Wally Kennedy: Joplin Furniture Co. building has new ownership

Apr. 28—The Joplin Furniture Co. building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Main streets is under new ownership.

The building, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, has been acquired by Midwestern Interactive, according to an announcement by the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, Matthew Johnson.

In a recent tweet, Johnson said the company had closed on the "50k/sqft building on the corner of Main Street and Seventh. We are moving all of our Joplin teams to the heart of downtown, doubling down on making Joplin, Missouri, our Midwestern headquarters."

The company, which operates from a recently remodeled storefront at 713 S. Main St., provides planning, design, development and implementation of software, apps and branding. The company, founded in 2012, has more than 100 employees.

The Joplin Furniture Co. building, under the ownership of Dr. Michael Joseph, of Joplin, since 2013, has been renovated with new storefronts on the first floor that faces Main Street. The architects were Hunter & Millard Architects, of Joplin. Recently, more than 102 windows were replaced.

The Joplin Furniture Co. building, designed by Joplin architect August C. Michaelis, is actually two buildings that have been combined. They were constructed in 1899 and 1906. They were expanded and combined in 1908 and 1923. The building is an example of the Classical Revival style. The furniture company occupied the building from 1908 to 1982. The lower floor was occupied by Anderson Drugs, Bormaster Shoes, J.C. Penney and Hornaday's over the years. It was recently home to Olsson Associates, an engineering firm, which has relocated to the Gryphon Building at 1027 S. Main St.

Out for now

The handwritten signs placed on the front doors of the El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant and Pham's Pho Best Vietnamese Cuisine suggest they are down for now but not out.

The restaurants, located next to each other in the Range Line Marketplace shopping center at 2330 S. Range Line Road, closed after a fire erupted in the rear part of El Vallarta during the lunch hour April 13. The fire caused collateral smoke damage to Pham's Pho, located north of the Mexican restaurant. Uncommon Orthodontics, located south of the restaurant, was closed for one day for cleaning.

Firewalls in the shopping center limited the fire damage to the restaurant but not the smoke. The shopping center was successfully evacuated, and the fire was brought under control within 30 minutes of firefighters arriving at the scene. The fire was apparently caused by combustible materials stored too closely to a heat source.

The sign at El Vallarta says it's "temporarily closed." The sign at Pham's Pho says it's "reopening soon."

ArtWalk ahead

The First Thursday ArtWalk will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. next week at several venues in downtown Joplin.

The Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., will feature artists, exhibits and a small works auction. The main gallery will feature PhotoSpiva 2023, now in its 47th year. The reserve gallery will feature the juried exhibition of the Four States Photography Enthusiasts Club. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. ArtWalk artist Ashley William will be featured in the second-floor lobby.

At the Joplin Avenue Coffee Co., 506 S. Joplin Ave., paintings by Rachel Cabral will be displayed. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Also on display will be works by Brent Edwards, Misty White, Dan Trogdon, Neva Rowland, Olevia Opel and Annie Hulette. Music will be by Dwayne Smith.

At 411 S. Main St., Ron Erwin and Thao Nguyen will show their photography from recent travels and display merchandise from their store, Eccentrix. At Fullbore, 413 S. Main St., paintings by Debbie Judy and Lego wall art by Joshua Judy will be shown.

Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St., will host photographer Mike Ritzman. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Music will be by Tough Luck Chuck.

At Plant Parenthood, 528 S. Main St., work by artists Merlen White, Marta Churchwell, Connie Miller and Brent Skinner will be shown. At Beast and Barrel, next door, painter Cheryl Church will display examples of her work. A reception begins at 6 p.m.

At Club 609, 609 S. Main St., the artist members of the Local Color Art Gallery and their students will show "The HeART of Joplin" in all types of mediums. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Wally Kennedy at wkennedy@joplinglobe.com.