had longer numbers, four maybe. After the dial phones came, Cape was assigned the prefix “Edgewater”, but you still had to call the operator for long distance. Later when we could dial long distance, Edgewater was abbreviated to EDG, which became just 334. I can’t remember when 314 became the area code. Odd just how memory works; I can’t remember my home phone number nor the shoe store’s five-digit number, but I’ll always remember that three-digit number that we told to the operator.

  11. Since I haven’t been in Cape since my mother died in 1988 I really look closely at all the photos you publish. My favorite of these is the one from the corner of Broadway and Main because it shows cars and makes the street look like someone still shops there. I can remember when Town Plaza opened and later the mall and how dead Main St. seemed. I am sure you have in your files picutres of flooding before the wall was built. I remember the Woolworth’s store and how often it seemed to have water in it.

  12. I still live in Cape and Love this town. Main st and Water st are beautiful. I hope someday Broadway will come back to life. Love the pictures !!

  13. Beautiful pictures although I didn’t recognize many of the storefronts. My pick for the best representative pictures would be Hecht’s and the Broadway/Main Street corner. We used to walk down Main Street on Sundays or sometimes at night just to window shop. My favorite place of all was Hecht’s where we could see the beautiful clothes and run around on the colorful tiles in the entry.

  14. If anyone comes across any info about the origins of these stores, especially Hecht’s and Zwick’s, I would love to know. In back of the shoe store behind the cash register there was a curtain which hid a wide, grand stairway made of good quality walnut with beautifully crafted bannisters that went up and around to a large room with very nice floors. I wonder if Hecht’s and Zwick’s were originally built as one and for some purpose such as a live theatre because such details were obviously not meant to be the back or top of a retail store. If you look in that 2nd pic, you see the tops of those 2. Back in the 40’s and 50’s we would watch parades from that tiny wrought-iron balcony. I loved watching for Bill Brune in the Marching Golden Eagles!

  15. Does anyone else remember a soda pop bottling plant in Cape? I was just a tot, but I distictly recall it, and think it was a block or three on the north side of Broadway. One hot day they had the big delivery doors open and you could see in and watch the filling and capping process…I think they bottled Grapette and maybe Whistle. I still miss Grapette, no other grape soda had that “bite” that it did–nor does the imitation “Grapette” that Wal-Crap sells.

  16. david….it was called “milde bottling” it was on pacific steet, half a block north of broadway on the east side……its now a new parking lot for semo univ…after the bottling co went out of business, liken h& ac was int the building, later, ossenkopp plbg….thanks ken enke

  17. I am looking for pictures and any information on the Cape City Bottling Works building. Anyone know where I might find more information?

  18. I am an HP student at SEMO and part of our class is to do research the history of buildings on Main Street. I was wondering if anyone on here has any pictures or stories they would like to share of 108/110 Main Street, businesses like Key’s Music, the Downtowner Restaurant, Bib and Tucker’s Children’s Clothing are some of the businesses that have been in the building. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.

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