These may not be accurate; improvements may have been made. After all, a light rail system traverses the street.

Not being sarcastic; that often helps. It gentrifies the area, and the disorder and abandonment decrease.

I don’t know why I ended up here; perhaps it was the peculiar nature of the abandonment, which is different than small towns. It's messier, and bigger. Grand ruins are more disheartening than small ones.

We have it all, right here. What do I mean? Look, and count ‘em up.
You have the brick sidewalks - that’ll bring back the shoppers! You have the Logan’s-Run-era planters. Trees! That’ll bring them back. There’s a post-war rehab metal facade. Curb cuts. It’s all there, the history of downtowns after 1949.
Apparently when I snapped these I was just jumping around town:
1904. The county’s official account of the building’s history is as boring as it could possibly be.
Everyone was kinda down in the dumps when they started building this one, but we all cheered up and had a great time doing the second floor!
Ah, there’s the Main Street desertion pron we’ve come to know and love.
Angle parking: always welcome.
And here’s the other thing we hope to see:

A music venue now, but once a movie house. From an old recollection page:

One of the regular Granada matinee patrons would arrive out front in her KU student chauffeured sixteen cylinder Cadillac. With her summer white shoes, white stockings and white dress, Mrs. J. B. Watkins, who was to become Lawrence’s outstanding benefactress, would alight gracefully, assisted by the liveried attendant, after he had purchased her ticket, then smiling to all present, make a regal entrance to the theater.

Completely intact, if that stone at the bottom is original. Keep this in mind; this is what they looked like before the row of windows above the main display windows were boarded up for signage.
That median, though. I approve of trees on the median, but again, the design is pure Logan's Run-era sadness.
You know, I think this used to be a movie theater:

Opened in 1926, and was, to say the obvious, remodeled in the 60s. If that facade doesn't say "hopeful high-school date before you're called up for 'Nam" I don't know what does.

Original view here.

Most polite vandals EVER

It was not a Masonic Temple at the time of this shot; a church occupied the space. In an article about the church’s relocation, some interesting details:

. . . the building has an inordinate number of bank vaults. Compton said he has a letter from the early 1900s from J.B. Watkins, a Lawrence banker who operated just down the street. Watkins provided the loan for the Masonic Temple building but required that the building be constructed in a way that it could house a bank, if the temple venture happened to fail.

Compton said he wouldn’t rule out a bank or retail uses for the building, pointing to examples of how downtown buildings could be retrofitted for new uses.

“The temple venture.”

Tidy postwar structure; that’s all.
Wouldn’t surprise me if it started life as a bank.
“Who’d you hire to design your new church? I hear you’re starting construction next week.”
“Don’t know his name, but I hope he doesn’t have a crippling neurosis about the size of his penis, and overcompensates in his work.”
“Who’d you hire?”
“Harold Harkenson. Nice fellow. Used to be a diabetes-supply salesman.”
A name of local note.
Ah! There’s a large addition to the downtown streetscape, he said, straining to find something nice to say.
Thin windows, blank inverted corners, wider on the second floor than the first - every design mistake of its day.
You know it’s the old-time department store, and the old building probably still lurks behind that metal facade:
What it looked like before can be found here.
Hmm. Aztecky-Deco-Moderne something something
At least we know what the building once held.
Another empty spot. No one could see the retail for the trees!
Ah, off-the-shelf Sullivanesque ornament, we meet again
I wondered why I snapped this, and then I got it. There’s one detail that belongs to the last two or three decades of the previous century. Can you see it?
Hint: it hurt if you rubbed up against it wearing shorts.
I’m almost too bored to check, so let me just throw out my suspicions: hotel, built in two phases.


Good thing I didn’t say “it’s senior housing now,” because for once it’s not.

The Eldridge House Hotel (often referred to as the Eldridge Hotel or simply the Eldridge) is a historic building located on Massachusetts Street, in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. The building is named after Shalor Eldridge, a prominent anti-slavery individual who erected the building in the mid-1800s. The building, as its contemporary name suggests, is currently used as a hotel.

Don’t know what it is today, but it would make a nice city hall.

This gives me a pain in the area where my teen memories are stored. This was the world they were giving us. AND WE THOUGHT IT WAS COOL.

By their slanting planters shall ye know them.