February 23, 2005
2005 Honor Award Recipients
- Rozier Award
- Overby Award
- McReynolds Awards
- Preserve Missouri Awards
St. Louis County
When Esley Hamilton joined the staff of the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation in 1977, he began conducting a survey of all the County’s historic resources. Today, that catalogue includes over 5,000 different sites — log cabins and antebellum mansions, farmsteads and cemeteries, planned neighborhoods from the turn of the century, art deco buildings, and comprehensive studies of schools and churches. In addition, he has successfully nominated 30 individual sites and eight multi-structure districts to the National Register of Historic Places and three – Tower Grove Park, Whitehaven and Washington University’s Hilltop Campus – as National Landmarks.
His work has extended to East St. Louis and to out-state Missouri as well. He spent six years in Hannibal where he surveyed some 500 sites, wrote eight National Register nominations, helped to organize historic house tours and an annual observance of National Historic Preservation Week, and wrote and designed the exhibit, “Hannibal as History” which is still being shown. As a consultant for Clarksville, he again conducted a survey of historic buildings – in this case, every house in the town – and wrote a National Register nomination for the community. As a member of the University City Historic Preservation Committee, he wrote and published a series of six neighborhood histories, describing every building in each of the neighborhoods (a total of 260 buildings), conducted training session for volunteers, and prepared four National Register nominations.
He has served as a consultant on historic preservation for Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Team Four, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Lafayette Square Restoration Committee, the Sisters of Loretto, the Center for Urban and Environmental Research and Services, and the University of Missouri at St. Louis Archaeological Survey. He founded a lecture series at Tower Grove Park which is now in its 16th year. As program annotator for the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, he wrote histories and appreciations of about 50 historic buildings where they perform. Esley is editor of the newsletter of the St. Louis Chapter of Architectural Historians, the only forum for the publication of new research for this region.
Hamilton teaches courses in Western and Modern Architecture at Maryville College and the University of Missouri at St. Louis and has been appointed adjunct professor at Washington University School of Architecture. In 1991, he was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter. In 2000, he received the Landmark Association of St. Louis Presidents Award and in 2002, the Outstanding Service and Achievement Award from St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation. He has authored countless histories, articles and guides, has contributed to several books on the history of architecture, and continues to be a sought-after speaker and tour leader.
MU in Brick and Mortar
Scott Shader, Space Planning & Management
University of Missouri
Called MU in Brick and Mortar, this new web exhibit is a state-of-the-art application of digital technology, a first of its kind in the field of historic preservation. It will, when completed, document a detailed history of 43 different buildings from all parts of the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. Addressing one building at a time, it pairs architectural drawings with historic photos and documents from University and Historical Manuscript archives as well as providing background information and cross-references. The web exhibit begins at 1892 since the great fire which occurred that year destroyed everything that had been built earlier except the six columns that now stand in Frances Quadrangle. The included buildings represent a cross-section of historic as well as modern university facilities.
The exhibit allows visitors to discover the progressive development of the campus over a century of growth and expansion, makes historical records accessible to a world-wide audience via the internet, and preserves, in digital form, extensive archival collections of architectural drawings and photographs. Today MU in Brick and Mortar covers thirty five buildings. However, the project coordinators plan to eventually include all the archived maps and historic buildings on the Columbia campus.
Barns of Missouri: Storehouses of History
Born and raised in the rural heart of Missouri, Dr. Marshall has had a life-long romance with its history and culture. Following his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri, he pursued a PhD in Folklore Studies from Indiana University. Dr. Marshall returned to MU where he taught courses in vernacular architecture, traditional arts, and historic preservation. He served as director of the Missouri Cultural Heritage Center and chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology.
We have only a small library of good books about the history of Missouri architecture, so Dr. Marshall’s publication, Barns of Missouri: Storehouses of History is especially welcome. The book is richly illustrated with both old and new photographs of barns – barns under construction and barns in use – along with the people who built and used them. The accompanying captions provide an excellent overview of the subject. In addition, a highly readable text explains vernacular architecture, barns in particular, identifies the various types found in Missouri, tells their history, and describes their construction and function. His discussion of the different levels of meaning these buildings carry – for the farm folk of the past for whom barns were part of daily life, and for today’s visitors who admire their beauty in the rural landscape – will challenge readers to join the effort to preserve those that still remain.
Fredericktown, St. Francois County
Saving the historic Underriner House is only the most recent accomplishment in Carole Magnus’ on-going effort to preserve remnants of Fredericktown’s local history. In 1999, when the house seemed destined for demolition, Ms. Magnus formed a not-for-profit historic preservation organization, set about raising the necessary funds for its restoration, and then researched the materials which would insure a historically accurate restoration of both the1895 folk Victorian structure and the 1837 log structure at its core. Often working alone and doing much of the work with her own hands, Ms. Magnus was able to open the fully furnished museum house to hundreds of visitors in 2003.
Meanwhile, her resolve and tireless work has fostered restoration of other important historic sites in Fredericktown including the Berryman log cabin, a one-room schoolhouse, and an historic cemetery. She spearheaded designation of two historic districts, the nomination of the Madison County Courthouse and the Pacific Railroad Depot to the National Register of Historic Places, and coordinated the first Madison County Fair in 48 years. Presently, she is researching nominations of three other structures for National Register nomination.
Tower Grove Park
St. Louis City
During the past 15 years, restoration of Tower Grove Park has been guided by historic documents with references to design, materials and landscape style that were left by the Park’s founder, Henry Shaw. Thanks to careful research and a systematic plan for on-going preservation of both its historic structures and its natural landscape, St. Louis’ Tower Grove Park is now considered the most complete and best preserved 19th century urban park remaining in the country.
All the structures in the park – from the 1869 Director’s House and Stable to the eleven colorful pavilions – have been restored with adherence to the highest standards of historical integrity. At the same time, the plantings within the Park’s 289 acres – extensive display gardens and over 8,400 trees and shrubs – must be continually maintained, replaced, pruned, mulched and fertilized. Today, the Park is one of only four municipal parks in the country to be designated a National Historic Landmark. More important, perhaps, to the people of St. Louis, is its role as the nucleus of several historic neighborhoods and the inspiration for residential redevelopment spreading through the area. Tower Grove Park serves as the “front yard” for several business districts and is the site for an array of educational, recreational, cultural and social activities for visitors from throughout the region.
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
St. Louis City
Old North St. Louis began as an independent village almost 200 years ago. In 1940, it was home to over 150,000 people. Today, it has only 1,500 residents. Postwar highway construction, failed urban renewal projects, absentee landlords, and arson have resulted in a landscape of boarded up buildings and vacant lots. In the 1980’s several families formed a home owners’ organization, the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, to stem the tide of urban decay. They chose historic preservation as their redevelopment strategy, helping each other with the rehabilitation of homes, creating “community gardens,” and promoting an appreciation for the area’s rich history. In 2001, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group formed a partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis Public Policy Research Center and expanded their activities to offer technical, environmental health and safety training and to attract new investment that would value the historic nature of the neighborhood. Among the recent successes are: construction of 41 new and rehabbed homes in North Market Place; stabilization and rehabilitation of rental property; grants to assist property repairs by existing homeowners; and adoption of guidelines for the sale of property to ensure that new owners have the capacity to redevelop the buildings. Last year Old North St. Louis was named one of St. Louis’ “Best Up and Coming Places to Live” by St. Louis Magazine
Preserve Missouri Awards
St. Louis Post Dispatch Building* — Meade Summers III & Jerome Glick
St. Louis City
Few historic preservation projects produce such dramatic results as the transformation of the Old Post Dispatch Building in downtown St. Louis. Originally an imposing neo-classical design with a richly ornamented frieze encircling the façade, and low-relief columns rising between high-arched windows, it had been sheathed with a granite and glass curtain wall in a mid-1960’s “modernization”. Exterior window openings were altered and much of the limestone detailing removed or destroyed.
Thirty years later, the curtain wall system began to fail. When it was removed, owners Meade Summers and Jerry Glick rediscovered the forgotten facades and were determined to try to restore the building’s exterior to its original condition. The removal of the curtain wall revealed damaged architectural details and wide stripes of black paint on the limestone walls—a vision that created doubts the building could still be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. They persevered, however, and the building was eventually listed in the National Register, a move which made it eligible for State and Federal historic preservation tax credits. Today, the fully rehabilitated building at 1139 Olive Street is not only a dramatic restoration of a major historic site, but also an important step in rebuilding the downtown St. Louis streetscape.
Anthony & Bennett Halls, Lincoln University
Jefferson City, Cole County
When the two Georgian style women’s residence halls at Lincoln University were built – one in 1938, the other in 1940 – they defined the east end of the University’s Central Quadrangle. Twenty years later, a student center was constructed in the middle of the quadrangle, facing the four academic buildings to the west and turning its back on the older dormitories. At the same time, the dormitories’ original design, which included communal shower rooms, became obsolete and new dormitories were built elsewhere on campus. Finally, in the 1980’s, the two old halls were boarded up, creating a backwater in the central campus.
Another twenty years passed and now the pendulum has swung back again. A new library and a theater returned student life to the east quadrangle, and, with the help of Federal matching grants, the University has rehabilitated the two dormitory buildings. It carefully preserved their historic exteriors and updated the interiors so that their historic character is retained while still providing up-to-date amenities such as lounges, study rooms, communication systems and elevators.
Old Lexington City Hall
Lexington, Lafayette County
During the 1980’s the Lexington city government began moving out of the imposing Beaux Arts structure with its “floating dome” that had served as city hall since 1905. By 2001, the vacant building had reverted to county ownership and, even though studies showed that it was structurally sound, the cost of rehabilitation seemed to destine it for destruction. The next year, however, Lafayette County Commissioners proposed and voters approved a bond issue for a major building project which included the $1.2 million restoration of Old City Hall.
On the outside, masonry was cleaned and re-pointed and the dome, along with its supporting Ionic capitals, fully restored. On the interior, the original wooden staircase was stripped of years of paint and refinished, nearly all the original doors and frames were cleaned and reused, plaster walls and ceilings repaired and the original six white glass light fixtures again suspended in the main lobby. The building now houses courtrooms and County offices. It has been renamed Lafayette Hall.
Honorable Bruce McGuire
Louisiana, Pike County
Not long ago, Louisiana was like many of Missouri’s older rural communities – lack of maintenance over a 50-year period had resulted in severe deterioration of the town’s historic fabric. A building code, though adopted, was not enforced. Leaders in City government consisted of individuals with personal interest conflicts, and decisions of the Building commission appeared arbitrary. The collapse of the largest building in the Georgia Street Historic District during a thunderstorm spurred Municipal Judge Bruce McGuire to action. He decided to bring the town’s property owners and speculators to justice even though many of the dilapidated anti-bellum properties dotting every street were owned by some of the town’s most prominent citizens. He first ordered a listing of all “dangerous properties” – those that were deteriorated or abandoned. All owners, regardless of their social position, were cited and taken to court. The most severe cases received several thousand dollar fines. The worst cases faced months in jail if they failed, within 90 days, to either sell the property to someone who would restore it or restore it themselves.
The result may have been the quickest turn around of any historic area in the history of the state. Dozens of dangerous properties now have new owners and are currently being renovated. Historic houses are being sold within a week on the market and it is estimated that in the last six months, property values have increased 150%. If imitated, Judge McGuire’s story could be a recipe for the revitalization of the commercial and architectural heritage of small towns throughout the state.
1524 Grand Boulevard*
Kansas City, Jackson County
Before its rehabilitation, the small building at 1524 Grand in Kansas City spoke of age and neglect and sounded a sad note in the streetscape. The white terra cotta façade was dingy, pock-marked and stained with rust, and half of it was hidden behind a sagging awning. Windows were cracked and the sills leaked. Rosemann & Associates restored the façade to its original appearance by cleaning and repairing the terra cotta tiles, replacing and reglazing windows, and removing the inappropriate awning. The return of the building to its original appearance was completed by repairing the framing and display shelf of the large display window, uncovering and repairing a low row of windows to the basement, and installing a new front entry door which matches the original door.
The project is also notable for combining the principles of historic preservation and sustainable design. The rehab project followed guidelines established by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System®. Sustainable design elements for the project included energy efficient mechanical systems, utilization of recycled materials, and a “green” roof. A state rehabilitation tax credit project, this stunning restoration now serves as the office for Rosemann & Associates, P.C.
18 Sherwyn Lane
Creve Coeur, St. Louis County
The house at 18 Sherwyn Lane in Creve Coeur that intrigued Anne Bergeron and Steve Wellmeier was designed in 1954 by Harris Armstrong, the leading modernist architect in the St. Louis area. In 1953, Armstrong laid out the subdivision for developer Marshall Berry – a curving cul-de-sac intended to showcase low-lying modern homes appropriate to the undulating landscape. By 1997, when the heirs of the original owners offered the house for sale, the work of Post World War II architects was no longer considered fashionable. Throughout the area, 50’s ranches were being torn down to make way for massive new houses out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood. Anne Bergeron and Steve Wellmeier decided to go against that trend and keep the original house.
Basic improvements such as installing a new HVAC system and an active drainage system under the existing concrete slab foundation, and rebuilding the roof were required to make the house habitable. It was the unfinished lower level, however, that presented the greatest challenge. Under the guidance of architect Andrew L.W. Raimist, and performing much of the work themselves, Bergeron and Wellmeier accomplished a renovation that now serves as a recreation room and guest suite as well as space for laundry and the “machinery” of the house. Their confidence, hard work and willingness to take risks have resulted in a handsome rehabilitation of a 50’s classic.
2005 Honor Awards Sponsored by
Missouri Downtown Association
Murry’s Restaurant, Columbia