2019 Honor Awards

The Rozier Award

Dr. Frank Nickell
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County

Frank Nickell grew up on a farm in Central Illinois, the youngest of eight children. Following graduation from Eastern Illinois University with degrees in Physical Education and history, he obtained his Ph.D. in American History from the University of New Mexico in 1969. Dr. Nickell accepted a one-year position at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in 1969, which evolved into a tenure-track position and a career at the university for more than forty years. While at SEMO, he was Director of the Center for Regional History for nearly twenty-five years as well as the Chair of the History Department when it developed the Historic Preservation Bachelors Degree program in 1980. After his retirement from teaching in 2013, Dr. Nickell became the Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri Regional Office in Cape Girardeau from 2013 to 2017. He is currently working with the Kellerman Foundation for Historic Preservation and serves as Chairman for the Board of Directors. Dr. Nickell has always had a strong interest in local and regional history. He founded or co-founded organizations such as the Missouri History Day Program, Cape Girardeau Civil War Roundtable, Mississippi River Valley Scenic Drive and the Lorimier Redhouse Project. He gives endless hours of his time, attention, and efforts to actively serve on various history related boards and preservation-oriented organizations including the Stars and Stripes Museum and the Scott County Historical Society. During his time in Cape Girardeau, Dr. Nickell recorded over two-hundred short programs on historic events in Southeast Missouri for SEMO’s NPR affiliated campus radio stations. These “Almost Yesterday” programs are widely distributed throughout the region and won an award from the Missouri Broadcasters Association in 2008. Aside from his lengthy teaching career, where he has inspired thousands of students, Dr. Nickell has spent more than forty years collecting literature and memorabilia about the region’s history. This massive endeavor is a substantial contribution to the story of the Southeast Missouri region.


The McReynolds Awards

Amrit & Amy Gill
St. Louis City

Amrit & Amy Gill developed an interest in the revitalization of St. Louis with their purchase of the derelict Coronado and Lindell Towers in Midtown St. Louis in 1991. They established their development company, Restoration St. Louis, in 2001. Working in both the residential and commercial sphere, the Gill’s rehabilitated iconic buildings designed by the likes of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, William Eames and Thomas Young. Restoration St. Louis continues to evolve and diversify its services based on community need, including real estate development, architectural design, construction, residential and commercial leasing, hospitality, and hotel management. Since it’s inception, Restoration St. Louis has completed over three hundred projects in both Missouri and Iowa, the most recent being Louis Sullivan’s Union Trust Building in Downtown St. Louis. The work the Gill’s have done over twenty-eight years has catalyzed reinvestment in distinct areas such as Skinker-DeBalivier, the Delmar Loop, The Grove, Midtown and Central West End. This is a testament to their commitment to preserving buildings that are integral to these rich cultural and historical neighborhoods.

Tommy & Glenda Pike
Springfield, Greene County

Tommy and Glenda Pike have dedicated their lives to the preservation of Route 66. Their commitment extends beyond honorary recognition of the history of the famed roadway, to actively preserving the businesses and setting that define Route 66. The Pikes have assisted owners with getting their properties listed in the National Register and applying for preservation grants for new roofs or restoring neon signs. They have worked tirelessly to create the largest Route 66 Association membership of all the eight states that contain a portion of the Mother Road. The Pikes established the Birthplace Festival, which takes place in Springfield and draws thousands of visitors each August. They have cultivated relationships with Route 66 enthusiasts from other countries as well as regional legislators in their on-going advocacy. The Pikes’ depth of knowledge and generous spirit guides them in the continuous effort to preserve, enhance, and promote Route 66 as one of the state’s most cherished treasures.

Dr. Arthur & Mrs. Carolyn Elman
The Blosser House
Malta Bend, Saline County

Construction on the Henry Blosser House began in 1878. The imposing Second Empire style, red brick house was completed in 1880; the property including multiple outbuildings and a large barn. Although the buildings were in very good condition when the property was listed on the National Register in 1978, by the early twenty-first century, the property was vacant and all buildings were in serious disrepair. In 2014, the property was added to Missouri Preservation’s list of Places in Peril. That designation brought the house to the attention of Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Carolyn Elman, Kansas City residents who had friends in the Arrow Rock area. This was not their first rehabilitation project, as the Elman’s previously lived-in and restored two architecturally significant residences in Kansas City. They bought the property and in 2016 they hired Kelee Katillac-Heiffus of Heartland Historic Homes to manage a comprehensive rehabilitation project. Nearly three years later, the house and carriage house have been fully updated and rehabilitated, and work on the barn is nearly complete. Exterior work included extensive masonry and roof repairs, as well as porch repair and reconstruction. All existing windows in the house have been retained and repaired. Interior work included restoration of existing millwork, and reconstruction of the original formal staircase, using scattered remaining balusters and sections of handrail as a pattern. Plaster was patched and repaired and modern mechanical systems were carefully integrated into the house to have minimum impact on the historic spaces. The Elman’s dedication to the restoration of the Blosser House is a shining example of the possibilities for other at-risk historic places around Missouri.


Osmund Overby Award

Kansas City Houses: 1885-1938
Michael C. Kathrens
Kansas City, Jackson County

Author Michael C. Kathrens is an independent scholar specializing in American residential architecture of the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. In this, his most recent work, Kathrens uncovers the architectural history behind forty homes of affluent Kansas Citians that were built between 1885 and 1938 and spotlights the accomplished architects who designed them. Kansas City Houses 1885-1938 brings attention to the successes of Midwest architects whose work has often been overshadowed by their East Coast counterparts. Homes covered by Kathrens include Oak Hall, designed by Frederick E. Hill for William Rockhill Nelson and the home of the Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall, designed by Henry F. Hoit. New photographs have been provided by Bruce Mathews and are accompanied by drawings, floor plans and archival images that document both the interior and exterior of each house. Also covered are biographies of area architects and a catalog of sixty-two additional houses.


Preserve Missouri Awards

Crossroads Hotel
Kansas City, Jackson County

Comprised of two historic warehouses, the Crossroads Hotel required two separate historic tax credit applications and creative solutions to transform the industrial spaces. Completed in 1911, both the Pendergast Building and the Pabst Building immediately to the south served as warehouse and distribution centers for the Pabst Brewery and are located in the National Register listed Crossroads Historic Freight District. Vacant since the 1990s, both structures are utilitarian in character and feature little in the way of decorative architectural treatment. While a former office space on the first floor of the Pendergast Building had a tin ceiling and scored plaster wainscot on the walls and the second floor contained a residential unit with traditional finishes (plaster walls, wood floors), the majority of the spaces had exposed structure, wood floors and ceilings, and exposed brick walls. The owners embraced the raw, industrial character of the spaces and incorporated them into the hotel’s design. The large floorplate of the Pabst Building inhibited programming of the space in the center of the structure. To resolve this, the architects created a new interior atrium that allowed insertion of hotel guest rooms in the center of the building, as well as around the perimeter. A sawtooth clerestory roof caps the atrium, complementing the industrial character of the building. The existing wood floors were carefully removed and saved for re-installation atop the new fire-rated concrete decks in the more public areas (corridor floors and ceilings, atrium walls) to comply with fire and sound codes for hotels. Exposed masonry walls remain exposed and brick pavers were reused in the lobby area of the Pabst Building. The completed hotel with restaurant and bar is a unique fixture in down town Kansas City, a welcome and compatible addition to the historic district.

Kemper (HyVee) Arena
Kansas City, Jackson County

The historic Kemper Arena, built in 1974, served as the primary enclosed multipurpose arena in Kansas City and the surrounding region for over three decades. In the 1990s, a wave of new arenas replaced those built in the 1960s-1980s, with upgrades and amenities that outmatched their predecessors. Improvements were made to the arena in 1996 as an attempt to keep up, but the efforts rendered unsuccessful. The building’s use declined into the 2000s, and was eventually replaced by the Sprint Center in 2007. Nearly vacant and underutilized, the arena was heading quickly towards demolition and was listed as a Property to Watch on Missouri Preservation’s Places in Peril list multiple years in a row. Shortly after the Sprint Center was complete, Foutch Brothers and a group of passionate and persistent individuals began a nearly decade long preservation and redevelopment effort to save the structure and help re-purpose the arena. Rescued from demolition, the iconic Kemper Arena was re-imagined as a sports lifestyle destination for nationally emerging athletes, Special Olympians, and Kansas Citians who enjoy recreation sports. The historic tax credit rehabilitation project included subdividing the open space of the arena into two levels to accommodate a wide variety of sports activities, which preserved both the historic function and the distinctive character of the space. Now, as HyVee Arena, the facility blends sports, business and retail bringing together patrons of all ages to actively participate while encouraging a healthy city. HyVee Arena leads the local re-purposing movement as an anchor for the surging West Bottoms, by prompting new growth with nearly one million traveling visitors annually. Foutch A+D, together with its partners and athletes, successfully designed a project that creates a destination and draw for Kansas City while preserving the historic character of this unique and challenging property type.

Bridge Space | Lee’s Summit Post office
Lee’s Summit, Jackson County

The rehabilitation of the Lee’s Summit Post Office into Bridge Space, a multi-purpose co-working space, is a great example of a creative adaptive re-use of a common building type that exists in most communities. Located adjacent to, but outside of the existing downtown commercial historic district, the Lee’s Summit Post Office had to be listed on the National Register to gain access to historic tax credits. Completed in 1962, the Modern Movement post office embodies the “Thousand Series” Modern style post office property type. It served the community as a post office until 2016, with minor alterations being made during its use. Reversal of the alterations during the rehabilitation revealed extant features of its original design that were successfully incorporated into the rehabilitation, including a historic stone wall in the lobby and blue-enameled metal panels cladding the south wall. The rehabilitation retained the lobby space, returning it to a closer semblance of its historic configuration. Storefront windows were re-introduced in the front facade where they had previously been infilled. The historic vault was kept and transformed into a sound/recording booth and the historic, open character of the work room was retained by utilizing glazed partitions instead of walls. Portions of the historic observation gallery were incorporated into mezzanine spaces. This project introduced a new creative office and gathering space to downtown Lee’s Summit while retaining a significant institutional building and supporting the idea that modern buildings are worth saving for adaptive reuse.

Soldiers Memorial
Military Museum & Court of Honor
St. Louis City

The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, dedicated in 1936 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, opened on Memorial Day in 1938 as a memorial and museum for the citizens of St. Louis who gave their lives serving in World War I. Across Chestnut Street to the south is The Court of Honor, which was completed in 1948 as a memorial to the area’s soldiers lost in World War II. Soldiers Memorial was in continuous use since the opening ceremony and until 2015, the building was operated as a museum by the City of St. Louis. With limited funds, the building suffered from deferred maintenance, failing buildings systems, and a lack of accessibility for people with disabilities. As the home for many important artifacts, the lack of appropriate buildings systems was also very problematic. In 2010, a coalition of civic leaders led by the late Gene Mackey, dedicated themselves to bringing about the much-needed improvements to the facility and grounds. The Missouri Historical Society was selected to take over management of the renovation and long-term operations, with the City of St. Louis still retaining ownership. Museum-quality HVAC systems and new controls were installed in the building, contributing to the project’s goal of LEED Gold Certification. Original stairs and elevators were restored while new stairs, elevators and a ramp were installed to improve accessibility. Across Chestnut Street, the Court’s limestone pillar, reminiscent of a broken bayonet, was restored and can now be seen in the new reflecting pool. New memorial walls line the path between the Soldiers Memorial and Court of Honor. The newly renovated Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and Court of Honor, funded entirely by anonymous donors, reopened in November 2018 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. The project has created a vastly improved visitor experience while honoring St. Louis’ fallen soldiers and reestablishing a highly visible civic focal point along the continually improving St. Louis Gateway Mall.

Brick River Cider Company
St. Louis City

Russ John took a chance on 2000 Washington Avenue, choosing its good “bones” over five other potential historic buildings. This 1899 fire station is one of the oldest left standing in St. Louis, designed with a full basement to stable horses for the fire wagons and a full attic to stretch out the hoses. While the space seemed perfect to house Brick River Cider Company’s manufacturing operations, the project was not without its difficulties as the building had stood vacant for more than a decade and was deteriorating rapidly. The two round, arched truck doorways had been modified– one as an overhead door and the other completely bricked in. All the original window openings were bricked in, and the curved glass windows on the corner had been replaced with glass block. The interior retained features such as a wood paneled ceiling and glazed brick walls on the first floor, and pressed tin ceilings on portions of the second floor. The renovation of 2000 Washington Avenue included “unbricking” the truck door and second floor windows, and installing a new, custom made curved glass, wood windows for the rounded corner. The roof was replaced and masonry repaired. On the interior, the rear half was converted into the production area for the cidery and the basement fitted out for storage for that operation. The damaged areas of the wood paneled ceilings in the front were carefully replicated and the brick interior walls repaired so the front could be utilized as a tasting room. The conversion of the second floor to a dining room included restoration of the pressed tin ceiling, wood trim at the windows and the tall baseboards. The entire project for the Brick River Cider Company is the epitome of the economic impact and success of a historic renovation. Not only did the project utilize historic preservation tax credits, but Brick River Cider Company has also become one of the largest buyers of fruit from mid-western farms, expected to purchase more than four hundred tons of fruit within the next year– at least 25 percent of which will come from Missouri farms.

WWII Era Black Officers’ Club
Ft. Leonard Wood, Pulaski County

In 2012, Fort Leonard Wood proposed the demolition of the World War II-era Black Officers’ Club, building 2101. Constructed in 1941 for administrative use, the building served as a personnel adjutant’s office for only one year before being converted into a service club for African American officers in 1942. Building 2101 was modified in 1942 by adding a wing to the south side, including a fireplace, to create the Officer’s Club Annex for the 7th Engineer Training Group. Stonework completed by WWII prisoners of war, many of which were accomplished stone masons from Germany, surround Building 2101. POWs in 1945 also constructed the chimney, fireplace, and fireplace on the open air basement/crawl space of the building as well as stone walkways, steps, three tiered patio, drainage systems, a retaining wall, and tiered boundary wall around the property. Despite changes that occurred to the structure over the years, the Army found that the property still retained sufficient integrity to convey its original overall appearance as the WWII Era Black Officers’ Club and further investigation found that the building was one of only two WWII era Black Officers’ Clubs left in the nation. In 2014, after considering its options and careful deliberation of the significance of the Black Officers’ Club, the Fort Leonard Wood Garrison found they could save the building and rehabilitate it for use as a training center. Plans for rehabilitation included cleaning and restoration of the 1943 mural and all stonework, reestablishing original window openings, replacing windows and doors with those that match the historic ones, removal of aluminum siding, repairing and painting the original clapboards, and restoration of the ceiling. Due to the dedication of the Army to preserve this property and return it to use, the scope of work was modified to include restoring the floors in the mural room and wainscoting throughout the building. Although it has taken many years for this project to come together, through consultation with its partners in preservation, Fort Leonard Wood and the US Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District has turned this once neglected property into a crowning jewel of the Fort and preserved this important part of our history for the future.

Twelker Farm | Steeple View Manor, LLC
New Haven, Franklin County

When Patricia McKelvey bought the historic Twelker Farm in 2016, the house was barely inhabitable. The lovely original two story stone house had been nearly swallowed by modern additions and finishes, inside and out. Large one-story additions covered the front and back walls of the house, and almost all rooms in the original house had dark hardboard paneling and other dingy finishes. The house still had an impressive amount of historic fabric, including the well-crafted stone exterior, an original staircase, and early four panel doors. Removal of the modern finishes inside the house revealed early millwork and wood flooring throughout. Removal of the front and rear additions brought the house back to its original I-house form. The stonework was in good shape, but many walls were covered with white paint, which was carefully removed. Using a historic photo as a guide, project architects from Lauren Strutman Architects designed a new front porch to match the long-missing original porch, and the house and an adjacent summer kitchen were fully rehabilitated, inside and out. A large barn nearby was also repaired. Today, the farmstead serves as an event center, and it looks much as it did when the Twelker family completed construction of their new stone house in 1871. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic places and historic preservation tax credits assisted in the transformation of the property.

Missouri State Fairgrounds:
Coliseum & Womans Building
Sedalia, pettis County

The Coliseum, constructed in 1905-06, and the Womans Building, built in 1910, are two of the earliest buildings on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Both the Coliseum and Womans Building are part of 66 contributing structures comprising the 396-acre fairgrounds, 215-acres of which are designated as a National Register Historic District. The rehabilitation projects were a collaborative effort between SFS Architecture, the State of Missouri, State Fair staff, and the State Historic Preservation Office. The rehabilitation of the 26,977 square foot steel truss and timber-framed Coliseum included sitework repairs; structural repairs of the roof and columns; asphalt roofing replacement; terra cotta repair; exterior painting; window and door repair and replacement; exterior lead paint abatement; and accessibility upgrades, including restroom upgrades, new handrails, and ramps. It was also discovered that one hundred years of spraying the dirt floor to reduce dust had damaged the bleacher seating structure. Pressure treated boards replaced the rotted 6” x 12” wood sill plates that supported the bleacher seating to extend the life of the bleachers and the arena. At only 4,800 square feet, the Womans Building, a wood-framed, brick veneer building with a Carthage Marble front porch, was a much smaller undertaking. Renovation of the building included roof and window replacement; masonry restoration; exterior lead paint abatement; restroom renovations to improve accessibility; concrete slab replacement at the porch; and upgrades to the building’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. With the renovations, these iconic historic buildings will remain a focal point of the Missouri State Fair for years to come.

Lorimier Apartments
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County

Constructed in 1925, the Lorimier Apartments were built to accommodate the housing needs of the area’s rapidly increasing population. This multi-family, two-story “U”-shaped apartment building is part of the Courthouse-Seminary Neighborhood Historic District. Included for years on the Cape Girardeau Endangered Buildings List, most locals knew of the Lorimier Apartments. For many years the wood doors and eight-over-one wood framed windows were boarded over for security reasons. Renovations to the derelict property were extensive. The project was a labor of love by developers Jason Coalter and Dustin Richardson, who saw potential where others only saw blight and disrepair. The original brick facade was restored. Trim work was salvaged or custom made to match the original. The interior includes eleven apartments, some units still complete with original fireplaces and mantels (although inactive). Utilizing historic tax credits, Coalter and Richardson were able to turn this well-known Cape Girardeau property back into a contributing piece of real estate in a re-emerging downtown area.