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Progress means change.

Anticipating the growth of the community, merchants actually began spreading out from the downtown and Commercial Street areas before World War II. Individual firms built outlying stores in the intervening years . . . John Ramey built the first "supermarket" at Sunshine Street and Glenstone Avenue in 1939 and it was the development of the Plaza Shopping Center at that same location which started the trend to "mini-downtowns" throughout the community.

That trend reached a new plateau in 1970 when the city received its first huge covered shopping area, Battlefield Mall. Construction of such malls, large and small, has continued since with an announcement at the start of the sesquicentennial year of even another large center.

Paralleling the development of outlying shopping areas, in connection with an increasingly mobile population, was the development of hotels more convenient for motorists, or motels. Many of the largest were built along rapidly developing Glenstone Avenue which also carried U.S. Highway 65 and joined to Interstate 44. Today, (1980) there are 50 motels and hotels in the community providing over 3,000 rooms to visitors, an important factor in the growing tourism industry.

These developments soon turned the once tranquil city street into a commercialized "million dollar strip" with the second busiest intersection . . . Sunshine and Glenstone . . . in the state.

Glenstone Avenue near St. Louis Street was still relatively open in the early 1950's.
Ramey's Supermarket was the first occupant of what was to become the Plaza Shopping Center which was slowly filling up in the 1940's. Note the ball field to the east.
The area around the intersection of Sunshine Street and Campbell Avenue also began developing rapidly in the 1950's
The Battlefield Mall, the city's first large enclosed shopping center, opened in 1970.
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