Title: Boley Building

Description: Postcard of the Boley Building at 12th and Walnut Streets

Historical Article: The 6-story Boley building, on the northwest corner of twelfth and Walnut street, was built in 1908 for the clothing store of Charles N. Boley. Today the building is occupied by a Katz drug store, Katz general offices and a Three Sister specialty shop.

Street traffic, as depicted by this 1910 postcard, was not heavy. Only five horse-drawn vehicles are seen. There are street car tracks on both Walnut and Twelfth.

Business establishments north of Boley's were the Fashion shop (hats), A. B. Lewis, proprietor, and the Globe Theater with four tall arches forming the entrance at 1112 Walnut.

In the bottom left foreground a street sign, Jones, identifies the 2-story Jones Store company building. The 1910 city directory lists Lawrence M. Jones, president and treasurer, J. Logan Jones, vice-president and secretary, and Chester L. Jones, assistant treasurer. The Jones store extended, as it does today, from Main to Walnut on Twelfth.

Mitchell Photos, operated by Arthur D. Mitchell, was at 15 East Twelfth.

At the top left, in the background, is the Hotel Baltimore.

The Boley building was designed by a famous Kansas City architect, Louis Curtiss. Fifty-five years after its construction the August 1963, issue of Progressive Architecture stated.

The Boley building in Kansas City was the masterpiece of Louis Curtiss. Pointing the way for the future and departing from established custom, it is enclosed in flat planes of glass and steel and is conspicuously lacking in the ornamentation and overhanging cornices so popular in 1908. It was considered stark and barren, even ugly, but in reality it anticipated by more than 40 years, the entire range of metal and glass curtain wall construction that became architectural idiom in the 1950's.

Other well known creations of Louis Curtiss were the Bisonte hotel of Fred Harvey at Hutchinson, Kansas; additions to El Tovar hotel at the Grand Canyon and several large railway stations. In Kansas City he designed the Willis Wood theater, the first section of the Hotel Baltimore on Eleventh street, and Oak Hall, the residence of William Rockhill Nelson.

The huge sign of Boley's above the building, was removed long ago, but carved in stone in the masonry above the top floor, on both Walnut and Twelfth, are a large shell, festoons and the lettering, Boley.

Kansas City Star
December 27, 1969

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Buildings; Boley Building

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000097

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

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