This postcard, published by Ozark News Agency in Springfield, Missouri,
was distributed when the Medical Arts Building was built in 1928-1930.
The building was erected at the southeast corner of South Avenue
and Pershing Street at a cost of $425,000. It soon was filled
to capacity, mainly with doctors, dentists and other medical-related
offices. It was conveniently located near St
John's Hospital, Burge Hospital and Baptist Hospital. The eight-story building
was owned by bondholders under the directorship of the Greene
County Medical Arts Association.
In 1944 Springfield real estate dealer O.L. Burger purchased the
building. The building was at 90 percent capacity at the time of
the sale. The following year Arthur Eichholz purchased the building.
He owned the building for 18 years along with General Properties,
a family corporation including Eichholz’s son Richard and
Maurice Bilyeu. During this time the building was consistently
at nearly full capacity. It was renamed the Empire Building.
In 1963 Butler And Associates, an architectural firm, purchased
the Empire from General Properties Inc. They paid over $300,000
for the building. Throughout the 1960s and through the 1970s the
Empire fell on hard times. Park Plaza Development Company purchased
the building in 1972. In April, 1974, each of the nine remaining
tenants received letters asking them to vacate the building. Empire
Bank had acquired the property through a foreclosure. Empire Bank
had a second mortgage on the building and a first mortgage on its
parking lot. Great Southern Savings had a first mortgage on the
building. The Empire was vacated on May 1, 1974. In 1976 Diversified
Land and Cattle Company acquired the building. Partners James Crawford
and Darence Clenginger were the first occupants. In 1978 the Springfield
City Directory listed the building’s name as Park Central
Towers. In 1977 Burrell Behavorial Health moved into the building,
where they stayed until 1984. By 1980 there were several tenants
in Park Central Tower. The 1985 City Directory shows Great Southern
Insurance occupying several floors, the Greene County Democratic
Committee in the ground floor and miscellaneous other businesses
in the building. From approximately 1990 to the present Great Southern
Bank has occupied the entire building.