Throwback Thursday – The Barr Building

Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green has been under construction for most of the summer. As the square continues morphing into its latest version, it still maintains the nostalgic feel with its historic buildings and stories. This week we’re taking a closer look at the Barr Building on Main Street.

The Barr Building was constructed between 1891 and 1895. The two-story building façade is highly decorative with ornate details on the cornice and windows. The storefront on the ground floor was renovated in the 1920s.

The Barr Building was originally built for two businesses to share on the ground floor. One was a gentleman’s furnishings store that sold boots and shoes, and the other was a millinery shop specializing in ladies fashion and hats. The storefront was redesigned for Hartig-Binzel jewelers, who took over the ground floor in the 1930s. Some of Bowling Green’s finest were known to shop at this jewelry store, including the wife of Duncan Hines, the man behind the cake mix. Hartig-Binzel closed in the 1980s.

The second floor was a dental office dedicated to Doctor Edward T. Barr, for whom the building was named. Dr. Barr was also a city councilman, deacon at the Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Elks Lodge. He was known to enjoy talking to his patients about the time he worked on the famous WWI general, Blackjack Pershing, while he was in the Army’s medical corps during the war.

Barbara Stewart interiors has occupied the space since the jewelry store moved out and continues to be one of Bowling Green’s longtime Fountain Square residents.