What Historic Handball Courts?

Handball Court at River Campus 02-12-2013Don’t go looking for one of Cape’s oldest and best-known landmarks – the old handball courts in front of St. Vincent’s College, AKA Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. Here’s how the courts, which may have been the oldest in the country, looked February 12, 2013.

The courts on July 7, 2013

Site of historic handball courts 07-07-2013Depending on which account you read, the courts date to the founding of the college in 1843 or 10 years later. Either way, they were one of the oldest structures in town until the university decided to destroy them and the green space that had welcomed travelers to Cape Girardeau from the opening of the Traffic Bridge in 1928 to its closing in 2003.

Earlier stories about the courts

Site of historic handball courts 07-07-2013

SEMO teaches historic preservation

Site of historic handball courts 07-07-2013A school that claims to teach historic preservation does a lousy job of making preservation a priority when it comes to university projects. I’m only half surprised Academic Hall is being renovated instead of being turned into a parking lot. Click on any photo to make it larger.



4 Replies to “What Historic Handball Courts?”

  1. What a shame that the courts were torn down. I do realize that not everything can be saved, but it seems to me that something should have been done to save them. Why didn’t they take them apart and put them back together in another location? As preservationists, that would not have been a problem.

  2. I’m still sulking because the University took out Werner’s Market (northeast corner of Henderson and Broadway). Coming to SEMO from St. Louis in the early 1970s, I loved that place! It reminded me of the mom-n-pop grocery stores that were on many street corners during my childhood.

  3. It truly is a travesty that there was no preservation effort. Oh well, it appears that what SEMO may be teaching IS historic preservation, but not preservation of true history, rather some modified version to support what the “preservationist’ wants to do or wants people to know just like most any educational institution these days.

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