Vaughn’s Diamond was standout building downtown

Northeast News
July 17, 2013

What became known as “The Junction” was actually the intersection of three primary streets in early downtown Kansas City with Vaughn’s Diamond at the center of the three streets.

Vaughn’s Diamond Building was one of the most prominent buildings in Kansas City during the 1800s and early 1900s. The property was originally plotted as part of Ross and Scarritt’s addition, and in 1857, Samuel Vaughn, a local real estate agent and investor, purchased the property. Vaughn hired noted architect Asa Beebe Cross to design a long, narrow building that would fit the odd shaped parcel. The result was a four-story, Second Empire-style office building constructed in 1869 for roughly $30,000 that would dominate the downtown skyline for more than 40 years.

By 1890, the Ninth and Main streets intersection was one of the busiest intersections in the city, requiring a full-time traffic officer (Mike Tuite) to shout “wide awake” or “clear the tracks” to unwitting pedestrians who happened to be in the way of the Ninth Street streetcar that often came careening down the hill toward the Junction. The building was demolished in 1915 to make way for the new Westlake Hotel. After years of decline, the hotel was demolished in 1954 after the structure was sold to the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority. Both streets were realigned, and today the statue “Muse of the Missouri” stands on the site.

The message on the back of the C.U. Williams postcard reads, “Dear Grace, I could not send you anything for Christmastime but will send your present as soon as I get downtown again. Love Bill.” The card was mailed to Grace Browning of Greencastle, Ind., on Jan. 13, 1910.




Comments are closed.

  • Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    October 19th, 2016

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..

    P&L building lights up KC

    October 12th, 2016

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 12, 2016 Arguably one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the […]

    A royal treat since 1899

    September 27th, 2016

    Northeast News The roots of today’s American Royal can be traced to 1899 when the fledgling event was referred to as the National Hereford Show.

    Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 20th, 2016

    Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent Kansas City architect of its day.

    Taming the streets of Kansas City

    September 13th, 2016

    Northeast News Print advertisements placed by the Oldsmobile Company in 1939 tout the new Olds “60” as the “car that tamed the Belgian Block,” referring to how well the car’s

  • Innovative trucks drove Kansas City’s economy

    September 7th, 2016

    Northeast News Following Labor Day, we publish this rare Real Photo postcard and dedicate it to those who drive the wheels of our economy.

    Kelly Flour Mills workers would have celebrated Labor Day

    August 30th, 2016

    Northeast News The Labor Day holiday is coming Monday, so here, with this Real Photo Postcard published in 1910, we pay homage to the greatest workforce on the face of

    Vanderslice made it big in the KC ice and coal business

    August 23rd, 2016

    Northeast News This week, in celebration of the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, we showcase an advertising postcard published for

    Highest point in Kansas City housed corruption cleanser

    August 16th, 2016

    Northeast News This advertising postcard from The Westmoreland Company shows a residence at 74th and Mercier streets.

    Benton Circle: the early days

    August 9th, 2016

    Northeast News This week, we feature a card John Straley published between 1925-1930 titled “The Benton Circle,” shown in its original configuration at the intersection of St.

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Superintendent Bedell joins NEAT for update on KCPS

      By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 21, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Mark Bedell is set to deliver a […]

    City fast-tracking plans to look at incentives, CID policy

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council may soon spend as […]

    Car chase ends at Budd Park

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two suspects were arrested after a brief chase up Hardesty and […]