The Elizabeth & George Rozier Award
Sally Fullerton Schwenk
Kansas City, Jackson County
Over the past three decades, Sally Schwenk has worn innumerable preservation hats. From her first preservation position as the Director of the 1859 Jail Museum in Independence to her current role as a preservation consultant she has been a tireless advocate for the resources that define our shared heritage. Sally grew up in Independence, Missouri, just blocks from downtown, witnessing the evolution of preservation issues firsthand that have affected our communities: the shift from an idyllic county seat; changes brought as the home of a President; the advent of Urban Renewal; the city’s significant growth; as a member of the redevelopment corporation and the city’s Heritage Commission; and its more recent success preserving its valuable resources. She was instrumental in efforts to pass the historic tax credit legislation in 1998, and testified dozens of times in support of the then-shuttered President Hotel.
Kansas City’s Preservation Plan owes much of its depth and value to her voice and her vision. Sally has added numerous buildings, including the state’s largest district of approximately 7,000 buildings in St. Louis, to the National Register of Historic Places and guided dozens of property owners through the historic tax credit process. The National Park Service heralds her nomination for the Crestwood Historic District and the Multiple Property Documentation Form for Kansas City’s colonnade apartments and for working class apartment buildings. She truly believes that preservation is never a single effort, but takes an interdisciplinary team of dedicated and talented professionals and volunteers. Sally’s love of history and her talent as a poised and passionate public speaker have made her a forceful advocate for individual resources and broad programs alike.
Crown Village Development, LLC
Crown Square, Old North St. Louis, City of St. Louis
The Crown Square redevelopment used historic preservation to transform the blighted Murphy-Blair Historic District into a vibrant mixed-use residential and commercial district. Key to the project was the alliance of two non-profit organizations (the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance and the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group) and their shared commitment to providing affordable housing and economic opportunities for low-and moderate-income members of the community. Over a decade they executed their vision, which includes rehabilitation of 36 historic buildings and construction of 20 new single-family homes. Previously closed streets were reconnected to the street grid, and outdated infrastructure was significantly improved.
The $35 million project has created over 80 units of mixed-income rental housing and over 30,000 square feet of pedestrian level commercial/retail space. Crown Village Development has brought a long-neglected 19th century neighborhood back to life and their vision and commitment have spurred dozens of others to take on rehabilitation projects in the community.
M.D. (Pete) Rothschild II
City of St. Louis
For over forty years, “Pete” Rothschild has been buying and renovating buildings “in desperate need of help” in many of the old neighborhoods in St. Louis and with over eleven hundred properties in his portfolio, he is not yet ready to stop. Soulard, Hyde Park, Carondelet, Shaw and Tower Grove Park all bear his mark, but it is the Central West End that remains his primary focus with projects ranging from his first — a 2-family house on a residential street – to the commercial buildings and turn-of-the-century mansions of Maryland Plaza. Mr. Rothschild has accepted such challenging projects as the transformation of a recently abandoned church into a theater for live performance and conversion of an empty, vandalized school building into affordable apartments for active seniors.
Recognizing that there is more to re-building a viable neighborhood than up-graded real estate, he is a leader in community support organizations such as the Central West End Business Association which has attracted quality merchants and restaurants to the area and the North Side Team Ministry that provides youth programs and emergency assistance to residents of the North St. Louis Water Tower community. His energy and vision continue to make many parts of St. Louis a better place to live.
Larry Kolb & Steve Rollins
Dunklin Street Projects
Jefferson City, Cole County
Larry Kolb and Steve Rollins had never undertaken a historic rehabilitation before they got involved with Dunklin Street. This modest row of commercial buildings forms the heart of the Munichburg Commercial Historic District. Kolb and Rollins renovated three of the six contributing buildings on the block. Using historic photos, they reconstructed storefronts and facades. Kolb and Rollins undertook their project during the depths of the recession and provided much needed jobs to the local construction community.
Today, the previously vacant upper floors house bright and comfortable apartments, while lower level commercial spaces bustle with retail activity. The result is a dramatically improved streetscape and a revitalized corner of our state’s capital city.
Osmund Overby Award
Digitization of National Register Nominations
Missouri State Historic Preservation Office
Anyone who researches the history of buildings and communities knows what wonderful resources National Register nominations are. They provide detailed histories, evaluative contexts, and comparative architectural examples. Over the past several years, the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) staff has digitized and posted on-line the wealth of nomination forms for the historic resources listed in the National Register of Historic Places throughout the state of Missouri. These documents, including photos and maps, are now just a mouse-click away, and accessible to the public completely free-of-charge. The digitized files include old nominations as well as more-recent listings. This is a boon for scholars, school children, and the simply curious.
Preserve Missouri Awards
John and Vicki Ott
Columbia, Boone County*
The Berry Wholesale Grocery building is one of the largest historic warehouses left in downtown Columbia. The two story mass expands to three stories as the lot slopes down to the old Wabash railroad tracks. At the start of the project, the building was nearly empty and in very poor condition. Roof leaks made the upper floor unusable. The rehabilitation revitalized the building, installing chic loft apartments in the upper floor, a prominent local art gallery at the street level, and a full-service fitness center in the lower level. Paint was removed from the brick walls, exposing an original painted sign. The long-obscured storefront was carefully reconstructed to restore the historic character of the building. The result is sure to spark more revitalization in this growing Columbia arts district.
City of St. Louis*
The Railton Residence represents a unique preservation project completed by the Salvation Army. In an era when rehabilitated buildings often create gentrification, the Railton represents a concerted effort to use historic preservation as a means to provide safe and affordable housing to the neediest members of the St. Louis community. The historic Robert E. Lee Hotel is the lone survivor of a hotel district that existed along 18th Street during the first half of the twentieth century. The renovation preserved the key features of the Renaissance Revival building and removed non-historic fabric to expose long-hidden architectural details in the public spaces. The original single room occupancy units were converted into comfortable, modern one- and two-bedroom apartments. While not luxurious, the renovated apartments provide the necessary elements for the building’s tenants. This award recognizes the commitment of the Salvation Army to provide suitable housing for its constituents and their vision to preserve an important piece of St. Louis history.
Spring Street Lofts
McGowan Brothers Development
City of St. Louis*
The rehabilitation of the historic Ramsey Accessories Manufacturing Corporation factory started with a game of hide-and-seek. Concrete panels clad the exterior of the building of many years, hiding the elegant factory building that sat on the edge of the St. Louis University campus. The process to nominate the building to the National Register took almost three years, as concrete panels were gradually removed to demonstrate that the historic fabric was indeed intact under the non-historic skin. Once the panels were removed, the building required substantial masonry repairs and the long-missing parapet was reconstructed to match the original design. Window openings were reclaimed and deteriorated windows replaced. Parking for tenants was incorporated into the original factory floor, and the factory offices transformed into a pub. Forty-eight apartments now occupy the upper floors and provide attractive housing to the local student population.
Schultz Senior Apartments
Chad Hartle, Schultz Senior Apartments, LLC
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County*
Central High School has undergone many alterations since it was built in 1915. The original building received additions in 1919 and 1942, and there was a major interior renovation in 1964. After nearly a century of service, the school closed in 2008. It was a white elephant – an important civic building in need of a new use – when local developer Chad Hartle stepped forward with a plan to transform the historic school into 45 units of affordable senior housing. Through a series of television interviews, Hartle used the project to showcase best practices in historic preservation as well as the economic benefits of the historic tax credits. To make the project economically feasible, a combination of historic tax credits, low-income housing tax credits, and a community development block grant were coupled with private equity. The rehabilitation occurred during the depths of the recession, providing a major source of construction jobs to the local community. Today, the old Central High School has been rejuvenated as the Schultz Senior Apartments and it is once again a source of pride to the Cape Girardeau community.
Friends of Atkins-Johnson and the City of Gladstone
Gladstone, Clay County*
The Atkins–Johnson Farmhouse is a rare 19th rural resource that has survived the rampant suburbanization of Clay County. The City of Gladstone purchased the house in 2005 to save it from demolition. The Friends of Atkins-Johnson was formed and charged with restoring the property to create a local history museum and event facility. Initial stabilization by the City replaced the roof and reconstructed the historic front porch. The Friends undertook a more-comprehensive restoration in 2010 that addressed the entire shell of the house. Layers of non-historic fabric were peeled away to reveal the hand-hewn logs and limestone chinking of the original 1825 cabin. The structure was reclad using as many salvaged clapboards as possible. The historic windows and doors were restored and custom wood windows were fabricated to replace non-historic units. New interior wood storm windows provide additional energy efficiency. Masonry repairs addressed the large chimneys that had started to pull away from the house. A highly efficient ground-source heat pump HVAC system was installed, and new electrical wiring was run from the outside (while the sheathing was off) to minimize disruption of the historic plaster. With its exterior restored, the Atkins- Johnson Farmhouse is ready to face its next century.
Bon Air Apartments
Charles and Lisa Schmitz
Kansas City, Jackson County*
The rehabilitation of the Bon Air Apartments represents a commitment to preservation that flies far above and beyond the required standards. When Chuck and Lisa Schmitz acquired the 1923 apartment building it suffered from significant neglect, but it had never been remodeled. They went to painstaking lengths to restore every possible element of the historic building. Their project restored original windows (including wavy glass, weights and pulleys), exterior doors, and entry doors and vented “screen” doors at each apartment. Mahogany trim was hand stripped and refinished. Installation of modern HVAC added only one small soffit in each apartment unit, and bathrooms were replumbed while keeping subway tile walls and terrazzo floors intact. Even the historic kitchen cabinetry was retained and refurbished. The building is once again resplendent as it overlooks Gillham Park.
Sewall Paint and Glass Company Building
Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company
Kansas City, Jackson County*
Kansas City’s industrial West Bottoms has been home to the Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company since the company’s founding in the 1880s. For many years, Faultless/Bon Ami has used the 1903 Sewall Paint & Glass Company Building adjacent to its original plant as a production facility, laboratory and warehouse. Recently, in an effort to consolidate its operations, Faultless/Bon Ami rehabilitated the Sewall Paint Building into its corporate headquarters, combining historic rehabilitation with environmental sustainability. Many original windows were restored and supplemented with interior storm windows. Other openings received new windows that match the details of the historic sashes. The exterior masonry was repointed and cleaned. Solar panels on the roof generate power for the building and also tie back to the electrical grid. Throughout the building, distinctive elements of the heavy timber structure, cast iron connections, track-mounted fire doors, and masonry walls were repaired and left exposed to celebrate the building’s historic qualities. The project bodes well for the future of both the Sewall Paint & Glass Company Building and Faultless Starch/Bon Ami.
*Projects made possible in part by the state and/or federal historic tax credits.
Thank You to this Year’s Sponsors
Enhanced Historic Credit Partners Marsh & Company, P.A. Wolf & Associates, LLC
Brown Smith Wallace, LLC Community Program Development Corporation
St. Louis Equity Fund, Inc.