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It's great to check out the corner of 12th Street and Vine in person, but if you can't make it down there, this website offers up an interesting surrogate. These digital Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Kansas City are provided as a public service by the Kansas City Public Library, and they consist of over 1,200 individual pages. Visitors can use these maps to research the history of a building, learn little known facts regarding a church or school, and even get clues to help restore a building. The maps date from 1895 to 1957, and visitors can use the sample searches (such as "18th & Vine" and "Electric Park") to get started. The site includes a historical essay on the maps, a tutorial for guidance, and resources for students and teachers.
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