Reader asks about vacant building in Campbell and Grand



Answer man: At the northeast corner of Campbell Avenue and Grand Street, there is an abandoned building with a strange shape. Looks like he’s got some type of drive-in. What kind of business was it? – Gary Howard, from Springfield

Gary asked me this question in 2017. As I said before, I write down all the questions I get as an Answer Man and sometimes revise the ones I haven’t answered yet.

Just to let you know, I contacted Gary on Thursday to verify he was alive and well. He is.

I usually drive to work along Campbell Avenue and drive past this building a lot.

Maybe he was in better shape in 2017; I do not remember.

Gary didn’t mention in his email that he was run down, but it sure is.

Here’s what I learned from various public materials, including old city directories and our online newspaper archives.

Answer Man: What can you tell me about the abandoned building on Campbell Avenue and Grand Street?

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The building located at 946 S. Campbell Avenue was constructed in 1953.

At first it was a gas station.

We have a mishmash collection of old town directories in the newsroom; the oldest dates from 1962.

In the 1962, 1964 and 1965 directories – we do not have any from 1963 – the tenant at the address was Wood’s DX Service / gasoline.

I guess the drive-thru you see today may have been a service area.

From 1960 to 2015, a period of 55 years, the building was owned by Carl R. Warren.

The first city directory that we have in the newsroom for Warren who runs his company – Radio and TV Consulting – in this building dates back to 1971.

In one of the photos with this story, you can see the word “Carl” on the building.

Answer Man: What can you tell me about the abandoned building on Campbell Avenue and Grand Street?

In another photo you can see the faded remnants of the word “television”.

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The “tallest man in the world” on television

Warren has run his business from the building for many years.

I know this because when I searched for his name in our newspaper archives, there were 376 matches. I estimate 95 percent were classifieds that he paid for in the newspaper.

One of his advertisements appeared on February 20, 1962; He says, “Carl R. Warren: all the brand new two way radios. Springfield’s premier and best communications service.

It looks like Warren had a bit of PT Barnum in him.

His ad of August 26, 1963 read: “Carl R. Warren: The Greatest Television Man in the World wholesale the following televisions, RCA, Zenith, Philco, Motorola and GE, all of these are offered at a 50% discount. %. terms.”

I don’t know what he meant by “experienced”.

In 1995, he ran an ad selling vintage radios at 946 S. Campbell Ave.

One oddity is that apparently Warren struggled to prevent the theft of American flags.

A press article from October 10, 1979 indicates that for the 17th time, a flag has been removed from the site.

Two separate addresses are on the building. There is 946 S. Campbell Ave. I also saw a different number on the building facing Grand Street.

Answer Man: What can you tell me about the abandoned building on Campbell Avenue and Grand Street?

According to city directories, over the years there was often a second tenant on the site. These second tenants changed frequently.

The tenants include an insurance agency, a printer, a biomedical electronics repair company, and, oddly enough, the Wilcox House of Flags – which leads me to believe there may have been a reason why so many flags have been torn off.

Warren was an occasional letter to the editor. On July 27, 1990, we published one:

“Good manners forbid wearing a cap or smoking in a catering establishment.

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“Passing a law to enforce good manners seems dangerous and the wrong way to deal with it. “

It seems reasonable to me.

I don’t know when Warren closed his business, but I do know he passed away at the age of 93 on March 26, 2013.

The building and property were sold in April 2015 to Jack Penn Redevelopment LLC.

A local lawyer is listed as the company’s agent and organizer.

I left him a message but did not receive a response within the deadline.

Answer Man: What can you tell me about the abandoned building on Campbell Avenue and Grand Street?

I wanted to know what the plans are for the building and if anything is going to be done soon because the property – at a major intersection in town – in my opinion now meets the definition of “horror”.

Keep these questions coming. Send them to The Answer Man at 417-836-1253, [email protected], on Twitter @stevepokinNL or by mail at 651 Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65806.


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