Michael Bushnell

The intersection of Thompson Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard looks only a little different in 2023 than it did in 1910 when this hand colored postcard was published by the Southwest News Company of Kansas City, Mo. In the distance is the domed roof of the Independence Boulevard Christian Church. If you look carefully, you can tell it’s prior to the “new” education wing being added to the western part of the church.

In the foreground on the right are the El Detora apartments at 500-506 Gladstone Boulevard. A uniformed doorman stood outside the entrances to the building, opening the heavy oak and plate glass doors for the residents as they entered and exited. Built originally with 16 three-bedroom apartments, the halls were tiled with marble wainscoting. The huge units featured pocket doors and balconies with decorative iron railings that overlooked fashionable Gladstone Boulevard. The name of the apartments later changed to The Barbara Worth, shortened to Barbourworth. The extensions on the balconies were also removed at a later date.

The home with the arched porches on the far left of the postcard has been razed and a late 1950’s ranch style four-plex stands in its place along with a gravel parking lot. The conical “witch’s hat” roofed home was purchased in the early 2000’s and returned to single family status. Moving south, the other homes on the east side of the street remain standing as well, most of which have been returned to single family residences by previous or present owners.

The postcard was mailed to a postcard collector in the late 1920’s. The private message on the back reads: “Dear Friend, Your card received. Hope you are all well. I am well and enjoying my visit. Best regards to all the family, your friend, Mrs. Lawson.”

It was sent on May 17, 1910, at 5 p.m. from the Armourdale Station in Kansas City, Kan., to Mrs. J. S. Gale, 1141 Woodward Ave., Topeka, Kan.,