Equitable Building

Sedlia, Missouri
Pettis County

The Equitable Building at 401 South Lamine Avenue was designed by W.S. Epperson and completed in 1891 during a major building boom in Sedalia. The two-story Romanesque Revival building, one of few remaining examples of this style in town, originally housed the Equitable Loan and Investment Company. Its most notable occupants have been various local newspapers, including the Sedalia Democrat, the Sedalia Sentinel and the Sedalia Capital. The County of Pettis purchased the building in July 2022, but at that time, no plans were announced for its future. Commissioners claim a call for bids to tuckpoint the structure was put out in the fall of 2022, that a bid was accepted, but that workers never showed up. However, public records from this time do not reference the building at 401 S. Lamine. In March 2023, citizens spotted a call for bids in the local paper to demolish the building. The County Commission responded to concerns by hosting a public meeting and stated that the call for bids was to help determine the most cost-effective action for taxpayers and that no official decision had been made. They fear that rehabbing and making the building ADA accessible will be too expensive; at this time, it appears no official call for bids to rehab the structure have been announced and that the only estimates for costs have come from county maintenance employees and not an experienced preservation contractor. A third option was raised, to sell the property to someone willing to rehabilitate the structure, but the county owns the entire block and doesn’t wish to lose access to this one parcel. Also concerning is that the County Commission was unaware and unwilling to recognize that 401 S. Lamine is listed as a contributing structure in the Sedalia Commercial Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, making any decisions regarding its future subject to review by the Sedalia Historic Preservation Commission. It is hoped that listing the Equitable Building as a Place in Peril will help hold the County of Pettis accountable for this historic structure and their many constituents who wish to see it preserved and perhaps bring the building to the attention of reputable and experienced preservation contractors who can provide realistic bids for an ADA accessible rehabilitation. The Equitable Building is an iconic structure facing Sedalia’s courthouse square and should not be lost.

Equitable Building

View All 2023 Places in Peril listings.

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