The "Courthouse Square" Historic District in Downtown West Plains was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in July 2003. This designation recognizes the importance of the Courthouse Square and Washington Avenue in the history of West Plains. The streets on Court Square enter the square in the middle of each side and not in the corners as they do in most public squares.
A large majority of the buildings were built in the 40 years following the arrival of the railroad in 1885 and they reflect the town's commercial and governmental importance in the early Ozarks. In 2006, Governor Matt Blunt unveiled a new initiative called Downtown Revitalization Economic Assistance for Missouri, or more simply the DREAM Initiative. West Plains was one of ten Missouri Communities selected as the first inductees into the DREAM Initiative.We are extremely proud to be given this special designation and hope that you will visit our historic downtown soon.
West Plains Opera House
The West Plains Opera House is known as "The Jewel of the Square," established in 1886. This historic building is the venue for spectacular weddings, receptions, concerts and the performing arts.
Downtown Antique Mall
Comprised of over 50 individual vendors housed under one roof, the Antique Mall offers antiques, collectables and coins. The "Window on the Square" coffee bar inside the mall is a fun place to take a break from shopping with a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. New in 2009 at the Mall is the Ozarks Bookshop on the balcony. Our bookshop features books on our region and its history. Books by local authors are also on display.
Artist Michael McClure has created a series of twelve images that depict successive time periods from the pristine state of nature to the arrival of Native Americans, then the first white settlers through the Civil War and on into the 20th century. A second mural entitled "Country Cookin" features the Ozarks' rich musical heritage. These murals are sure to fascinate your entire family.