Centers of entertainment varied.
To provide a place for all types of entertainment and meetings, businessmen in the community raised the money to build a Convention Center in 1913 . . . the largest in the Midwest . . . on city land at Campbell Avenue and McDaniel Street. It served that purpose until 1933. Since that time, Springfield has been without an official convention center, as such, with several other facilities sharing the load.
Much of the entertainment that has come to the community has performed in the Shrine Mosque, built in 1923 by the Abou Ben Adhem Temple at Kimbrough Avenue and St. Louis Streets. Today, it is one of the city's historic sites.
Sharing the load of showplace for entertainment has been the auditorium of the Senior High School, built in 1935, which is still the home of The Springfield Symphony and the Community Concerts series.
Newest entertainment center is the Hammons Student Center on the Southwest Missouri State University campus.
Several attempts were made in the late 1960's to get voter approval for the construction of a new Civic Center just north of the square, but without success.
The names of people who have appeared at one of these sites is like an honor roll of entertainment and shows the community's diversity of tastes. They include Sir Harry Lauder, Tito Schipa, Mischa Elman, Galli-Curci, Anna Pavlova, Ignace Paderewski, John McCormick, Jose Greco, Elvis Presley, Bob Hope and others.
|This Convention Center was built in 1913 at Campbell Avenue and McDaniel Street.
|Artist's conception of a civic center complex that was voted upon and defeated several times in the early 1960's.
|The Shrine Mosque (below) has been a center of entertainment since 1923.
Hammons Student Center at Southwest Missouri State University.
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