Ryley, Wilson and Co ghost sign

The West Bottoms is an industrial area immediately to the west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, at the confluence of the Missouri River and the Kansas River. The area is one of the oldest in the city. This combination of age, architecture (brick building) and location makes the West Bottoms a goldmine for ghost signs.

This ghost sign for the Ryley Wilson and Co Grocers is on East side of the building located at 1502 9th Street in the West Bottoms.

This Romanesque Revival style building was constructed in 1887 for the Ryley Wilson Grocer Co. The wholesale grocery business supplied many of the retail groceries who served the thousands of railroad passengers passing through the city.

Here is a link to a Google Tour of the ghost sign with “Points of Interest” that provide more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo or link below to take the tour!

Click on photo or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/1XVDhBdvnAk

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Dance Fit Flow street art

If you are interested in Street Art, the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City is where you need to explore. Examples can be seen on every street corner… some prominent and easy to find, others tucked into a secluded off grid alley. And it is constantly changing!

This example is on the South side of the building (Dance, Fit, Flow) at 1700 Locust Street, in the Crossroads Arts District of KCMO.

Two things that struck me regarding this work… 1) The sheer size of the mural… I took five 360° photos to adequately capture the artwork… and 2) I love how the artist integrated the drain spout into the mural.

Below is a 360° “tour” (5 separate 360° pictures) of this mural… clicking on the arrows allows you to move left and right. Use your mouse to look up, look down, look all around… and zoom in or out.

Although there is nothing remarkable or distinguishing about the architecture of this building (or surrounding buildings) the really interesting thing about this art is the area… the Crossroads Arts District. And here is a link to a Google Tour of the Mural with “Points of Interest” that provide more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on pic or link to take tour - https://poly.google.com/view/0asY7m-LXd1
Click on pic or link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/0asY7m-LXd1

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Phoenix Jazz Club mural

This mural, is located on the East side of the iconic Phoenix Jazz Club, at 8th and Central in KCMO. The building was originally the Phoenix Hotel (and brothel) dating back to 1888.

On the first floor there was a speak-easy type saloon owned and operated by bartender Frank Valerius, (zoom in on the 360° pic below to see the stained glass above door) and on the second floor was a “hotel” owned by Mrs. Linna Laws.

Currently The Phoenix is a great neighborhood bar, restaurant and tourist destination… the Phoenix hosts live music 6 days a week.

Below is a 360° “tour” (5 separate 360° pictures) of this mural… clicking on the arrows allows you to move left and right. Use your mouse to look up, look down, look all around… and zoom in or out.

Here is a link to a Google Tour of the Mural with “Points of Interest” that link to more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on pic or this link to take the tour … https://poly.google.com/view/e9MiGuunmC9

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Bull Durham ghost sign

The Thomas Cusack Sign Company of Chicago,IL, was famous for painting outdoor ads throughout the United States. This ghost sign by the Cusack Co. plugging Bull Durham tobacco is on the West side of the Helm Salon building at 5th and Wyandotte in the River Market district in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cusack began the business in 1875 at the age of 17 and eventually sold it in 1924. During this time, it was the largest in the United States, boasting annual sales of $23,000,000. Cusack served as a Democrat from Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1898 to 1900.

Take a closer look at this ghost sign by using your mouse to scroll around the 360° pic below to look up, look down, look all around! Notice there are two images depicted in this ad… one, easy to distinguish, is of course the iconic “Bull”… the other, which the bull is superimposed over, shows a silhouette of a Navy Seaman in a Battleship’s Crow’s Nest manning a machine gun.

And here is a link to a Google Tour of the ghost sign with “Points of Interest” that link to more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on pic or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/5kNYDq3u8uw

Create Your Own Racket street art

This block-long sample of street art can be found on the North side of the Justrite Rubber Stamp and Seal building, located at 1701 Locust St, Kansas City, MO. The building itself has little historical significance (as far as I can tell) but the location is important. It is located in the Crossroads Arts District, home to over 400 local artists and 100 independent studios, and is within walking distance of MANY great examples of street art. In this picture alone (look up, look down, look all around!) you will see 5-6 examples of interesting KC street art.

Below is a 360° “tour” (4 separate 360° pictures) of this mural… clicking on the arrows allows you to move left and right. Use your mouse to look up, look down, look all around… and zoom in or out.

And here is a link to a Google Tour of the Mural with “Points of Interest” that link to more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on pic or this link to take the tour … https://poly.google.com/view/e9MiGuunmC9

Knuckleheads mural

Located at 701 N Montgall Ave in the East Bottoms of Kansas City, MO, this mural depicts legendary musicians that have passed away. Currently there are roughly 50 images with, unfortunately, more being added all the time. The mural is painted on the South side of Knuckleheads Garage, which is one of four stages in the Knuckleheads facility… one of the top music venues in the country.

Knuckleheads which opened in 2001, is located the area of Kansas City that was once the home of Electric Park… an amusement park built in 1899 by Joseph Heim (Heim Brewery) . Electric Park served as the inspiration for a young Kansas Citian, Walt Disney’s, idea for Disneyland.

Below is a 360° “tour” of this mural… clicking on the arrows allows you to move left and right.

And here is a link to a Google Tour of the Mural with “Points of Interest” that links to more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on the photo or this link to take the tour https://poly.google.com/view/e5SGiCxX-Xn
Click on the photo or this link to take the tour https://poly.google.com/view/e5SGiCxX-Xn

Ghost Signs

The Old Spaghetti Factory sign is the first example on this site of a “Ghost Sign“. A ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertising sign that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. Ghost signs are also called fading ads or brick ads.

Many ghost signs from the 1890s to 1960s are still visible. Such signs were most commonly used in the decades before the Great Depression and were originally painted with oil-based house paints. The paint that has survived the test of time most likely contains lead, which keeps it strongly adhered to the masonry surface. The painters of the signs were called “wall dogs“.

This drones eye view of ghost sign for The Old Spaghetti Factory, is on the East side of the SoHo loft condominium building at 8th and Central, in Kansas City, Missouri. This building, the Armour-Volker Building was once the home of the Volker Frame and Molding factory. Compared to most ghost signs in Kansas City, this one is fairly recent… The Old Spaghetti Factory was open in KC during the 70’s and 80’s, but has been closed for 25-30 years.

And here is a link to a Google Tour of the Mural with “Points of Interest” that links to more information about the art and surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on photo to take tour - or click on this link https://poly.google.com/view/bYGzHCQ8S-q
Clcik Pic or Link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/bYGzHCQ8S-q