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Final Expansion

October 18, 2017

As a continuation of the History Museum Library discoveries, this post is about the last addition to the building. A company magazine introduced us to Miss Callahan, there was more news to be found in a company newspaper. Before this, Tom found some early images of the BAB through the Southwestern Bell archives. There’s a post with those images.

The company newspaper was called The Broadcaster, which covered the Missouri and Arkansas region of Southwestern Bell. In the August 4, 1928 issue includes an article about the addition.

This shows the second floor, east side addition and the chimney raised by 15′. It looks like they haven’t finished painting the new windows, or cleaning up the site, yet.

For comparison, here’s the elevation from the blueprints we, fortunately, found in a closet.

One new discovery was that this also added a new, second exchange, “Hudson”, to this location.

The other interesting information was the project’s cost.

The equipment cost more than double the construction cost.

That was a lot of money in 1928! I guess when the equipment costs that much, spending on architectural flourishes, like terracotta details and iron spot brick, to house it pales in comparison.

The drawings we have are are dated March 28, 1928 and this article shows that the addition was close to completed in early August of 1928- just 5 months! For a cast concrete and masonry building, that is remarkably fast time frame, especially given the relatively primitive tools available at the time.

There is so much to geek-out over in the Library! This publication is nearly 90 years old and is in amazing condition. The volunteer indexers and the helpful staff have made this research super easy!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah Richie permalink
    October 22, 2017 8:09 pm

    How wonderful that you found all this information! I love reading your updates (and miss book club at the BAB.)

    • Sue permalink*
      October 23, 2017 4:36 pm

      Thanks Deb! It has been fun doing the research. We miss you too!

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