Joplin Missouri Driving Tour
This tour is a work in progress
The first synagogue in Joplin formed in 1904, nearly three decades after the city was incorporated. Prior to that time, the relatively small Jewish community formed prayer groups and following the turn of the twentieth century, the congregation grew large enough to support the renting of space for worship services, and eventually, the construction of this building. The United Hebrew Congregation has operated out of the same building since its completion in 1916. While other small-town Jewish communities have declined over the years, Joplin's is still going strong today, more than a hundred years after the synagogue opened its doors.
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church was built in 1906. Designed by local architect Austin Allen, it is an excellent example of Late Gothic Revival architecture and for this reason was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. It features a limestone exterior, lancet stained glass windows, a large rose window, a pair of towers with finials, and buttresses. Inside, the roof is supported by vaulted ceilings and the chancel features a large altar, which has 46 spires, and two smaller altars all hand carved in Germany (the altar used today was added in 2013). The property also includes the adjacent church rectory.
The Joplin Carnegie Library was established to meet the growing demand for access to information. Initial construction and subsequent additions and expansions were funded by Andrew Carnegie. The library was designed by German architect August C. Michaelis and completed in 1902. By 1911 the library held roughly fifteen-thousand books and three-thousand magazines. The Joplin Carnegie Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Thomas Hart Benton completed his final mural in Missouri in 1972. Originally located in the old Municipal Building, Joplin at the Turn of the Century marked his first return to the town in nearly 70 years. The scene depicts the people of his home region as he remembered them from his childhood. In addition to his usual preparations, Benton used photographs and local rocks to get every element correct. The mural now hangs in City Hall. Visitors can see the painting and the Evolution of a Mural exhibit during business hours.
Constructed in 1913 for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (SL&SF), this was Joplin's first modern high-rise and fireproof office building and remains one of Joplin's most prominent landmarks The SL&SF occupied the building for several decades and operated a depot on the first two floors. The waiting room, ticket office, and telegraph office were located on the first floor and the dispatcher's office and a cafe were on the second. The remaining floors housed the offices of medical professionals, lawyers, dentists, insurance agents, barbers, and beauticians. The building is now a residence for seniors called Frisco Station Apartments.
The historic Fox Theater became the largest and grandest movie house in Joplin when it opened in 1930. It is now a church called the Central Christian Center and is also available to rent for concerts and events. The building, which is in an "L" shape, is an elegant example of Mission/Spanish Revival architecture. This is most evident on the main entrance facade, which features diamond-shaped brickwork, columns of yellow glazed terra cotta tiles along the sides, a terra cotta cartouche, a curved roofline with decorative terra cotta urns, floral panels, inset shield designs and other decorative detailing. Fox Theater was designed by Chicago-based theater architect L.P. Larsen. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
The Joplin Union Depot is a railroad depot in the city of Joplin, Missouri. Its construction was started in 1910 and was completed in 1911. The depot operated through the Great Depression and both World Wars, until its closing in 1969. The depot was of notable architectural significance in that the construction used wastes from local mining operations for the ingredients of its concrete. The depot became a Nationally registered Historic Place in March of 1973. Many attempts have been made to renovate the now vacant depot into a museum. The first was rejected by the Joplin City Council in 1972. In 2010 another attempt to renovate the depot was proposed, but the May of 2011 tornado forced the city to redirect the intended finances and the project has been suspended since.
Built in 1923, the Scottish Rite Cathedral is a freemason social hall located in Joplin, Missouri. It was designed by Herbert Greene in the Beaux Arts style. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Individual and group tours are available and the auditorium dining hall, and rooms for meeting space are available for rent.
The Joplin History & Mineral Museum explores the local mining industry and its impact on the development of the city and region. It consists of two museums in one building: the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum and the Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum. The Mineral Museum features one of the world's best collections of lead and zinc ores and other minerals. It also explores the geological makeup of the region and the mining techniques used between the 1870s to the 1960s. A variety of items are on display including mining tools and maps, mineral products, and specimens of prehistoric animals. The Historical Museum examines how the mining industry has contributed to Joplin's growth and features items dating to the city's mining era. These include a circus room, a child's playhouse, items belonging to infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde, an antique fire engine, Victorian furnishings, textiles, medical instruments, and a doll collection.