100 Year Old Building To Be Torn Down In Joplin - KOAM TV 7

100 Year Old Building To Be Torn Down In Joplin


After 100 years on Joplin's Main Street, the former City Market is set to come tumbling down. And if you've driven down Main Street sometime in that time, it's likely this blue-green structure has stood out. According to the Director of Joplin's Museum Complex, the former Market was a way to bring agriculture to the city center. And it's 1914 Grand Opening brought 5,000 people to the complex.

"Three digits, it's hard to find people, let alone also buildings that are 100 years old, so yes that's remarkable!," said Museum Director Brad Belk.

Over the year's the building has been home to Joplin's Little Theater, The Red Cross, even boxing matches. But after 15 years of non-use, concrete blocks obstructing building windows began falling onto Main Street. That's when Trustee Jim Hardy says he knew it was time for the blue monster to come down.
"And we said OK it's time to demolish now...it's dangerous they could get hurt," said Hardy, who is an Laverne Miller Estate Trustee. 

According to Hardy, tearing down this historic building was not their first choice, but with an estimated $2 million dollar restoration price tag it was hard to find anyone willing to pay the price.

"Come to me with money and an idea, we've had over an idea where we said, 'Hey we're open'," Hardy said. "And there's been no body show up, now we're to the point where we don't want someone hurt." 

According to Belk despite the rich history of the building, its sometimes impossible to save every historic building. He says Joplin's Main Street was built on the idea of evolution. And that tearing down the former City Market could pose some powerful potential.  
"This could be a time for a rebirth, a new building on that location that could stand the time for another 100 years that could become iconic in Joplin's history," Belk said.
For now Hardy says the trust will add top soil and grass to the lot until a more permanent future solution is found.  But he says the trust put in their permit request for the demolition this week with the City of Joplin. And estimates that the building could come down as soon as the end of this month.     

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