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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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