Kansas City, MO

Crossroads Icon: Globe Warehouse

CJ Coombs
Globe Storage and Transfer Company Building, Kansas City, Missouri.Photo byMwkruse, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Globe Storage and Transfer Company Building, Globe Warehouse for short, is an old historic building located at 1712 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri. On April 18, 2007, it landed a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

At the time this building was nominated for the National Register, it was vacant. The architectural style is the Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movement. The building has a concrete foundation and obviously, the walls are brick. The architect was James O. Hogg and the general contactor was James T. Patterson. The building was constructed in 1902, 121 years ago.

This brick building is seven stories tall and is divided into three bays meaning there are three rows of windows. This building has historic significance as it captures your attention on Main Street. Of course, it has a new advertising sign on the north side of the building now.

Photo byGoogle Maps.

Today, the building houses other businesses like Plexpod, providing working spaces, meeting rooms, and event space. Also in the building is Lean Start Lab. It's always a good thing when an old building has proposed plans for rehabilitation and reuse. After all, the significance of this building is the historic nature of its architecture and use in commerce.

In 1902, Kansas City architect, James Oliver Hogg, was retained by William E. Sullivan to design this seven-story building so he could expand his business which was the Globe Storage and Transfer Company. His company had been operating since 1896. By 1915, Global Storage was one of 13 storage warehouses that were operating in the city.

In 1925, under the new ownership of Nelson T. Haynes, the building received its new name of Global Warehouse. In 1960, when Haynes died, the company passed to his widow, Eleanor H. Haynes, and under her ownership, it continued to operate into the 1970s.

Imagine how this storage business began with horse-drawn delivery wagons and transitioned to the era of automobiles. The building is also one of the early commercial warehouse buildings designed by Hogg.

Moving and Storage Industry in Kansas City

As early as 1826, storage warehouses provided an important service in Kansas City. Francois Chouteau operated Chouteau's Warehouse which served as a trading center, company warehouse, and headquarters. By the 1830s Chouteau's warehouse was a storage and staging center between the river and The Town of Westport, which is now part of Kansas City.

As Kansas City grew, especially when the railroad came on the scene in 1870, more storage was needed. By 1900, there were two kinds of warehouse storage services in the city. One was where a warehouse was used by a company either by selling it or leasing it to a company. For example, Emery Bird and Thayer would have its items put into their warehouse until it was ready to be transported to its store.

Since Kansas City was like a crossroads between the east and west coasts, it received and shipped freight daily. The industry became profit-making because there was such a need. The railroad helped in getting goods to a business or customer. When the automobile came along, the city expanded and there was even a greater need to transfer even more goods.

William Edmund Sullivan

Sullivan, the original owner of the Globe Storage and Transfer Company Building, was born in 1869 in St. Louis, but he was raised in Kansas City. In 1887, he graduated from Notre Dame University. When Sullivan came back to Kansas City, he was appointed to a deputyship in Kansas City, Missouri's city clerk's office.

Sullivan was already aware Kansas City was going to have more of a need for storage and moving businesses. He and his father, M. L. Sullivan, formed Sullivan and Son, Proprietors in 1896. One could say that was the beginning of Global Storage.

In the beginning, they were in a four-story building on Main Street and conveniently located near the city's downtown business district. As Kansas City expanded to the south, the business grew and Sullivan needed to have a newer building to keep up with needs.

Although the company began as a storage facility, as it grew, it included moving, packing, and shipping services.

By 1921, the building was used for storage by Southwest Electric Supply. In 1925, Nelson T. Haynes, owned and operated Globe Warehouse with his son, Harold acting as secretary and treasurer. Their company stored merchandise. Nelson's wife, Eleanor, was the vice president.

Nelson died in 1948 at age 88 or 89. After his death, Eleanor became the company president, and Harold served as vice president. A man named Joseph F. Brady was the secretary and treasurer at that point.

By 1970, Eleanor and Joseph had married. In 1973, Globe Warehouse listed Harold as president of Globe Warehouse and Eleanor as the retired widow of Joseph Brady.

The building had sat vacant since the 1970s. It was purchased and rehabilitated in 2013.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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