Exciting announcement coming Spring of 2019 about this local landmark!
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.
“New ideas need old buildings.”
New life coming to the Medical Arts 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.