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Baltimore Ave., North from 11th
Baltimore Ave., North from 11th
TitleBaltimore Ave., North from 11th
DescriptionPostcard of Baltimore Ave., North from 11th
Historical ArticleA postcard published in color about 1910 pictures the ornate Willis Wood Theater (at the left) and the George B. Peck department store (at right). Both buildings are gone today.

The familiar New York Life building built between 1887 and 1890, in the background of the picture, remains in use today as an office building.

The Willis Wood Theater was built by Col. Willis Wood, who came to Kansas City from St. Joseph, Mo., about 1900. When the Coates House Theater burned, he hired Louis Curtiss, the architect, to draw plans for a fine new theater for legitimate plays.

Colonel Wood occupied a bachelor apartment at the Baltimore Hotel, diagonally across the street, during construction and watched every detail of the work as it progressed. The theater opened Aug. 25, 1902, with Amelia Bingham and a notable cast in The Modern Magdalene.

Not only was the Willis Wood Theater's reputation high in Kansas City, but it was considered a superb theater throughout the country.

It was razed in 1918 to make way for the new 20-story Kansas City Athletic Club building. Today this building is the Continental Hotel. The George B. Peck store extended from Baltimore to Main. It was built by John Doggett, an early-day merchant, and originally was called Doggett's. Peck, an affluent Detroit banker and merchant, came west in 1889, bought stock in Doggett's store and served as a director and vice president. He bought out Doggett's interest in 1898 and changed the name of the store.

The store closed in 1964 after 77 years' operation. Today the site is occupied by Don's World of Beef and a parking facility.

Kansas City Times
January 26, 1979

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectStreets
Baltimore Avenue
New York Life Building
Willis Wood Theater
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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