Tile Vault: Sam's Bargain Town

Tile Vault: Sam's Bargain Town

Sarah Rae Smith
Jul 14, 2008

What: Exterior 1x1 tiles at Sam's Bargain Town

Where: Truman Road, Kansas City Mo.

When: Photos taken Saturday, July 12th @ 6 p.m.

Why: Truman Road in K.C. Mo, is a street that feels like it could be found in any major metropolitan city. It's the road that is considered the "back way" from the suburbs to the downtown area. It takes you through 3 different cultures, income levels, and languages. Back in the day it held great little grocery stores, diners and dime stores like Sam's Bargain Town. The building still has it's fantastic vintage signing although it's been many things over the years. The tiling is is red, black, butter yellow, metallic gold and aqua.
More photos of Sam's after the jump...

Sam's Bargain Town was the first of it's kind when it came to shopping. It was a mini-big-box store, carrying everything from food to clothes and camping gear. At the time of it's arrival in KC (early 50's) it was only one of 4 stores around the country selling things of this nature.

This patch of tile is original to the building, even though it has been a grocery store, drug store, used appliance store and last but not least... a day care. It sits between what is now the side entrance and exit, although it used to be the main entrance into the building.

The tile has always been something that catches your eye as you drive past. The bold color choices seem to flag you down from the road, and the shimmer off the gold tiles doesn't hurt.

The building has giant plastic spheres atop the roof. Although they have seen better days, they are the true trademark of the building. They have been there since the start as you can see here.

The spheres made such a great contrast against the sky, there just had to be one more photo of them.

This tall sign sits across the street from the building. What once lured customers in, now holds down the corner to an empty lot. It has fallen victim to the same type of store that it helped create, but the signage and tile still live on to tell the story.

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