2018 Missouri Preservation Conference

May 2-4, 2018

Call for Sessions

Deadline: January 5, 2018 by 5pm.

If you have an idea you would like to suggest or present, please let us know! This year’s conference is in Sedalia from Wednesday to Friday, May 2nd through 4th. Conference session leaders receive free registration for the day of their session. Please fill out all portions of the form below and mail/email it to Missouri Preservation by January 5, 2018!

Request for Sessions_ Sedalia_2018_Fillable

Mark your calendars!

May 2-4th, 2018

Join Missouri Preservation for the 2018 Statewide Preservation Conference in Sedalia, Missouri!

Keep checking our website for updates. Be sure to renew your membership to continue receiving information in your mail and email!

You may renew your membership here


Announcing Missouri’s Historic 2017 Places in Peril

Click here to download Press Release.

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation) announced its 2017 list of historic Places in Peril on Friday evening, August 25, 2017 at a special “Unhappy Hour” event at the National Building Arts Center, which is located in Sauget Illinois just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. Seven new endangered historic places were named to the list for 2017 and six were carried over from the previous year. Missouri Preservation is a statewide non-profit organization that has at its core a mission to advocate for, educate about and assist in the preservation of architectural and historic landmarks that embody Missouri’s unique heritage and sense of place. Its chief advocacy program is its “Places in Peril.” Begun as a media campaign in 2000 as “Missouri’s Most Endangered Historic Places,” the program calls attention to endangered historic resources statewide that are threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, imminent demolition and/or inappropriate development. The program was renamed “Places in Peril” in 2015. Once a historic resource is gone, it’s gone forever. By publicizing these places the organization hopes to build support toward the eventual preservation of each property named.
While it is acknowledged that not every historic resource named here can be rescued, the efficacy of the Places in Peril Program will be proven in the many instances where by advocating publicly for its preservation, and planning for its continued contribution to Missouri’s built environment, many an imperiled property will indeed find rehabilitation and ongoing preservation, contributing to the education and enjoyment of future generations of Missourians.


A big thank you to all of those who attended our Unhappy Hour and helped us bring awareness to these endangered resources. We hope you enjoyed seeing all the wonderful pieces that have been saved at the National Building Arts Center!

Missouri’s 2017 Places in Peril

  1. Emmaus Home– Marthasville, Warren County*

  2. 526 Rue St. Jean– Florissant, St. Louis County

  3. Demarree House– House Springs, Jefferson County*

  4. The Lincoln School– Jackson, Cape Girardeau County

  5. Kirksville High School Building– Kirksville, Adair County*

  6. The Miller Mausoleum– Holden, Johnson County

  7. Westland Acres– Chesterfield, St. Louis County*

  8. The Harry S. Truman National Historic Landmark District– Independence, Jackson County

  9. Old Phillipsburg General Store– Phillipsburg, Laclede County*

  10. The Jefferson Avenue Foot Bridge– Springfield, Greene County

  11. The Phillip Kaes House & Other State Historic Sites– Sherman, Castlewood State Park, St. Louis County*

  12. The Old Post Office Building– Nevada, Vernon County

  13. 4200 Cook Avenue– The City of Saint Louis

    (* Re-listed properties)


2017 Watched Properties List

  1. 222 S. 4th Street– St. Joseph, Buchanan County

  2. St. Joseph Livestock Exchange– St. Joseph, Buchanan County

  3. 8th and Center Streets Baptist Church– Hannibal, Marion County

  4. The Old Calaboose/Jail– Elsberry, Lincoln County

  5. Route 66 Gasconade River Bridge– Hazelgreen, Laclede County

  6. The Parsons House and Others– Jefferson City, Cole County

  7. The Henry Miller House– Bloomfield, Stoddard County

  8. The Frank L. Sommer “Cracker” House– St. Joseph, Buchanan County

  9. The Diamonds Cafe– Villa Ridge, Franklin  County

  10. Wheatley-Provident Hospital– Kansas City, Jackson County

  11. The Russell Hotel– Charleston, Mississippi County

  12. Houston House– Newburg, Phelps County

The Emmaus Home Complex– Marthasville, Warren County

The Emmaus Home Complex in Marthasville began as a seminary for the German Evangelical Church in Missouri. A campus of five buildings was completed here by 1859. Four of these remain in various states of repair, those being the Farm House, Bake Oven, Friedensbote (Messenger of Peace) Publishing House, and the Dormitory. The College Building itself was lost to a fire in 1930. The seminary was in operation at this site until 1883, when it moved to St. Louis and eventually became Eden Seminary. In 1893 the campus in Marthasville became known the Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. The campus grew to a total of eight substantial buildings including a chapel, by 1928. In more recent years the religious denomination became the United Church of Christ and the two campuses the church body owned – this one in Warren County for men, and the other in St. Charles County for women – became known simply as the Emmaus Homes. This is an important historic site, having been constructed by some of the tens of thousands of Germans who emigrated here beginning in the 1830s. In the area the first Evangelical church west of the Mississippi was constructed, and this marked the beginning of the Synod of the west, known as Der Deutsche Evangelisch Kirchenverein des Westens. The buildings in the complex are unique in that they are of sturdy limestone construction in varying German styles by German immigrants. They are representative of the tenacity of some of Missouri’s earliest Germans, and are unique in that most are original with very few modifications over the years. Through the years the approach toward caring for the handicapped and developmentally disabled has also changed, and care for the residents at Emmaus has shifted from large institutional settings to smaller group homes. Emmaus has indicated that they wish to transition all clients away from Marthasville by 2020. It is hoped that by listing this campus on the list of Missouri’s Places in Peril that when it comes time to dispose of the campus, that Emmaus Homes will seek to find a reuse for this campus that will preserve the historic buildings located here.


526 Rue St. Jean– Florissant, St. Louis County

The Bellissime-Ouvre House at 359 Rue St. Jean in Florissant, Missouri is believed to have been constructed 1810-1830 and is listed both individually and as part of the Old Town Florissant Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is believed to be the oldest Missouri French house of masonry construction in the area. The building is a painted one story brick residence and maintains the important features and configuration of its style. The plan is a simple rectangle with traditional galleries extending the full elevation on both principal facades. It has original six over six windows and four-panel rear door, as well as all original interior millwork including elegant Greek Revival fireplace mantel and other details. Currently in foreclosure, we are hopeful that a preservation-minded party might come forward to purchase and restore the Bellissime-Ouvre House in Florissant. This building is currently owned by Citimortgage Company, which is being represented by South Law. To find out about when this property will be sold at public auction go to their website, http://www.southlaw.com and click on “Foreclosure Sales.” Then search by County to find the auction place, date and time.


The Demaree House– House Springs, Jefferson County

The Cornelius Demaree house today is located near the corner of Main Street and Gravois Road (State Route MM) in House Springs. The building was originally a log structure completed ca. 1837. Mr. Demaree lived on the several acre plot with his family until his death in 1857. By 1860 the property was auctioned off in parcels by Dr. George Smith, who marketed these plots as “The Town of Demaree,” claiming that there were already fifteen buildings in the town. According to probate records at the time, these buildings included the dwelling, a stable, a blacksmith shop, and even several well houses. Eventually the Demaree family disappeared from the area and the town re-named for the local House family, which had reportedly been massacred by Osage Indians, The town then gained its present moniker of House Springs. Over the years the Demaree house it has been expanded from pioneer cabin to a two story center hall “I-House” with a columned two-story gallery extending the entire length of the house’s principal façade. This house is important in the history and settlement of this area in Jefferson County. It has been empty and neglected for many years. The current owner is amenable to selling the property to a preservation-friendly buyer who would be interested in moving the house to another location. Contact the owner at brucefamilybiz@gmail.com.


The Lincoln School– Jackson, Cape Girardeau County

Though certainly earlier buildings existed prior, the earliest evidence found of a school building in Jackson for the African American community comes from 1892, when it was noted that the Knights of Tabor Hall at 107 Cherry Street was being used as the black school. Then in 1894 the first Lincoln School on Union Street was constructed for the instruction of Jackson’s African American students, and was the center of the black community until a flood destroyed the building in 1946. The second Lincoln School (pictured here), situated on a lot at the intersection of Oklahoma and West Jefferson avenues was constructed in 1947 and was used for educating black children until 1953, when they were integrated into the white schools. For two years the school was used for kindergarten and first grade, then was remodeled and used as administrative offices in the late 1950s. District administration remained here until 1988 when the building was again remodeled for use as a support services building for Jackson Public Schools. The Lincoln School building is significant as the largest, newest and only African American school building in Jackson and one of only two remaining in the County. In June of 2017 the Jackson R-2 School District demolished the historic former Jackson High School built in 1920, and the School Superintendant has been quoted as saying this would be “the next to go.” By listing here, the citizens of Jackson hope that awareness of this proposed demolition will serve as a call to action to implore the School District to halt demolition and find an alternative use for this historic building.


The Kirksville High School Building– Kirksville, Adair  County

The former Kirksville High School Building at 411 East McPherson Street in Kirksville is an Elizabethan/Collegiate Gothic style facility erected in 1914. It is the only remaining example of the style known in this northeast Missouri town, and represents the first citywide commitment to public education through the establishment of the first bond issue passed for its construction. The building served as Kirksville’s main high school until 1960, and was the meeting place for the Kirksville Board of Education until 1978. It is of brick and stone construction with reinforced concrete floors. Since being vacated by the School Board in 1978, the building has had several owners, but has not been well maintained. It is currently on the City of Kirksville’s condemnation list. The former Kirksville High School building has been deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2014 the City received a Community Development Block grant for demolition of the building. The grant was not used due to higher than anticipated demolition costs and the owner’s inability to fund the difference. It is hoped that by this listing on Missouri’s Places in Peril, a suitable buyer and developer can be found to repurpose and renovate this building which has architectural merit, possible eligibility for historic tax credits, and a nostalgic place in the hearts of many Kirksville residents. Interested buyers should contact J.D. Smiser at: 660.665.9873


The Miller Mausoleum– Holden, Johnson County

If you have ever traveled Missouri Highway 131 through Johnson County or been to the Warrensburg, Missouri area, chances are you have encountered the interesting anomaly at the roadside just north of Holden known as the Miller Mausoleum. Sitting just off the state highway, this roadside curiosity has attracted the attention of many a passer-by for years. Interesting in that it is not surrounded by a cemetery or other funerary structures, it sits alone adjacent to the roadway – generally isolated and shut off from the everyday world, though very apparent at the side of the road. Constructed between 1915 and 1918, this steel reinforced concrete structure was conceived by Joseph M. Miller, who moved to Holden from the Macon, Missouri area in 1915. He was a biblical scholar who took inspiration from tombs described in the bible for his whimsically-designed roadside mausoleum. There have been a total of eighteen entombments of Miller family members and descendants at the mausoleum, the last being in 1931. After Miller’s death the mausoleum passed on to the various descendants, all of whom had moved outside the Missouri area. The mausoleum suffered from deferred maintenance and communication between the descendants who had dispersed to various other parts of the country, was difficult. Then about five years ago, one of the descendants, Carl Cranfill of South Dakota started a road trip campaign to gain control of the mausoleum so that he could plan for its long term care and maintenance. Finally gaining full control of the Mausoleum, he began the process of interring the bodies of those entombed at the Mausoleum in the local cemetery in Holden. After securing and stabilizing the Mausoleum, Mr. Cranfill would like to eventually transfer ownership to a local non-profit entity so that it can interpret the structure and the history of the Holden Community. By listing here on Missouri’s Places in Peril, we hope to call greater local attention to this very unique and rare historic site, and help with fundraising for the GoFundMe campaign entitled “Friends of the Miller Mausoleum.”


Westland Acres– Chesterfield, St. Louis County

Westland Acres is a residential subdivision of approximately 130 acres on the border of the villages of Chesterfield and Wildwood in suburban west St. Louis County. It contains a handful of two and three bedroom wood frame homes tucked into the woods along Church Road, and is anchored on the western edge of the subdivision by the Union Baptist Church, which was constructed in 1984 after the old church building burned. In the church yard is the John W. West Cemetery, formerly known as the West-Gumbo Cemetery. The cemetery contains about 30 graves dating from as early as the 1870s. Westland was established in 1881 when William West and his wife Pollie, who were recently freed slaves were able to purchase 150 acres from Norris Long on what was then a remote area of St. Louis County. There the West family built a log cabin and established what would become the community of Westland. The property was eventually divided among descendants of this original family, and by 1950 there were 45 families living in the neighborhood along what was still a dirt road. Many of the families still farmed and lived off the land. The community has now dwindled to under 10 families, though Westland retains its historic ties with descendants of William West. Decades ago there existed many African American enclaves throughout St. Louis County. But these have become rarities as their communities, often marginalized, were frequently the first to face the wrecking ball. Westland Acres is today threatened by encroachment of high priced development. The surrounding area has been transformed from rural backwater to one of St. Louis’s wealthiest areas. This development has caused property values to skyrocket, and along with it, the property taxes. These burgeoning tax bills are driving residents out of their homes and to more affordable areas of the region. It is hoped that by listing here perhaps the residents of Westland Acres might get tax relief from St. Louis County so they might be able to afford to stay in the historic community which has been their ancestral home for nearly 150 years.


The Harry S. Truman National Historic Landmark District– Independence, Jackson County

The Harry S. Truman National Historic Landmark District was established in 1972 and contains 567 structures. It was listed the personal endorsement of the former US President shortly before his death. Biographers and historians have consistently highlighted the First Family’s relationship with their neighborhood, and this is key to the identity of the District, with the Truman Home placed within its setting. This concept of setting is especially critical when it comes to the Truman National Historic Site (the house itself). Most presidential homes sit on estates surrounded by landscaped grounds. The Truman home sits on a narrow street surrounded by Victorian as well as newer homes both modest and substantial. This presentation of Midwestern middle class neighborhood life is what visitors see from the sidewalks and porches of the Truman Home. This setting adds value to the National Historic Site and helps tell the story of a man who took his sense of community and neighborhood to the Jackson County Courthouse, the US Senate, the White House, and to international peace summits. Since the establishment of the District in 1972, eleven significant homes have been lost. Three were lost due to neglect and fire, and eight were sacrificed for the construction of parking lots. The Truman NHL District was enlarged in 2011 by the US Department of the Interior, but before being finalized, the addition was downsized and gerrymandered because of buildings lost during the process. Three properties became isolated and two of Truman’s three boyhood homes were also left out. A glaring example of loss of integrity to this district came when two homes in the expanded district were demolished when a proposed developer said his project wouldn’t work without the demolitions, and the City Council voted unanimously to override the Heritage Commissions denial of demolition permits. In the end, the developer failed to complete the project, selling one of the empty lots from the demolitions to an adjacent homeowner for a larger yard. Several institutional buildings within the district are vacant and in need of maintenance. A new development within the district has been constructed without design review and remains mostly vacant. Another development has been inappropriately planned on formerly owned public property marked with national historic trail signage and one that connects the NHL district to to these national historic trails. Efforts to begin updating the Independence Comprehensive City Plan have begun. By listing here, we strongly encourage the City to adhere more closely to existing development guidelines, to provide leadership in soliciting proper and qualified input into the City Plan, and that the Plan make historic preservation a key part of planning activities both now and in the future, with increased participation by stakeholders, the City’s Preservation Planner and its Heritage Commission.


The Old Phillipsburg General Store– Phillipsburg, Laclede County

Few small town buildings are as iconic as the old general store. The Phillipsburg General Store was constructed in the last years of the 1800s. It survived for many years as one of Phillipsburg’s largest buildings and now has the distinction of being the only historic building remaining in the village. The building also sat next to the railroad tracks, and trains supplied the store with the many provisions needed for the villagers and local farmers. Sugar and flour, crackers and other needed items were bought in bulk and put in sacks to take come. Dolls and garden supplies, tools, as well as rabbits and chickens were purchased in the store and taken home in wagons pulled by horses. In later years the adjacent Route 66 brought many tourists to this tiny town. The upstairs served a variety of the community’s social needs, containing a small theater, an office where a lodge was located and where the Woodsmen of America met, as well as other groups like the American Legion. After the lodges were gone, ladies set up quilt blocks where they constructed quilts for many families in the community. During the 1990s some rehabilitation work was completed on the old store and part of the building was used again for quilting and antique sales. But in the meantime, a building that has been cut off from the railroad and its iconic roadway is in danger. A roof leak in the rear of the building has caused extensive damage to the rear masonry wall, which is in danger of collapsing. By listing here, the nominator hopes to rally local support for the old store building or to attract a buyer that is interested in renovation of this small town icon. Contact the owner: bcbender3@yahoo.com or 417.664.6520


The Jefferson Avenue Foot Bridge– Springfield, Greene County

The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge in Springfield was constructed in 1902 by the American Bridge Company. It spans thirteen tracks of the Burlington Northern North Yard, connecting historic Commercial Street to the south at Jefferson Avenue and the Moon City Creative District to the north at Chase Street. The three-span cantilevered through truss footbridge rises twenty five feet above grade with the assistance of north and south approach stairs, and extends 562 feet in length. The deck is six feet wide and is comprised of horizontal wood planks fastened to a warren webbed truss of c-channels and railroad track sections extending the length of the bridge. The bridge’s most distinctive feature are the two support towers that rise 50 feet above grade and are capped with four decorative metal orbs. Its profile highly resembles a suspension bridge. Aside from removal of original bicycle ramps in 1954 the bridge’s overall appearance, integrity and function have remained intact. A renovation that took place 1998-2002 restored the bridge for its centennial and included the construction of a new events plaza and exterior lighting. The bridge was closed in March of 216 by the City of Springfield due to reported corrosion and steel loss in the north support tower. It was decided to close the bridge indefinitely and a more thorough inspection was conducted, producing five options for the bridge. Though the City Council seemed to favor the most expensive option of complete rehabilitation, no formal vote was taken. The closed bridge has caused pedestrians to use alternate routes to their neighborhoods, and thwarted tourism in the burgeoning development of the Commercial Street District. Initial fundraising being slow, a subcommittee of the Commercial Club of Springfield, the “Save Our Footbridge Committee” funded a second opinion study in order to reassure potential donors about cost and scope of renovation, and the anticipated report is expected to recommend cost savings for the project. Though the project has seen widespread support, even from second grade students who have started a “Penny A Day Helps the Footbridge Stay” campaign, major fundraising efforts have been sluggish. By listing here it is hoped that additional attention is brought to the campaign to save the bridge and that fundraising for the renovation will be stepped up.


The Old Post Office Building– Nevada, Vernon County

The last couple of decades of the 19th century brought phenomenal growth to the town of Nevada, Missouri. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) Railroad came in the 1870s. The W.F. Norman Company, known for its manufacture of pressed metal products, including tin ceilings (still in business here and using the same wooden molds), was established in the 1880s, as well as Cottey College. In 1887 the State of Missouri constructed State Mental Hospital Number 3 here, which eventually employed over 1,100 employees. Then in 1897 came the Weltmer Institute. Its founder, Sidney Weltmer believed that healing could be a successful business. He authored the book, “How to make Magnetic Healing Pay,” and practitioners performed mental healing through telepathy and mental suggestion. The institute treated hundreds of people a day, and employed 17 healers and over 100 stenographers and typists just to process the daily mail. The need for a large local post office was evident, and the US Postal Service upgraded the Nevada post office to Class A and constructed a beautiful and commodious building in 1910. The 6,000 square foot building was designed by James Knox Taylor (1857-1929) who was the Supervising Architect of the United States Department of the Treasury from 1897 to 1912. Mr. Taylor studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and for a time was partners in an architectural firm with Cass Gilbert. Taylor designed many notable buildings in his time, including the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, Denver and Philadelphia Mint buildings, as well as US Post Offices from New York to San Francisco. Plans to build a new Nevada post office were announced in 1961, and when completed the old building was taken over by the county Sheriff’s Department and the county jail. Eventually a new facility was constructed for the office and jail, and the former post office building was auctioned off in May of 2012 as surplus property. The building has been empty and improperly maintained since then. With the guidance of Missouri Preservation, local museum director Will Tollerton recently completed an eligibility request for the National Register of Historic Places for the post office building and the State Historic Preservation Office found the building eligible for listing, making it likewise eligible for the state and federal historic tax credit. The current owner is interested in selling and any interested buyer should contact the property manager, Mr. Karl Householder at 515.402.7564.


4200 Cook Avenue– The City of Saint Louis

Decorated Civil War veteran Frederick W. Fout (1840-1905), after a successful career in glass manufacture both in Indiana and Missouri, turned to pensions and claims as well as real estate development in his later years. In the 1890s he was known to have owned several large parcels of land in the City, including one in City Block 3746 at the corner of Whittier and Cook in what were then St. Louis’s western suburbs. From what it appears, Fout was interested in building a cohesive group of substantial buildings to be held as rental property. A group of St. Louis’s most talented architects at the time became occupied with plans for Fout’s proposed developments. Drawings from the June 1892 Northwestern Architect by Harvey Ellis show a large corner building with what appears to be a double row house to its right, entitled, “Premises of Frederick W. Fout, St. Louis, Mo.” Drawings by the firm, Barnett and Haynes from the same publication in September of that year show the same sort of building campaign, with a large “anchor” building on the corner and a smaller building to its right and titled, “F.W. Fout’s Terrace, St. Louis, Mo.” Likewise in 1893, a drawing by Oscar Enders, then with William Ittner Architects, appeared in the American Architect showing a development more compact and restrained in style and proportion, with the caption, “A Block of Houses for Captain F.W. Fout, St. Louis, 1892.” Building permits for the buildings that would occupy Fout’s development at Whittier and Cook were dated December 2, 1891 and consisted of a 2 story brick dwelling to cost $5,000.00 and a second adjacent 2 story brick dwelling at a cost of $3,500.00. The building permit lists the architect as “Barnett and Hagan,” which surely represents a typographical error. Census records from 1900 show that the residents of both buildings were renters. The westward companions to the anchor building on the corner of Whittier and Cook have been lost.  After an unsuccessful restoration effort, owners abandoned the remaining building at 4200 c.2004, and it was subsequently  acquired by the City’s Land Reutilization Authority. The remaining building in Fout’s development at Whittier and Cook is classically Richardsonian Romanesque, with its red brick construction, rough faced squared stonework, arched window openings and tower with conical roof. This seems to be a very last call for a would-be developer to acquire and renovate this gem designed by the best of St. Louis’s architects at the turn of the 20th century. This property was listed for sale as of 08/01/2017 on the St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority’s website. Interested buyers should call the LRA at 314.657.3721

A very big thank you to our generous sponsors:

Debbie Sheals, Preservation Consultant

Robert & Judith Little

St. Louis Design Alliance

Mackey Mitchell Architects

National Building Arts Center


Our annual announcement will be held this year at the St. Louis Building Arts Center, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The Center’s holdings include remnants (and sometimes complete storefronts and interiors) from buildings lost over the years in the St. Louis area. It is a remarkable resource for those studying the history of building and materials. Their holdings include a vast array of cast iron, brick, terra cotta, architectural bronze and other metals, plaster, sgraffito and woodwork.

$20 per person– includes 1 drink ticket (for beer or wine. Cash bar for extra drink purchases) and a ticket for a meal from the Brazil Express food truck.

***Members will receive 1 extra free drink ticket. Memberships will be available for purchase at the door!***

Tickets available for purchase here:


Missouri’s 2017 Places in Peril Sponsored by:







2015 Conference

2015 Missouri Preservation Conference

 OCTOBER 21-23, 2015



DEADLINE:   11:59pm FRIDAY, APRIL17, 2015

The date for Session/Presentation/Workshop/Tour proposals for our 2015 Preservation Conference is approaching. If you have an idea you would like to suggest or present, please mail or email it to us by tomorrow, Friday April 17th. This year’s conference is in Cape Girardeau from Wednesday to Friday, October 21-23. Conference session leaders receive free registration for the day of their session. Please fill out the form below. 



(make sure that you have the most up-to-date adobe reader)

email Missouripreservation@yahoo.com or

mail to 320 First Street, Boonville, MO 65233.

STD Post Card Front FINAL

Places in Peril



UPDATE: Today is the last day to submit your Missouri’s Places in Peril Nomination. Please email to missouripreservation@yahoo.com or mail to 320 First Street, Boonville, MO 65233 by 11:59pm




Missouri Preservation Announces its annual Call for Nominations to it’s statewide list of Places in Peril. Is there an endangered historic resource in your city or neighborhood? Consider nominating it for listing. Nominations are due by April 3, 2015 and announcement of Missouri’s 2015 Places in Peril will be made on Tuesday, May 25, 2015.



One of 2012’s ‘Most Endangered’, the Frank L. Sommer House (The Cracker House) – Saint Joseph, Buchanan County

The program:

The first announcement of an endangered properties list in Missouri was made in 2000 and was entitled “Missouri’s Most Endangered Historic Places.” The program instituted as a media campaign aimed at calling attention to endangered historic resources statewide, serving as a call to action. In 2010 the program was expanded and staff support and a board liaison was assigned to each of the endangered places to assess the immediate needs of the endangered resource and assist the nominators to help ensure the preservation of each of the endangered resources. In 2015 the Most Endangered Committee at Missouri Preservation re-named the program, “Missouri’s Places in Peril,” having seen the program re-branded in Georgia. A public call for nominations is made each spring and nominations received from Missouri citizens. Nominations are assessed by a committee of Missouri Preservation’s governing board and the announcement of their selections is made at one of the sites chosen to be on the official list, usually during May, which is National Preservation Month.

Statewide Preservation Honor Awards March 4, 2015

Missouri Preservation hosted its annual Statewide Preservation Honor Awards on Wednesday, March 4 in the State Capitol Rotunda at 11:00 a.m.

 Honorees that were  recognized for exemplary achievement in Historic Preservation include the following people and projects:


Rozier Award

Dr. Thomas B. Hall, III

Arrow Rock, Saline County

Tom Hall (edit)

Since childhood, Tom Hall has been immersed in the history and preservation of Arrow Rock. He was elected a trustee of the Friends of Arrow Rock in 1984, and became President of that board twenty years later. He is adept at communicating the vision of the organization and the critical role historic preservation has played in saving this unique community. Since 2009 Tom has spearheaded fundraising efforts that raised over $1.1 million, making possible the documentation and restoration of thirteen historic structures in the community. He also secured a challenge grant from the Jeffries Foundation that will rehabilitate four more historic Arrow Rock buildings. Not only is Tom an advocate for the Friends of Arrow Rock, he and his wife own two historic properties in the community that they proudly maintain and share with friends and guests. His tireless passion for history (in general) and this community (in particular) is the force driving his vision to develop Arrow Rock into a premier destination for historic tourism.

Osmund Overby Award

Echoes of School Bells: The History of Jasper County Missouri Rural Schools

 Helen Hunter

Carthage, Jasper County

Echoes of School Bells (edit)

As a child, Helen Hunter attended the one-room Cave Spring School in Jasper County, a building she worked as an adult to preserve. When the Jasper County Records Center expressed an interest in writing a book about the county’s rural schools, Helen seized the opportunity. Her comprehensive volume School Bells chronicles the development of public schools in conjunction with the settlement of the county. She describes the historical context as well as the school buildings. Oral histories and class photographs for each county school comprise the bulk of the book, creating an emotional connection to an earlier time period. This chronicle paints a detailed portrait of life in Jasper County from the 1830s through the 1950s and illustrates the central role of the school to rural life.

McReynolds Award

Missouri State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution

Boonville, Cooper County

MSSDAR (edit)

The MSSDAR has taken to heart the goal of historic preservation. For over a century, the organization has made significant contributions in this area. The MSSDAR is the owner and steward of two historic properties – Roslyn Heights, a Queen Anne mansion in Boonville, and the Cold Water Cemetery in Florissant, one of the oldest extant sites of internment for settlers west of the Mississippi River. The organization has also been active in marking historic sites, landmarks, trails, and institutions important to Missouri history. These locations include burial sites of Revolutionary War veterans; important stops or posts along the Boone’s Lick Trail; and the Madonna of the Trail monument in Lexington. Their long-standing and on-going record of projects has helped to preserve the rich, early history of Missouri.

McReynolds Award

Penny Pittman

St. Charles, St. Charles County


 Penny Pittman has left an indelible mark on downtown St. Charles. Since 1975 she has acted as owner and developer, rehabilitating over a dozen buildings, spaces that are now occupied by downtown residents, professional offices, and local retail businesses. Her work has restored the historic character to heavily altered commercial facades and interiors on Main Street in the St. Charles Historic Districts. Penny has also been a tireless advocate for preservation in her community, serving as a board member for numerous local preservation and design commissions and associations, as well as on the board of Missouri Preservation. Without Penny’s efforts downtown St. Charles might not have become the historic gem that it is today.

McReynolds Award

Guy Slay

City of St. Louis

Guy Slay Headshot2 (edit)

 Developer Guy Slay began the transformation of the blighted Grove neighborhood into a popular revitalized commercial and residential area by “restoring community… one historic building at a time.” His broad vision included funding historic district nominations for residential and commercial sections of the neighborhood that secured access to historic tax credits not only for his projects but for other commercial developers and residential property owners as well. This approach has enhanced Guy’s $2.7 million investment with an additional $4.5 million of redevelopment activity. To date, his eleven rehab projects have spawned another nine, revitalizing the entire Grove commercial district. Having experienced the benefits of historic preservation, Guy has become an advocate for this development approach. He recently funded a video about the “Benefits of the [Missouri] Historic Tax Credit Program” that was produced by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.  Other St. Louis neighborhoods now turn to Guy for advice on how to save historic buildings in their communities.

Preserve Missouri Award

Freedom Place

City of St. Louis

Freedom Place awards 2014_0002 (edit)

This historic 1928 apartment building had been vacant for six years before the Vecino Group embarked on a multi-million dollar rehabilitation project that created 68 affordable housing units for formerly homeless veterans. Storefronts on the first floor, once boarded over, now house offices and service areas for residents. An integral historic parking garage continues to serve its original use. Bright comfortable apartments fill the upper floors. Historically accurate replacement windows fill the gaping window openings that had left the building open to the elements while it was vacant. Beyond the direct benefits to the building’s residents, the project has helped to stabilize surrounding property values. The empty shell is once again full of life and most importantly is an asset to the community.

Preserve Missouri Award

Jacob Price Home, 1413 Lafayette

Lexington, Lafayette County


The restoration of 1413 Lafayette Street was a labor of love for owner Jeff Simpson. Built in 1852 and last occupied in the 1960s, the modest house was in extreme disrepair when Jeff acquired it in 2010. At a Missouri Preservation workshop Jeff received guidance and encouragement to apply for historic tax credits and to complete the rehabilitation in a preservation-minded way. While decades of roof leaks and broken windows had left the plaster and other interior features crumbling, the house had good bones. Jeff restored as much of the original fabric as possible, including original windows, and replicated missing elements, such as the rear porch. Jeff also incorporated features to make the house sustainable for the 21st century. Insulation was added to the attic, and a solar array on the back roof supplies half of the home’s electricity. Sensitive restoration work combined with modern updates preserved the house at 1413 Lafayette Street while preparing it for its next century and a half.

Preserve Missouri Award

Francois Bernier House

Ste. Genevieve, Sainte Genevieve County

Fracois Bernier (edit)

The 1787 Francois Bernier House is a two-story vertical log house, one of only two examples of this exceedingly rare construction method known to exist in Ste. Genevieve. The house sat vacant after a fire in 2010 until Ed and Lauren Moore purchased it in 2013. They began a painstaking rehabilitation, doing most of the work themselves. They removed non-historic finishes, installed all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and repaired the original 6/6 windows and the standing seam metal roof.  They were their own toughest critics, making sure that the rare French Colonial structural system was not altered during the rehab. Throughout the project the Moores demonstrated unwavering respect for this unique historic house solidifying their role as its stewards for this generation.

Preserve Missouri Award

Ironton Lodge Hall

Ironton, Iron County


 In the late 19th century, every small town had at least one lodge hall, typically housed on the upper floors of a Main Street building. The fraternal meeting halls are distinctive spaces that can be difficult to adapt without losing the historic feeling of the large open room. Yet, Brian and Emily Parker were able to meet this challenge when they repurposed the 1873 IOOF lodge hall in Ironton. They designated the first two floors for piano instruction and performance, which preserved the volume and key architectural features of the 2nd floor lodge hall. The 3rd floor became a loft apartment for the Parker family. The rehabilitation included repairing the wood windows, repointing masonry, rebuilding the wood cornice and structurally reinforcing the neglected roof and historic staircase. In this small town, their project has brought life back to a key building that had been endangered by neglect.

Preserve Missouri Award

  1. C. Vasterling Building

Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County

Vasterling 2 (edit)

 It is an understatement to say that Cara Naeger and RJ Clements undertook a dramatic rehabilitation project in downtown Cape Girardeau. The historic stone building was completely obscured in a non-historic stucco shell. Only once this was peeled away could the building be added to the adjacent historic district. After removing the stucco, the stone was cleaned and repaired. Cara and RJ also took care to retain the unique internal gallery that accessed the small historic hotel rooms. These they updated to create comfortable, modern market-rate apartments that appeal to the young professionals in Cape Girardeau. The lower level is shared by a thriving retail business and amenity space for building tenants. The transformation sets a wonderful example of what is possible when you peak behind the non-historic “curtain.”

Preserve Missouri Award

Bancroft School Apartments

Kansas City, Jackson County

Bancroft - After 1 (edit)

 A diverse group of developers undertook a painstaking $14.3 million rehabilitation of the long-vacant Bancroft Elementary School in Kansas City’s east side Manheim Park neighborhood. The project did an excellent job of incorporating key historic features into the new living units – chalkboard frames, glass-fronted cabinets, and other trim, while the auditorium and gymnasium were retained in their full volume adapted for a variety of community uses. Strong sustainability goals also guided the project, enabling it to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Architect Bob Berkibile equated the Bancroft School project with “urban acupuncture,” whereby a well-placed project leverages exceptional impact and spurs additional community improvements. That vision has come to fruition, as Bancroft School has become the hub of a larger project that includes new multi-family and single-family housing and the creation of public green space designed to rejuvenate the inner city neighborhood while preserving its historic character.

Preserve Missouri Award

Cosby Hotel

Kansas City, Jackson County

Cosby - After 1 (edit)

 The 1881 Cosby Hotel is one of the few 19th century commercial buildings left in downtown Kansas City. It was days away from demolition when developers Jason Swords and Lon Booher stepped up with a plan to rehabilitate the building. The first floor commercial space had been unoccupied for several years; the upper floor hotel for almost a half-century. Their first step was to stabilize the structure. This included replacing the roof, repointing masonry, installing windows, and jacking the sagging 2nd and 3rd floors. Incredible historic fabric found during the rehabilitation was restored to give the first floor businesses – a deli and a bakery – not only unique, but dazzling spaces. The upper two floors were transformed into small office suites with shared amenities. The project was challenging in every way imaginable and would not have been possible without incredible support from city and civic leaders. The Cosby Hotel is an incredible gem in the restored fabric of downtown Kansas City.

Preserve Missouri Award

Shakespeare Chateau

St. Joseph, Buchanan County

Shakespeare Chateau April 2014 (edit)

The historic 1885 Ogden Mansion is an opulent work of Victorian architecture and a gem of St. Joseph’s gilded age. Owner Isobel McGowan embarked on an epic rehabilitation when she purchased the property in May 2012. Over the past three years she has transformed the former single-family house into a remarkable destination. Her quest has involved updating building systems, repairing plaster, and installing period-appropriate wallpaper; recreating the back porch to reflect the original design; painstakingly stripping paint from woodwork; refinishing floors; adding a catering-quality kitchen; and sensitively remodeling the upper floors. It is always a challenge to find a use that is appropriate to both the scale and economics of a property this large and grand, but Isobel McGowan has done just that with the opening of the Shakespeare Chateau bed and breakfast.

2015 Program