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Joplin's lost greatness2006-01-09 14:01:40s-smith

I read the story on Historic Preservation. I think the city should really work to save the little that is left of downtown Joplin and should find some way to save Union Station. The real tragedy in the story of Joplin was the historic destruction of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Joplin has never been the same since the Connor Hotel fell just before it was to be torn down. The heart was torn from Joplin's chest when the Connor was sacrificed--along with the Keystone, also at 4th and Main, the Miners Bank Building, the Lux Theatre a couple of blocks north and so much more. That intersection was the center of Joplin. If the hotel were there now, even as subsidised housing for older adults, the city would have something truly grand at its epicenter. Instead it has a rather tiny, architecturally boring, library. The Frisco and Newman Buildings are testimony to what could have been. No amount of strip malls and hamburger joints will give Joplin back what its citizens chose to throw away. When I was in junior high, in the 1960s, high schools would have dances in the roof garden of theConnor. It must have been quite a place.