Pat Carroll has seen downtown Kansas City boom, bust and boom again. Watching the neighborhood evolve has become part of his current obsession.
As owner of Gallup Map & Art Company at 1733 Main St. in the Crossroads Arts District, Carroll is the curator of a 100-year-old map archive. He has kept alive one of the oldest companies in Kansas City by responding to the times and turning maps into personalized art pieces.
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Gallup Map creates reproductions of vintage, antique and historical maps as well as custom maps of midwest lakes and “honor maps” that show the country or city of a family’s ancestry.
Carroll’s favorite thing to do these days is spending time with his 12-year-old son exploring the redeveloped areas of downtown Kansas City and North Kansas City.
“You walk through, and you can hear live music everywhere,” Carroll says.
Gallup Map & Art Company has been at its Crossroads location for decades, through the booming 1960s and 1970s when Carroll’s parents owned the business, to the 1980s and 1990s when downtown was like a ghost town.
He thought about packing up and moving to the suburbs 20 years ago, but decided to buy the building and stay. Twenty-five years later, that decision puts him right in the middle of the action and on the streetcar line. He enjoys watching the area’s rebirth.
“What was old is old again, because they don’t make any of this stuff new,” Carroll says.
“When I walk around the Crossroads, all these 100-year-old buildings are not being torn down,” he adds. “They are being fixed up and repaired and people are putting up murals. It’s just amazing.”