SPRINGFIELD, Mo—In a recent renovation of Springfield's Landers Theater, crews stumbled on a staircase from 1909. It was part of the original construction, but eventually forgotten after a number of renovations.
While it was hidden, its history was also forgotten.
"it's in the original plans for the theater," says Beth Domann, Executive Director of the Landers.
The staircase is a step back in time.
"It's so dirty and creepy. It's really awesome," says Domann.
It's part of the original construction, going from the 2nd floor, to the east alleyway.
You can still see a color difference of the bricks in the east alleyway, where the staircase led out. Also, the original stoop is still there.
Of course, it looks a lot different after a number construction projects, but it's construction that led to the revelation what's left of the staircase.
"That was pretty breathtaking to open it up for the first time in 40 years," says Domann.
Management thought it was the staircase African Americans used to enter the theater during segregation.
"You had to go upstairs, and you went all the way up to the top. That was it. That was the only place you could go to the show (in Springfield)," says Homer Boyd, who visited the theater during segregation.
Those we spoke with remember taking a different staircase.
"The east alleyway? No, we went in right on the front, the front-end," says Boyd.
"We walked over here, and there was a doorway here. We went up the steps where there was a another ticket box office," says Betty Ransom, pointing to what's now a wall on the front of the Landers.
Ransom says she entered in the front, and went straight up to the second floor. Most of that staircase is gone.
"Is this the steps they were talking about? No. Mm-mm," says Ransom, looking at the staircase recently discovered. "I don't know what that is."
There is a staircase she recognizes, but it isn't hidden away.
"These are the steps we went up. These are the steps we came up after we paid at our box office which was right there," says Ransom.
The flight between the 2nd and 3rd floors, she remembers clearly.