May 7, 2013
Mary M. (Mimi) Stiritz
Clayton, St. Louis County
Teaching classes in art and architectural history at Washington University and Maryville University stirred a deep interest in Missouri architecture that brought Mimi Stiritz to Landmarks Association of St. Louis in 1978. Through Landmarks St. Louis she began a
long and rewarding relationship with Missouri’s Historic Preservation Program, conducting architectural surveys, researching and writing nominations for National Register listings and certification of local districts and single sites in St. Louis, along with giving talks and tours on St. Louis architecture. Working outside St. Louis as a consultant after 1987 offered opportunities to expand and greatly enrich her knowledge of Missouri history through preparation of National Register nominations for properties in the communities of Washington and New Haven (Franklin County); St. Charles, Augusta (St. Charles County), and in other counties including Atchison, Cape Girardeau, Greene, Jefferson, and Pike. In all Ms. Stiritz has written National Register nominations that include thousands of buildings in 37 districts as well as 66 individual sites. She authored the book, St. Louis: Historic Churches and Synagogues in 1995, and has authored essays in exhibition catalogs for St. Louis University and the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis. Over the years she has published several articles for the Society of Architectural Historians as well as the Missouri Historical Society. In her home county, she has served on the St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission since 1997, and also serves on the boards of the Society of Architectural Historians – Missouri Valley Chapter, and St. Louis Architectural Arts Foundation. Since 2007, when she was appointed to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Mimi has reviewed National Register nominations for historic properties throughout the state. She pursues research on a long-held interest in Missouri’s French heritage as a board member of Les Amis, and the Chatillon-DeMenil House Foundation. A consummate researcher, Mimi is known for exhausting each and every possible resource for information, including the most unlikely of sources. Unaffected by her many accomplishments, Mimi is well known for great humility among her colleagues and can be found giving freely of her time, talent and materials to help others appreciate historic buildings and their contexts. She continues to publish on a variety of topics delving into Missouri’s great treasury of historic resources.
Springfield, Greene County
Mary Collette is a long-time advocate for the preservation of historic buildings in Springfield and in North Springfield. Serving in numerous volunteer and elected capacities she has been instrumental in supporting community revitalization efforts, using her voice to prevent demolition, revise city ordinances, use strategic planning processes, and obtain access to incentives to help private investors. The combination of local public/private partnerships, comprehensive planning, and individual preservation projects have resulted in the successful revitalization of the Commercial Street Historic District, much of which can be directly attributed to the efforts of Ms. Collette.
Lexington, Lafayette County
Amy Heaven’s dedication to historic preservation in Lexington shines through her personal and professional life. Beginning in the 1990s and continuing to the present, Ms. Heaven has worked tirelessly to preserve historic places in Lexington through advocacy and hands-on rehabilitation. As a member of Lexington’s City Council, Ms. Heaven helped to draft and pass the city’s first historic preservation ordinance. In addition to completely restoring and renovating five historic houses and commercial buildings, she works with a group to save buildings from the wrecking ball and stabilize them so that others can restore the interiors. In recent years, Ms. Heaven has nominated three properties to Missouri Preservation’s Most Endangered list. One building has been successfully renovated and fund-raising is in process for the renovation of a second.
Kansas City Missouri Public Schools– Repurposing Initiative
Kansas City, Jackson County
Kansas City Public Schools
In 2010, Kansas City Public Schools embarked on an ambitious plan to reorganize its physical facilities in an effort to focus financial resources on students. This “rightsizing” process involved closing nearly half of the district’s active schools, consolidating facilities and programs. The KCPS School Board established the Repurposing Initiative to examine the sites, their reuse potential, and redevelopment proposals in a comprehensive and innovative way that would protect the integrity of the surrounding neighborhoods. The Repurposing Initiative paired intense community engagement with assessments developed by a technical team composed of historic preservation consultants, architects, marketing strategists, and discussion facilitators. To date five buildings have been sold, three sites have approved sales contracts and one site has been leased. Redevelopment proposals range from charter schools, to residential housing, to office use, to a community center. The Kansas City Public Schools is recognized for its on-going commitment to securing long-term beneficial and community-supported uses for its former buildings through a comprehensive approach.
Osmund Overby Award
The Art of the Missouri Capitol
Bob Priddy & Jeffrey Ball
It is not surprising that a book about art is filled with beautiful photographs and drawings, but Bob Priddy and Jeffrey Ball’s 2011 book The Art of the Missouri Capitol: History in Canvas, Bronze, and Stone does more than catalog the building’s extensive collection of art work. In addition to supplying the historical background for how this magnificent building, the Missouri State Capitol, came into being, it also provides the stories behind the art, including the political maneuverings and historical events that inspired the images. Priddy, the journalist, and Ball, the art historian, have teamed to present a comprehensive evaluation of the sculptures, paintings, and murals that ornament the Capitol while illustrating the story of the state and its people.
Preserve Missouri Award
Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity*
Kansas City, Jackson County
Kansas City Ballet
It took great vision and a leap of faith for the Kansas City Ballet to select the long- abandoned Power House at Union Station for their new home. The Power House was designed by Jarvis Hunt and completed in 1914 along with the train station next door. It was a massive industrial building full of boilers, turbines, and coal bunkers set in large open spaces. In addition to normal weathering, decades of coal-burning had deteriorated the fabric. The project creatively coupled sensitive preservation of the historic exterior with a stunning transformation of the industrial interior to create dance studios, changing rooms, and offices for the ballet.
A.F. Davis House*
Fayette, Howard County
Braxton and Judy Rethwisch
While the “Before” and “After” photos do not show a dramatic difference in the appearance of the A. F. Davis House, they do emphasize the great lengths to which owners Braxton and Judy Rethwisch went in restoring the grand 1880s Second Empire house. In areas where the slate roof was compromised water damaged interior plaster and exterior brick and mortar. Leaking roofs also damaged the front and side porches. As part of a 2011 rehabilitation project, the Rethwisch’s chose to restore the roof, repair and repoint the exterior brick, and rebuild the porches in a historically appropriate manner. The transformation was subtle, maintaining the important features of the home while improving its ability to shed water and ensuring its long-time survival.
Antoine Lalumondiere Home
Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve County
The Antoine Lalumondiere Home is a wonderfully intact example of a French Colonial vertical log house. Built circa 1829 by the son of one of St. Genevieve’s first settlers, the one-and-one-half-story house stands along the South Gabouri Creek. Although the house has withstood the effects of nearly 200 years and numerous floods, it was in desperate need of repair in 2011. John Karel purchased the home and immediately embarked on a three-stage project to stabilize the structure, restore/rehabilitate the exterior, and renovate the interior. With the intention of retaining as much historic material as possible, Mr. Karel and his carefully selected team of contractors and consultants restored this important piece of the history of Ste. Genevieve, ensuring it will be around for another 200 years to continue to tell its story about the area’s early settlers.
Bismarck, St. Francois County
City of Bismarck & the Bismarck Depot Preservation Committee
In 1917 the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway built a depot in Bismarck, Missouri. It operated as a passenger station until 1971 and as a freight depot until 2002. After Union Pacific vacated the building, the City of Bismarck purchased it to provide local residents with an opportunity to raise funds for restoration so that the depot could remain a vital part of the community. Using everything from a MoDOT enhancement grant, to in-kind donations of materials and labor, to monetary gifts, the community has made their vision come true. Much grit and determination were necessary to restored the station. Today, the Depot hosts community events, socials, meetings, a small history museum and in November the first City Council meeting.
Amtrak is once again considering the Bismarck Depot as a passenger station stop.
First Presbyterian Church*
La Grange, Lewis County
Old churches can be difficult buildings to preserve. How to reuse the large open sanctuary poses a conundrum to many would be owners. Bob Moulton-Ely had the vision to house the office of his newspaper business in the church, taking advantage of the open floor plan. With the minimal addition of small restrooms and a kitchenette, the project restored the long abandoned church. Surviving fragments of finishes were preserved giving the building a unique flavor. The windows and cornice were restored using archival evidence; original doors were restored; and old brick walls were sensitively repointed. This project was clearly a labor of love and hopefully the first of many restoration projects to come in La Grange.
Council Plaza Phillips 66 Gas Station*
City of St. Louis
Randy and Jeff Vines Accepting for the St. Louis Preservation Community
The very distinctive flying saucer building on Grand is immediately recognizable to passersby. Architect Richard Henmi of the St. Louis firm Schwarz & Van Hoefen designed the building in 1967 as a Phillips 66 gas station. It is an excellent example of the futuristic modernist aesthetic that characterized the mid-century period. A thin-shell concrete saucer rests on four tapered columns as the center of the structure. Plans to replace the building in 2012 elicited a public uproar. It was the work of many local preservationists to turn the tide using many different approaches that saved this structure. Modern STL, Michael Allen and Alex Ihnen’s blogs, and the Landmarks Association of St. Louis promoted the issue. Local resident Mike Batchelor started a Facebook page that went viral. Two St. Louis aldermen, Shane Cohn and Scott Ogilvie supported the efforts in local government. Many private citizens rallied around the cause, including local preservationists Paul Hohman, Toby Weiss, Matthew Mourning, Michael Powers, Lindsey Derrington and the brothers Jeff and Randy Vines, who helped organize public demonstrations to call attention to the proposed demolition. The owner responded by revising his plans to renovate (instead of demolish) the building, with an addition at the rear of the building to preserve its architectural integrity.
Restoration of floor to ceiling windows under the saucer-shaped canopy completed the successful renovation. The flying saucer building illustrates not only the importance, but the popularity of mid-century vernacular culture to our built environment.
Trenton Senior Apartments*
Trenton, Grundy County
Ryan Hamilton, Cardinal Development
When it was built in 1924, Trenton High School was considered a state-of-the-art educational facility. Its design embodied the pedagogical ideals and physical features of Progressive Era schools — everything from fireproof construction and a Classical façade to spacious classrooms with large windows. After the school closed in 2005 it was significantly underutilized. It operated as an antique mall for a while, but mainly sat empty and deteriorating. Cardinal Development converted the languishing building into 35 units of affordable housing for seniors, enabling local residents to remain in their community even after they move out of their homes.