Removal of newer facade reveals original front of Pearl Brothers Hardware building in Joplin

In recent weeks, contractors for the new owner of Pearl Bros. Hardware building in downtown Joplin, Missouri, removed the green metal facade that had covered the original front of the building for about 60 years.

A reporter for KOAM-TV showed before-and-after images of the work being done by Neal Group Construction:

The story also contained details about why the green facade was installed in the first place:

In short between 1949 and 1974, the U.S. government underwrote this process of Urban Renewal through a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant and loan program.

Countless private and public entities claimed these HUD monies to tear down aging/blighted buildings, or possibly cover the brick to avoid costly maintenance as a structure aged.

The station reported the building will be converted into apartments on the upper floors and retail space on the ground floor.

New owner Sawyer Smith previously said he also plans to nominate the building to the National Register of Historic Places.

Pearl Brothers Hardware closed in late January after serving Joplin for 117 years after owner Harold Berger said he needed to retire because of mounting health problems.

Gus and Dave Pearl opened the store in 1905 at 220 S. Main St., predating the oldest alignment of Route 66 by more than 20 years.

Its current location at 617 S. Main St. since 1965 still is on the old alignment and sits less than a block from the newer Seventh Street alignment of Route 66.

Pearl Brothers Hardware also is the site of a prominent photo-op in the region. In 2013, Images in Tile created the Route 66 Mural Park and embedded a half-Corvette on the south side of the building.

(Hat tip to Mark Mahy; screen-capture image from KOAM video of the newly exposed original front of the Pearl Brothers Hardware building in Joplin, Missouri)

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