Places in Peril 2019


2019 MISSOURI’S PLACES IN PERIL

Alta Vista Christian Church

Kansas City, Jackson County

Carter County Courthouse

Van Buren, Carter County

Galloway

Springfield (vicinity), Greene County

Hall of Waters

Excelsior Springs, Clay County

Holloway House

Rolla, Phelps County

Katz Drugstores

Springfield, Green County
Kansas City, Jackson County

Second Baptist Church

St. Louis City

Shanley Building

Clayton, St. Louis County

de Hodiamont House

St. Louis City

Sara Lou Cafe

St. Louis City

Westland Acres

Wildwood, St. Louis County

Capitol Avenue Historic District

Jefferson City, Cole County

Emmaus Homes

Marthasville, Warren County

Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) Owned Buildings in the City of St. Louis

Thousand of Potentially Historic Buildings

2019 Watched Properties List

The Barbagallo House
Kimmswick, Jefferson County

The Burlington Northern Depot
Bethany, Harrison County

Kansas City Board of Education & Library Building
Kansas City, Jackson County

Old Nevada Post Office Building
Nevada, Vernon County

Rte. 66 Gasconade River Bridge
Hazelgreen (vicinity), Laclede County

Starke-Meinershagen-Boeke Rural Historic District
Marthasville (vicinity), Warren County

Vitt’s Mill
Union, Franklin County

Historic Resources at Missouri State Parks
Statewide

Former Lincoln School
Jackson, Cape Girardeau County

Henry Miller House
Bloomfield, Stoddard County

The Russell Hotel
Charleston, Mississippi County


Alta Vista Christian Church
Kansas City | Jackson County

Alta Vista Christian Church

The Alta Vista Christian Church (Mexican Institute Chapel) was constructed in 1931 by the Mexican Christian Institute in Kansas City, whose congregation has served the area since 1917. Its mission was to serve as a site for worship, evangelization, and social relief for the Mexican railroad workers who labored in the Historic West Bottoms and Armourdale districts of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. The church is of Spanish Mission Revival design, with an “L” shaped floorplan and gabled roof finished with Spanish tile. A second wing was added to the building in 1945 to house classrooms. After 99 years of serving the community, the Alta Vista Christian Church congregation dissolved and donated the building to La Gloria de Dios in 2016. The building continues to serve the Hispanic community today, although with a congregation of smaller numbers. Members have dedicated themselves to renovate and had planned to engage in wider community outreach, when in December 2018 they discovered considerable structural issues — the south and east walls of the sanctuary were pulling away from one another. The Church is in Peril due to the impending repairs and financial burden to the congregation. It’s importance as one of the first structures built for and by the Mexican community – necessitates the structure’s listing on our Places in Peril. While not in immediate danger of collapse, repairs are necessary. It is hoped that by listing, a financial supporter can be identified and interested parties come forward to provide technical assistance to complete the full structural/geotechnical assessments and partial stabilization repairs needed. In addition, a full survey of Kansas City’s west side focusing on the Latinx community could bring necessary protections to an already dwindling stock of important cultural heritage resources in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

Carter County Courthouse
Van Buren | Carter County

Carter County Courthouse

The Carter County Courthouse, located in Van Buren, Missouri began as a post-and-beam building which was completed in October 1871. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) funded a substantial addition to the east end of the building and added a cobblestone cladding to the entire structure, both old and new. Shortly after, a wall was built to enclose the square. This remains the only existing cobblestone courthouse in the state of Missouri. The courthouse served the community from 1871 until 2017 when it was damaged by unprecedented flooding of the nearby Current River. Although the building is empty, the Carter County Courthouse still remains the center of the community where locals gather for Christmas tree lightings, Easter egg hunts and the annual Festival of Lights. However, the building is still in imminent danger of deterioration. Aside from interior wall coverings being removed on the first floor to promote drying, no work has been done since the flooding in May 2017. Damaged doors and windows have made it difficult to keep out animals and pests. When the county government vacated the building permanently, it pledged to maintain the building but no plans for its future use or renovation have been articulated. In 2019 the county approved the creation of the Courthouse Renovation Committee, a citizens group with a goal of creating a non-profit which will partner with the county to oversee the plans for renovation and reuse. While support for retaining the courthouse is unanimous amongst the community, the nominator hopes being listed on Missouri’s Places in Peril will serve as an objective validation of the structure’s significance and elicit support from those willing to offer professional or financial assistance to the renovation efforts. 

Galloway
Springfield (vicinity) | Greene County

Building in Galloway

The former village of Galloway and the neighboring Sequiota Park have a rich history thanks to their location along the highway 60/65 corridor, the Frisco-Chadwick Flyer rail line, and as the site of the Ash Grove White Lime Works. Galloway was a company town, its livelihood largely dependent on the quarry and kiln, and as families followed the expanding business operations the village grew to accommodate them. In 1969, Galloway was annexed by the City of Springfield. When the highway was relocated, businesses in the town dwindled. Although Galloway is fortunate enough to have a handful of historic structures, increasing development threatens what remains. By being listed on the 2019 Places in Peril list, concerned citizens hope the local city council will support redevelopment plans and policies which promote preservation and respect the historic integrity of the area. Several of the historic properties are currently for sale and it is hoped they will be purchased by a buyer interested in preserving their history and place in the community.

Hall of Waters
Excelsior Springs | Clay County

Hall of Waters

The Hall of Waters was built in 1934 as Public Works Administration Project #5252 on the site of Siloam Spring (originally known as Excelsior Spring). At its height, the project was considered the most outfitted health resort in the state and possibly the region. Water from the ten main springs were piped into the “Hall of Springs,” the first portion of the building to be opened in 1937. At $1,000,000, the Hall of Waters was the most ambitious PWA project in the state and incorporated Art Deco and Depression-era designs as well as Mayan Water God motifs. In the 1950s and 60s the popularity of health spas declined and business dwindled. Today the Hall of Waters contains city offices, a visitor’s center, and the office of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership. Although it is still in use, the building is deteriorating. Duct work is rusting and falling apart, floors are racked, doors are rusted shut and the roof is leaking; deterioration in the basement could cause issues for structural integrity if not addressed. An updated HVAC system is a top priority to retain tenants and to ensure the building is properly pressurized and ventilated. Citizens of Excelsior Springs agree it is important for the Hall of Waters to be open to the public and to be owned by the public. It is hoped that inclusion on the Places in Peril list will help raise awareness needed to rehabilitate the structure, including identifying potential investors and identifying funds for preservation.

Holloway House
Rolla | Phelps county

Holloway House

The Holloway House in Rolla, Missouri was once part of a 250-acre cattle farm owned and operated by Col. George Holloway. An entrepreneur, philanthropist and real estate magnate, Holloway would shape the growth of Rolla while he resided at this house.  Constructed circa 1900 for Benjamin Knapp, the house and property were purchase by Holloway in 1902. Holloway expanded the farming operation and christened it the Elm Row Stock Farm. By 1907, Holloway sold the ranch but reserved the eastern 40 acres below the house and subdivided the land into house lots. The new subdivision become known as Holloway Addition and was one of the finest neighborhoods in Rolla. Today the Holloway House is the centerpiece of the 100-acre Ber Juan Park, named in honor of former Holloway House owners, Bert and Juanita Williams. The house is currently endangered as the city wants to demolish the home to make way for a senior center. The City of Rolla has based its decision to demolish on a 20-year-old feasibility study for the house. “Demolition and new construction would cost much more than rehabilitating the property or finding an equally sized one-story building to convert into a senior center.” Unless we also have a feasibility study or hard facts to support this statement, it should not be used unless qualified as opinion. The Rolla Preservation Alliance recently posted a poll in which 70% of the 421 voters who participated responded in favor of keeping the house. It is hoped that this listing will make the City of Rolla aware of other preservation and adaptive reuse efforts across the state so city government could apply similar preservation principles to the Holloway House.

Katz Drugstores
Springfield | Greene County
Kansas City | Jackson County

West and Main location | Kansas City
Katz City | Springfield

Katz Drug Company was founded in 1914 by newspaper and fruit stand owners Mike and Issac Katz. The first two stores were located in Kansas City and over 57 years the business would branch out to 65 stores in five states. The store at Main and Westport was built in 1934; it was the first outside of the central business district and the first to feature the designs of Clarence Kivett who would become chief architect of the chain. In 1961, Kivett, Myers & McCallum were tasked with designing the company’s largest location, Springfield Store #46 (Katz City). Both locations reflect the fashionable styles of the period in which they were built; the Main and Westport store incorporating both Art Deco and Art Moderne styles and Katz City featuring the avant-garde Googie style popular in the 1960s. Vacancy was not an issue at these buildings until the past decade. Springfield Store #46 was occupied by CVS until the chain closed the store in April of 2019. The building is now advertised for lease and there are concerns that it will be demolished or inappropriately developed. The Springfield Landmarks Board recently voted unanimously to nominate Katz City a city historic site, but the nomination was denied by the Springfield City Council due to lack of comments from the owner even though Springfield city ordinance does not require owner approval for designation as a historic site. While the Main and Westport store in Kansas City has had various tenants over the years, the most recent owner, Redeemer Fellowship, purchased the building at auction. The Church first utilized the parking lot, but then expanded their campus into the space. Most recently the building was leased to a collective of artists who activated the space with their studios, public art and art events. After seven years the church has made the decision to sell the property and vacate the artists, preparing the building for redevelopment as it is on the proposed streetcar extension, now a highly sought-after corridor by real estate developers. Nominators of both these properties hope that by including them on the Places in Peril list will bring them to the attention of preservation-friendly buyers who would bring the buildings back to their original unique and iconic glory instead of altering their historic appearances or demolishing them for new construction, and to bring attention to the rapidly dwindling stock of work by the local Modern architects, Kivett & Myers.  

Second Baptist Church
St. Louis | St. Louis City

Second Baptist Church

The imposing Second Baptist Church at 500 North Kingshighway in the City of St. Louis was constructed in 1907 by the architectural firm of Mauran, Russell & Garden, a firm that was successor once removed from the office of the famed H. H. Richardson. Described as a tour de forceof brickwork, this structure includes Missouri red granite, multi colored brick, terra cotta trim, Minnesota yellow sandstone and red roof tiles. These buildings make up a large portion of the Holy Corners National Register District, recognized as significant at the state-wide level and were designated an official Landmark of the City of St. Louis in 1974. The Second Baptist Church is a poster-child for a problem common to historic structures everywhere, demolition by neglect. Neglected by its previous owners, and carelessness on behalf of the owner who purchased in the property in 2012, this property has suffered large losses through left and vandalism. Critical building components that have disappeared over the years include but are not limited to: copper gutters, decorative collection boxes, and downspouts; stained glass windows have been stolen or broken; the campanile roof system is failing and copper ventilation louvers have been stolen from the tower; decorative iron strapping and decorative hardware from the front doors have been stolen. The current owner presented a restoration plan to the neighborhood seven years ago, but no moves have been made to advance on the project. It is hoped that by listing as a Place in Peril, the building owner will either a) finally address the deteriorating conditions or b) sell it to a person or entity that will take the necessary actions to preserve, restore and return the property to productive use. 

Shanley Building
Clayton | St. Louis County

Shanley Building

The Shanley Building, built in 1935, was the first International Style building in St. Louis and the central Midwest. Commissioned by orthodontist Leo M. Shanley and designed by St. Louis architect Harris Armstrong, the Shanley building received wide recognition within the first few years including a silver medal at the Exposition International des Artes et des Techniques in Paris in 1937. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After eighty years, the Shanley Building is at-risk due to the proposed development of a condominium tower and high-rise hotel. The nominators hope that listing the Shanley Building on the Places in Peril list will encourage the owners and developers to preserve the building and incorporate it into their design plans for the site.

de Hodiamont House
St. Louis | St. Louis City

de Hodiamont House

The de Hodiamont House was built as a farmhouse in 1829 by Baron Emanuel de Hodiamont, a Belgian Trappist Monk who came to St. Louis in 1803. In 1875 the exterior of the house was altered to the Gothic Revival style it bears today, but the overall footprint of the thick stone walls, center-hall plan was not changed. In 1906 a brick room was added to the rear, but since then no major alterations have occurred. It is one of the earliest known houses in the City of St. Louis and is a rare example of the early Gothic Revival style— both factors earning it City Landmark status in 1972. Currently the de Hodiamont house is suffering from demolition by neglect, and although it has an owner, no work has been done to improve or take care of the property in many years. With the community around the house improving, the nominator hopes this listing will either encourage the owner to take care of the property, find a client for whom to renovate the house for or sell it.

Sara Lou Cafe
St. Louis | St. Louis City

Sara Lou Cafe

The Sarah Lou Cafe was constructed in 1906 and is situated at the corner of Sara and St. Louis Avenues in the Greater Ville Neighborhood in the City of St. Louis. The building is one of four two-story, corner mixed-use buildings at this intersection, and is the only one of the four that is vacant.Owned by the Land Reutilization Authority, a state/city governmental agency, the non-profit group, Northside Community House, Inc., has just renewed one-year option to purchase. Generally, the façade of the building is in good condition. It has a terra cotta roof and bay windows overlooking the streetscape. Interior floors are solid and could be retained and refinished. Like many other properties of this caliber that have sat vacant, it has been stripped of copper, plumbing and most other items that might be sold for scrap. While the building’s interior is in generally good condition, the exterior is in dire need of stabilization due to un-boarded windows and deteriorating masonry walls. The Ville Neighborhood is representative of the resilience of African Americans in St. Louis to thrive and prosper in an age that was marked by racism and exclusion. In spite of adversity, the neighborhood has a rich history of African American education, business and art.  The Café building is a historically significant landmark, gathering spot and family restaurant in St. Louis’s North City. Its loss would represent a loss of urban fabric, density and the rich history of this neighborhood.  By listing on Missouri’s historic Places in Peril, it is hoped that Northside Community Housing, Inc, will garner further visibility and credibility in its case for support and will help raise the philanthropic dollars needed to rehabilitate this local landmark.

Westland Acres
Wildwood | St. Louis County

Westland Acres

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.

Capitol Avenue Historic District
Jefferson City | Cole County

One of the homes hit by the May 2019 tornado in the Capitol Avenue Historic District

The Capitol Avenue Historic District includes over one hundred properties on nine city blocks near the State Capitol in Jefferson City. On a significant east-west thoroughfare, there are good examples of Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial, Gothic Revival, and French Second Empire Styles, as well as more modern Spanish Revival, Craftsman and Art Deco representatives. The buildings in the District continue to reflect development of the neighborhood from 1830 to 1945, and retain a high degree of integrity from its various periods of development. The District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Currently over 25% of the Capitol Avenue Historic District consists of derelict property, and the majority of these properties are owned by one individual, who has not been willing to repair the decaying buildings or to sell them to owners interested in renovation. Long a concern to preservationists, the City Council adopted an ordinance declaring the entire district blighted, and the local housing authority developed a renewal plan which strives to renovate properties through voluntary repair, sales to new owners, and by seizure by eminent domain. 2018 the City of Jefferson completed major infrastructure improvements on East Capitol Avenue, these attractive improvements in stark contrast to the continued blight. In the last year, they have made significant headway in obtaining some of these endangered properties via eminent domain. On May 22, 2019 an EF-3 tornado tore through Jefferson City and up East Capitol Avenue. The community has already put forth an outstanding effort in repairing the damage but there is still a long way to go. At least one of the structures in the district had to be demolished as it was no longer stable. It is hoped that re-listing the entire Capitol Avenue Historic District will bring attention to the hard work already done by Historic Jefferson City, but also aid them in raising funds so they can provide improvement grants to the building owners.

Emmaus Homes
Marthasville | Warren County

Emmaus Homes

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 listed the campus for sale and it is hoped that listing on the Places in Peril will bring it to the attention of a preservation-minded developer.

Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) Buildings in the City of St. Louis
Thousands of Potentially Historic Buildings

photo by Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) in the City of St. Louis owns over 11,200 parcels of property. LRA estimates that there are approximately 6,200 buildings on these various properties, both commercial and residential, constructed between 1870 and 1950. Many are located in local or National Register historic districts, and even more if surveyed might be determined eligible for historic district listing. Most of the LRA’s holdings are located in distressed neighborhoods due to a large number of tax foreclosures, so it is possible that LRA will end up owning more potentially historic buildings in the future. LRA’s major policy of disposition of these buildings each year has been ad hoc demolition, presenting a major threat to preservation of the vernacular architecture of St. Louis. The St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is currently in its third year of funding the demolition of LRA-owned buildings in North St. Louis, where the District is spending a planned $13.6 million per year over twenty years to demolish 1,300 vacant buildings, creating passive storm water retention spaces in place of buildings. In South and Central St. Louis, MSD plans to separate storm water from city sewers, but in North St. Louis has chosen the cheaper route of simply creating storm permeable land by removing the buildings. Furthermore, the City of St. Louis increased its annual demolition funding through a ballot initiative, spending about $1 million annually on building demolitions. Two recent efforts to combat demolition-only policies have recently been passed. One calls for selling vacant houses for one dollar to citizens who would make one of these buildings their private residence for five years. A recent court decision also allows the City to issue $6 million in bonds each year to fund stabilization for weather-proofing of historic and vacant buildings held by the LRA, representing the first-ever stream of funding for protection rather than demolition of these buildings. With the guaranteed prospect of increased urbanization in our nation and state, extant buildings show far more potential for contributing to the economy and quality of life than vacant land. Unimproved property values are low, while improved property with buildings yield the highest promise of tax revenue. Currently LRA lacks to funds to market for-sale properties, but the promotion of dollar houses and stabilization efforts are great preservation tools. It is hoped that this listing will amplify the cause for further change and also announce to preservationists the need for citizens to step up and purchase LRA buildings. Never before have there been these tools to aid with preservation and counteract demolition policies, and now is the time for people to take advantage of them before we lose thousands of great buildings.



2019 Unhappy Hour Sponsored By

Thank you for everyone who joined us for the Unhappy Hour announcement at Hy-Vee Arena* on September 13th! A special thanks to all of our sponsors who made the event possible.

*Formerly known as the Kemper Arena, Chicago-based architect Helmut Jahn designed the arena, considered a “revolutionary” design for its time. Consisting of a superstructure which includes “three oversized trusses that rise from the berm to cross the mass of the building” with a secondary system of bar joists and trusses hanging from the superstructure to carry the load of the roof deck, this approach allows a 324-foot clear span inside the arena. The arena opened in 1974 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. The Kemper Arena was once included on several Most Endangered lists, but now, thanks to preservationists like you and the Foutch Brothers, Kansas City has retained yet another important structure in American architecture.

Commerce Bank