HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Benton Avenue (view 1 of 2)
Benton Avenue was named after Thomas Hart Benton, one of Missouri's first two United States senators. The street is a broad thoroughfare with beautiful homes on the west side and the flourishing Drury College (now University) on the right or east side. Benton Avenue originally extended from Commercial Street to St. Louis Street, with the fine houses becoming smaller where the railroad tracks crossed it in the Jordan Valley. The Benton Avenue viaduct was built in 1928 for carrying Benton Avenue drivers over the many railroad tracks. Benton was a brick street until 1958 when the bricks were covered with asphalt.
This and the second postcard shows a view from Central Street looking north down Benton Avenue. This postcard is probably the older view based on the cars showing in both photographs. The suggested date of 1925 seems reasonable for this postcard and maybe a little later date for the second postcard, with Springfield (Central) High School on the left. The school is not its usual red brick color but appears to be a gray color in the second postcard. Perhaps the artist who colored this embellished photograph forgot the color by the time the print was made.
At the south, Benton Avenue ends at the Benton Avenue viaduct, where it merges into Kimbrough. To the north it continues through north Springfield. A few of the fine old homes remain but most have been swallowed up with the expansion of Cox Medical Center North.