John’s Big Deck mural

This quirky large mural is on the North side of John’s Big Deck, located at 928 Wyandotte, KCMO. This building was constructed over one hundred years ago, and has been a restaurant/ bar for over sixty years. It was part of the historic Graphic Arts Building complex on Wyandotte. In 1980 it became John’s and in 1983 the rooftop bar was completed, which provides a great vantage point to appreciate the area’s unique architecture.

The quirky aspect of the artwork is that, upon closer inspection, the mural is a giant ad-smashup of Tito’s Vodka and Kansas City iconic landmarks… notice the Tito’s handmade vodka sign on a building, the train Kansas City to Austin (the home of Tito’s) and the giant Tito’s bottle… interspersed with KC landmarks – the Bond Bridge, The Scout statue, Western Auto sign (kind of – they replaced Western Auto with KC) and the Hereford Association Bull statue.

Below is a 360° “tour” (three separate 360° pictures) of this mural and area… 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, architecture and history of the surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on picture or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/8kQv7zEp_BI

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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Townley Metal and Hardware Co ghost sign

The Townley Metal and Hardware Company building, located at 200 Walnut in the River Market District in KCMO, was erected in three separate campaigns beginning in 1895. The Townley family successfully operated in the building until 1982 when the business was sold. This building was added to the historic registry in 1994 and was converted to luxury lofts (Old Townley Lofts) in 2013.

This historic structure is magnificent … as are its ghost signs… and it has MANY! There are several (five) on the North side, one on the West side visible from the small courtyard between the Townley building and the old KC Water Department building, and one on the South visible above the parking garage.

Below is a 360° “tour” (four separate 360° pictures) of these ghost signs and area… 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 ghost signs with “Points of Interest” that link to more information about the art, architecture and history of the surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on image or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/dD6HXf64r8a

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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Hutch Modern street art

As I have mentioned before, the best place to see the highest concentration of street art in Kansas City is in the Crossroads Art District… especially East Crossroads. But, contrary to popular opinion, the best time to see this street art is NOT during First Friday celebration, and NOT by car… First Fridays are too frenetic, and viewing by car will not get you into the alleys and other places many of the pieces are hiding.

Walking is the best way… and here is a map with some of the art, ghost signs, and murals I have previously written about.

The different colored hearts on the map indicate the region of KC they are located in… Red for Downtown, Blue for River Market, Purple for Crossroads, etc. On the full map you can toggle what sites you want to see… Murals, Street Art, Ghost Signs … any or all.

This example of Street Art is located on the East side (in the alley behind) the Hutch store building at 1735 Locust Street, in the Crossroads Art District in Kansas City, Missouri.

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

Click on link or picture to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/1taxQslyi7h

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Buck O’Neil mural

Built in 1914 , this YMCA at 19th and Paseo was the first civic center in KC built to serve African Americans. However, the building’s most significant historic value lies in the year 1920. That was the year eight independent black negro baseball team owners met over lunch in this very spot. They formed the Negro National League and later the Negro Leagues.

Just a short walk down from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the space was just recently converted into the Buck O’Neil Education & Research Center, the latest addition to the museum.

The mural, on the South side of the historic Paseo YMCA building, was created by Alexander Austin in 2011.

Below is a 360° “tour” (seven separate 360° pictures) of this mural and area… 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, architecture and history of the surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on photo or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/79qfU_Qn4KL

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McElwain Barton Shoe Co ghost sign

An often overlooked Historic District in Kansas City is the Garment District. This area is located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri to the east of Quality Hill, across Broadway Boulevard. In the 1930s several large clothing manufacturers clustered here, making Kansas City’s garment district second only to New York City in size. Its old industrial buildings have since been redeveloped into loft apartments, office, and restaurants.

This ghost sign from the McElwain and Barton Shoe Co. is located in the heart of the Garment District on the West side of the Armour and Volker building at 308 W. 8th (built in 1902 – architect William Rose), Kansas City, Missouri.

This sign can only be seen from a few locations…. from the top of the May Street garage, from the alley on the North side of the Armour-Volker building, from the rooftop deck of the Soho Lofts, or from windows in adjacent building.

Examining this ghost sign, you can faintly see the the name McElwain on the first row, Barton on the second and Shoe Co on the third, and an interesting painted shape below the lettering.

Investigating this sign, I discovered that this mystery shape is the remnants of the McElwain Shoe Co logo. Here is a picture of the McElwain logo from the 1920’s. At this time the McElwain Shoe Company was the largest manufacturer of shoes in the world. The McElwain Barton shoe company had operations in several building in the Garment District, including the building at corner of Wyandotte and 6th street, which held their offices, and their manufacturing plant located at corner of 8th and Washington.

This post is a twofer … if you scroll to the right in the 360° picture above (or the tour below), you can also see the ghost sign for the William-Volker Company, which is located on the North side of the 6th floor of the Bond Shoe Co. building (built in 1899 – architect Van Brunt and Bro) at 316 W. 8th St, Kansas City, MO.

William Volker  was an entrepreneur who turned a picture frame business into a multimillion-dollar empire and who then gave away his fortune to shape much of Kansas City, MO, much of it anonymously, earning him the nickname of “Mr. Anonymous.” The Volker frame and molding company had a factory in the Armour-Volker building. Both of these buildings (Armour-Volker and Bond Shoe Co buildings) are now part of the Soho Condominiums property.

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

Click on link for photo to take 360° tour – https://poly.google.com/view/6DcPwGN5D7p

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Fantasia Mickey street art

This street art mural is located on the South side of the Parlor building at 1707 Locust in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri. The two-story, 18,000-square foot red brick building was developed by RedWether Collaborative, a partnership between Atlanta-based chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie’s Red Beard Restaurants and Meriwether Companies, a hospitality and resort development company out of Boulder, Colorado.

This three level space holds seven restaurants and two bars… several unique spots to soak up the atmosphere: a lounge, library, den, 2nd story garden patio, and an event space for any and all of your social needs…. and Parlor’s piece de resistance, two incredible bars featuring craft beer and house created artisanal cocktails.

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

Click Picture of Link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/75Fs7_H2X_T

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Lewis and Clark mural

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned an expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, to to explore and map the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase and to find a practical route to the West Coast. To celebrate the bicentennial of the expedition this mural was commissioned in 2004 and is on the West side of the River Market Antiques building at 5th and Wyandotte, in the River Market District in Kansas City, MO.

This mural, painted by Alisha Gambino, Joe Faus and Jesus Ortiz is HUGE… nearly five stories high and spanning nearly a block. It depicts Lewis and Clark, various members of their party, Sacagawea, her son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (born during the expedition), a pirogue (main type of boat they used on the river), and Seaman, Lewis’ Newfoundland dog, on the bank of the Missouri River.

Below is a 360° “tour” (six 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, architecture and history of the surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!

Click on photo or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/bsI3aGWK8wk

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