Hotel Bray/ New Yorker ghost sign

A slender downtown architectural beauty, the historic former Hotel Bray at 1114 Baltimore Ave., is a nine-story building, 25-feet wide and 125 feet deep, and is wedged between the Hotel Phillips and the Italian Garden garage on Baltimore.

The Jacobethan-style brick building, which is capped by a decorative terra cotta double gable, opened in 1915 as the Hotel Bray. In 1947, after extensive remodeling, it was rechristened as Pusateri’s Hotel New Yorker. It was renovated again in the mid 1990s as an extended stay hotel before eventually being converted to modern loft apartments and reopening as The New Yorker in 2018.

Below is a 360° “tour” (two separate 360° pictures) of the Hotel Bray/ New Yorker 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. The vertical Hotel Bray signs on the Northeast and Southeast corners of the building date some time from 1915 to 1949… the painted sign on the Northwest side of the building dates from 1949

I was able to determine what the ghost sign originally looked like via the transcripts of a 1949 court case of the New Yorker Hotel Corporation v. Pusateri et al. The lawsuit claimed damages from Pusateri for using the name Hotel New Yorker. An excerpt from the filing reads… “The building immediately to the north of the defendants’ nine story hotel building is a one story structure, thus leaving most of the side of defendants’ building exposed to view, and along the side thereof, near the top, defendants, at the time of the opening, had caused to be painted in large letters, the words “Hotel New Yorker.” …. at the time the change…. thus making this sign also read: “H O T E L NEW YORKER Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge Completely Air Conditioned”

The image below on the left shows what the building looks like today… on the right what Pusateri’s Hotel New Yorker might have looked like in 1949

The case ended in a judgement against the plaintiff (New Yorker Hotel Corp), but not without some interesting testimony that gives great insight to KC history…. “In its effort to show that defendants may operate their hotel in such manner as to reflect upon its good name, plaintiff attacks the reputation of defendants. Defendant James Pusateri admitted that they illegally sold intoxicating liquor in their restaurants during prohibition. Plaintiff also sought to show that defendant Gus Pusateri, who did not testify, has been convicted of violating the liquor law. The offer was denied on the ground that the conviction was more than sixteen years ago during the “dry era.”

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 picture or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/7Is-8YdX0st

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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Town of Kansas mural

This mural is on the West side of the Mid-America Merchandising building at 3rd and Wyandotte (early home of the Miller-Cooper Ink Co.), a little off the beaten path in the River Market district in KCMO. The mural was commissioned in 2000 and painted by Alisha Gambino, Joe Faus and Jesus Ortiz… the same artists who painted the Lewis and Clark mural at 5th and Wyandotte!

The mural depicts a river scene at the Town of Kansas which was incorporated in 1850. The state of Missouri then incorporated the area as the City of Kansas in 1853 and renamed it Kansas City in 1889. This scene also shows the Steamboat Arabia, which sunk in the Missouri River in 1856, and was uncovered in 1988. The artifacts are housed in the Arabia Steamboat Museum in the River Market district of KCMO.

Here is a link to a Google Tour of this 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 of this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/5-5VDGQQHoi

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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Borden Dairy ghost sign

For me, the best… my favorite… ghost signs, are those that you have to work at… the really faded ones. The McEwain Barton ghost sign from a previous post is one of my favorites… I had to do some real investigating to find out about the faded McElwain logo on the sign.

So it is with this ghost sign for the Borden Dairy, located on the West side of the building at Linwood and Holmes, in the Midtown district of Kansas City, MO.

If you look closely above the blue door, you can see a milk carton with a logo on it. I searched thousands of images of milk cartons to see what the logo might be… to no avail. It is actually a logo used on Borden’s milk bottles – Gail Borden’s … showing a silhouette of Gail Borden with his signature underneath.

To the right and slightly below you can barely make out yellow/ orange petals of a flower… the petals that would have encircled and been a part of the iconic Elsie the Cow Borden logo. The faded letters “Bord” can also be seen to the right and above the milk carton, and to the extreme right edge seems to be the remnants of a different ghost sign from the Ford Motor Company!

Here is a link to a Google Tour of the 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 Picture or this link to take tour – https://poly.google.com/view/2uPOadD8oUl

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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Foxx Equipment Company street art

Southwest Boulevard, or as locals say “The Boulevard” originated as two roads, one being the main street of Rosedale, Kansas, when it was platted in 1872 as “Kansas City Avenue”, and the second called “The Rosedale Road”, or “Kansas City Boulevard”, on the Missouri side. Two property owners provided land to link the two roads in 1887, and the entire road was later renamed as “Southwest Boulevard”.

The Boulevard, and the “West Side” have a great selection of authentic Mexican restaurants and grocery stores, street art, and ghost signs. The example of street art is located on the North side of the Foxx Equipment Company building at 421 Southwest Boulevard and is an homage to all things Kansas City.

A close examination of this artwork will find the artist’s representation of virtually everything Kansas City is… or has been… knows for. See if you can find the following in this artwork: Liberty Memorial, Nelson Adkins Museum, KU Jayhawks, Sporting KC, Plaza Lights, Charlie Parker, Bluebird, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Chiefs, Thomas Hart Benton, Missouri River, Union Station, KC Skyline, Westport Covered Wagon, Lucille Bluford, The Scout, Mizzou Tigers, Harry S. Truman, Kauffman Center, Western Auto Sign, Wheat, Primativo Garcia, Buck O’Neil Bridge, Thomas Pendergast, Royals, BBQ, The Hereford Bull Statue.

Below is a 360° Google Street view of this mural and area… use your mouse to look up, look down, look all around… and zoom in or out.

Southwest Boulevard passes through the Crossroads Arts District and the West Side Neighborhood in Missouri. It is the home of the Boulevard Brewing Company which was founded in 1989 and is now one of the largest craft breweries in the USA, with a capacity of over 600,000 barrels per year.

Walking Tour Map of KC Art

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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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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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