2006 Honor Awards

March 2, 2006

Rozier Award

Booker H. Rucker

Cole County
The year was 1963 and Booker Rucker was a graduate student in archaeology.  That year he spent 3 months studying the steam engine shed at Watkins Woolen Mill Historic site and he was hooked!  The next two years found him teaching school—at the same time continuing to do research at state historic sites such as the First State Capitol and Washington State Park.  Finally, in 1965 he joined the staff in the Missouri Division of Park’s central office and six years later he was promoted to the Director of Historic Sites.

Between 1979 and 1989, his duties expanded to include heading the state’s historic preservation program.  During that time he supervised projects, developed interpretive themes and created a statewide system of historic sites and museums that effectively dramatize the broad sweep of Missouri’s cultural heritage. Throughout his years of service, he fostered the proper stewardship of Missouri’s historic resources, managed the administration of all state historic sites and parks, and supervised law enforcement, concessions, and recreation within the properties.  In addition, he was an outspoken advocate for preservation and publicly campaigned in support of a State Soils and Parks Tax that would help fund maintenance of historic sites and programs. Over the years he amassed “an unmatched breadth and depth of knowledge regarding Missouri’s cultural heritage and applied that knowledge toward the perpetuation of our cultural assets as a living legend for the people of the state.”  For many he is a “living landmark,” a resource of conscience and the institutional memory of the state park agency. 

Overby Award

Design Guidelines for Historic Arrow Rock

Arrow Rock, Saline County
Even though the town of Arrow Rock had been designated a National Historic Landmark 43 years ago and had passed historic zoning ordinances as early as 1970, the impact of a strong tourism economy, installation of a modern sewer system, and the introduction of new building materials was threatening its pristine historic ambiance.  Should homeowners be allowed to use “modern” building material such as vinyl siding instead of more costly historic materials?  Would the pace of new construction increase now that there was an efficient sewer system?  How could the town protect undiscovered archaeological resources? Questions such as these had created tensions between the citizens of Arrow Rock and the town’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR).  Clearly, adoption of guidelines could avert many confrontations.  With funding through a National Historic Landmark Challenge Grant and donations from individuals, the town, and Friends of Arrow Rock, the process began with a dialogue between the residents, the BAR, and a professional consultant.  The result is a publication that can serve as a guide and an educational resource not only for Arrow Rock, but also for other towns that want to preserve the architectural integrity of historic neighborhoods. This publication treats both residential and commercial structures.  The design guidelines address various topics such as materials, windows, doors, roofs, garages, landscaping, and new construction. The guidelines are further clarified by illustrations and photographs.  These guidelines are set forth in a way that can assist in identifying what makes a property look “historic” and can help property owners and local review boards alike determine what alterations are compatible with the historic character of the community.

McReynolds Awards

Campbell House Museum

St. Louis City
In 1851 Lucas Place was the first private neighborhood in St. Louis and the house that was built at #20 set the standard for style and elegance.  As years went by the street name was changed and the house remodeled.  Eventually, the neighborhood around it also changed, becoming a commercial district for offices and manufacturing.  Upon the death of the last member of the Campbell family in 1938 the house together with its furnishings represented the finest display of middle Victorian life to be found anywhere in the country.

In order to save it, members of a local history group formed the Campbell House Foundation.  They secured possession of the house and most of its furnishings and formally opened the museum to the public in 1943.  The house was “refurbished” in 1942 and again in 1967, but all the systems were antiquated and the structure itself was falling into disrepair. Total restoration was mandatory.

For the current project, consultants from around the country were called in to ensure accuracy.  Together they created one of the most accurately restored 19th century buildings in the United States.  Structural work which began in 2000 included dismantling and rebuilding the rear east wall, stripping away 38 layers of exterior lead paint, and installing new furnaces, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, fire suppression and security systems.  The discovery of a collection of photographs taken in about 1885, which showed the house in detail both inside and out, facilitated the restoration.  Original stenciling found beneath many layers of over-paint, bits of paint, wallpaper, and carpeting hidden inside closets and behind wood trim were re-created by artisans by artisans across the country and from Europe.

Today the museum collection contains 90% of the Campbell’s original furniture, more than the 1000 19th century photographs and about 300,000 pages of oral histories and family archives.  While restoration work is on-going, visitors can already accurately interpret the lives of the people who lived in the house, including many servants.  The neighborhood also benefits as the Campbell House acts as a catalyst for new residential development taking place in downtown St. Louis.

Columbia Special Business District

Boone County
A concrete canopy was erected along the main street in downtown Columbia in the 1960’s to combat visual clutter and the loss of traffic to outlying shopping malls, It did serve a purpose, but it also obliterated the historic facades of the 19th and early 20th century buildings lining the street.  Needs and public taste are different now and the concrete is beginning to deteriorate.  The canopy is owned by a corporation formed to pay for its construction, but which now has inadequate funds to take it down.  Thus, it becomes the option of each building owner to remove the section attached to his or her building.  Such an approach could lead to haphazard redevelopment, and even some spawn some of the problems the canopy was erected to address in the first place.

Two local property owners, Bob Lemone and Chuck Franklin, chose to remove the canopies in front of their buildings and to rehabilitate their newly exposed facades.  Those projects showed that canopy removal was feasible, and sparked discussion of a plan to remove other sections, and to restore the area’s streetscape. The board of the Columbia Special Business district is playing an important role in promoting and planning for wholesale canopy removal.  In 2003, they sponsored a Multiple Property Submission Cover Document, to enable property owners throughout the downtown area to list eligible buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.  That step made it easier for interested property owners to qualify for historic preservation tax credits.  Most recently, with grant funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the board commissioned an architectural rendering of how the streetscape would look if the entire canopy were removed.  They also prepared information packets to assist owners interested in canopy removal, and to coordinate redevelopment plans. Perhaps most importantly, the board also voted and publicly announced that it is in favor of canopy removal.  Since that announcement, two prominent downtown banks have taken action to remove sections of canopy that they own.  The public support of the Columbia Special Business District and the handsome examples of Lemone and Franklin’s buildings promise a new look for Columbia’s central business district.

Riverview Park

Marion County
The people of Hannibal had long appreciated the beauty of the 465 acre park atop a 100 foot high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.  Some even knew the lore of its having been given to the town almost 100 years ago by a local philanthropist, Wilson B. Pettibone.  Very few folks, however, were aware of the park’s designer, Ossian C. Simonds, who is now considered a national leader in landscape design at the turn of the 20th century.

With meandering driving paths, a staircase up the side of the bluff, and several scenic overlooks, the park has matured into a unique natural environment.  Certain strings, however, had been attached to Mr. Pettibone’s gift:  the Parks Board was to maintain the park and enforce its restrictions, one of which was that no man-made structures ever be built on park property. Even at the time when Mr. Pettibone was assembling the land for the park, the Hannibal Water Department owned a small parcel of adjacent land along the top of the bluff.  Three years ago, the Hannibal Water Department proposed construction of a new water tower there.   Concerned about the impact of the Water Department’s plans, the Parks Board undertook an effort to educate the public about the importance of Riverview Park. By collecting accurate historical documentation on the park’s establishment, they were able to make the case that the park was a valuable historic landscape.  The Parks Board commissioned a survey to verify exact boundaries between Riverview Park and the Water Department.  Private funding made it possible to prepare a nomination the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, the Water Department re-positioned the water tower.  Riverview Park has gained recognition as one of Simond’s mature designs.  Now the Parks Board has a much better understanding of the importance of its mandate to protect the park.  The people of Hannibal are aware of the significance of the park in both the history of the community and the history of landscape design.

Preserve Missouri Awards

Israel G. Hamman House

Buchanan County
Prominently positioned on a high lot at a busy intersection, signs of 20 years of neglect was apparent when Leroy and Ann Sligar began their restoration of the Italianate house at 221 N. 18th Street, originally the Israel G. Hamman House.  Inside, ceilings were falling down, walls crumbled, and most of the molding was lost.  Upstairs, floors could not be walked on.  There was no kitchen or working bathroom.  The location was right at the edge of “the bad part of town.” Committed, highly skilled do-it yourselfers, the Sligars moved in, rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Leroy Sligar is a master carpenter and Ann is a period color consultant.  For 7 months, they had to go to a local truck stop to shower and eat!  A new kitchen was built from scratch.  A new plumbing system was installed around the original bathroom fixtures.  Flooring was replaced and plaster walls repaired.  Decorative elements were restored and new crown molding was milled for all the rooms.  Ann Sligar’s expertise was applied to stenciling walls and ceilings and choosing the terra cotta brick color for the exterior.  This later proved to be the same color it had worn in the 1920’s.  Outside, a new roof, dormers, and wrought iron railings were installed.  The prominent retaining wall at the corner was repaired and new porches were built to match those shown in earlier photos.  The rehabilitation of the house   has made a striking difference to the neighborhood in which it sits. With their great care for detail and quality and their willingness to help others, the Sligars have set a new standard for neighborhood redevelopment.  In addition to rehabbing their own home, they went on to rehabilitate the house next door and one across the street.  They continue to advise and assist neighbors in updating their homes and making needed repairs.

Eugene Field School*

Park Hills, St. Francois County
The last remaining historic schoolhouse in the community of Park Hills, the Eugene Field School is one of the most imposing buildings in town.  Its simple functional design still reflects the working-class ethic of the people who came to Missouri’s top lead-mining area in the early 20th century.  Composed of an original building dating from 1907 and an early addition (probably 1911), the building has retained much of its historical integrity inside and out. James K. Maddox saw the potential for converting the school to apartments for seniors.  However, state and federal tax credits were necessary in order to make such a project feasible. The project included the construction of a new rear wing that complements the existing building. It was the 12 apartment units in the old school building that were in highest demand.  There, Maddox restored the original ceiling height, the historic interior millwork, and the original wooden floors.  Doorways into each classroom were rebuilt, including transoms, with period appropriate doors.  Badly deteriorated windows were replaced with windows that closely matched the historic multi-paned window sashes.  The arched front entry, which was altered in an earlier renovation, was reconstructed based on historic photos. Townspeople came to tour the site and began signing up to rent apartments while construction was still underway. Rehabilitation of the Eugene Field School is also the first major construction project in this small mining community in many years.  It is the first major historic rehabilitation and is the only historic tax credit project to date.  The most significant success is the enthusiasm of local citizens who feel they have retained a visible symbol of their community’s history.

The Marquette Hotel*

Cape Girardeau County
When it opened in 1928 the Marquette Hotel was a glittering showcase in downtown Cape Girardeau.  Over time, the town’s economy changed and the hotel was forced to close in 1971.  Five years later, the owner moved away and the building was left alone and vacant to fall victim to neglect and vandalism.  In spite of its sad appearance, in the 1990’s the structure attracted the attention of a group of historic preservation students at Southeast Missouri State University.  The students helped get the property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was not until the city announced its plans to begin demolition that a frenzy of supporters, including the students and the daughter of the family that still owned the building, mounted a campaign to save the Marquette.   The hotel was also listed at one time on Missouri Preservation’s Most Endangered List.  Former student Pam McCutchen set up a website to keep the public informed about the project. It was saved thanks to the fortunate convergence of a number of factors:  1.) The City of Cape Girardeau granted an extension on the demolition 2) The State of Missouri announced a search for extensive office space in Cape Girardeau  3) Governor Bob Holden issued an executive order that the state lease space in central downtown business districts, preferably in historic buildings and 4)The state legislature passed a state tax credit for the costs of rehabilitating historic structures.  It was Prost Builders of Jefferson City that came forward and proposed a $6 million renovation of the 73 year old hotel.  Even with plans to lease more than 22,000 square feet to the state, it was the federal and state historic tax credit programs that made the project economically feasible. Careful attention to detail was used in a complete, historically accurate rehabilitation. The same care went into reuse of original floor and wall ceramic tiles and restoration of the original decorative ceiling paint inside. Today the building’s 55,000 square feet of Class A office space is almost fully leased.  Ground floor restaurants are thriving and near-by storefronts are being renovated and restored.  The Marquette Tower is again a showcase in the downtown area.   This is the first of what we hope will be many properties from the Most Endangered Historic Places List to receive Missouri Preservation Honor Award.

Isaac McCormick House*

St. Charles County
Tim Kilby knew there was a “good bag of bones” under the blue tin siding of the dilapidated farmhouse.  He is a professional who dismantles and reconstructs the antique log structures for a living.  Thus, he was not daunted by the wind whistling through its cracks and the weeds growing inside.  Since this was to be his home, he took his time, almost seven years, to study the house, research its history, and plan the rehabilitation. The first step took two years.   He painstakingly photographed and numbered each log and board.  He then took the house apart, storing the pieces in a nearby barn.  He then searched photographs that would show the original cabin Isaac McCormick built in 1845 before it underwent a remodeling by McCormick’s son in 1906.  He found old store ledgers that reveal the son, known as I.M. McCormick, bought materials such as bricks and sash cords, but no level, which might explain why floors pitched in every direction. Even though Tim always worked alone, doing design, stone work, and custom woodwork himself, he recognized the enormous expense involved in the McCormack house rehabilitation.  By utilizing the state historic tax credit, he was able to make the project feasible.  Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house features an original working fireplace in each of the main rooms and bedrooms and the original cherry staircase.  An addition at the back brings total living space to 2,450 square feet. Of the 60 or so log structures Tim has rebuilt, most have been snatched from the jaws of a bulldozer ready to knock them down to make room for new development.  As a result, log homes are fast becoming a “vanishing species.”  Tim says they are worth restoring even if it means the pieces must be moved and rebuilt on a new site. 

Moolah Temple of the Mystic Shrine*

St. Louis City
When it was built in 1912, the Moolah Temple was designed to celebrate the Moolah Shrine’s ideals of leisure, luxury, and sensitivity.  Arabic-inspired decorative motifs were used extensively on both interior and exterior surfaces:  intricate plaster detailing, brick with gold terra cotta accent and doors and window frames painted a brilliant blue.  The building sparkled with character. After the Moolah Shriners moved their headquarters to West. St. Louis County, the building sat vacant for several years.  It fell into a state of extreme disrepair and much of plaster was either covered, damaged or destroyed.  Prospective developers could not visualize a viable reuse given the Temple’s unique challenges.  Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration St. Louis, however, saw luxury loft-style apartments in the theater’s cavernous 6 story fly space, a single screen movie palace in the theater itself, and an eight-lane bowling alley in the lower terrace level. With much of the plasterwork, chandeliers, and patterned terrazzo floors painstakingly restored, door and window frames given back their original luster, and 40 spacious new apartments, the Moolah Temple glitters once again.  The success of its newly created commercial spaces is making the area a desirable nightlife destination as it once was in the 1940’s.

The President Hotel*

Jackson County
The original design of the President Hotel, built in 1925, featured elaborate terra cotta and cut stone ornamentation on the outside and lavish public rooms in the inside.  Reflecting an opulent period in Kansas City history, the 435-room hotel embodied the most modern conveniences—beautiful lounges, sumptuously decorated public spaces, and an elegant roof garden. A major renovation occurred in 1941 when wall murals were added with a South Sea island motif.  The major street corner of the building was reconfigured to create a new streamlined entrance to a new bar called the Drum Room.  In 1951 and again around 1970 the hotel “décor” was updated.  Finally, in 1980 the hotel closed and much of the interior historic fabric, including relief carvings, mezzanine railings and wood trim, were stripped away. By the 1990’s many local interests thought the building was beyond repair and should be demolished to make way for new development.  Ron Jury, however, saw in the state historic tax credit, a way to make this $40,000,000 rehabilitation project feasible.  He has created large, modern guest rooms by combining original tiny rooms, restored historic fabric to the degree possible, and sensitively returned public spaces to their 1941 appearance. A stunningly rehabilitated President Hotel re-opened to the public in the fall of 2005 evoking the hotel’s original spirit of elegance and gentility.

Spaunhorst General Store*

Franklin County
The residents of the small town of Washington watched with mounting curiosity as work progressed behind the “tent” that been put around the century-and-a-half old building at the corner of 3rd and Jefferson.  Behind the canvas, bricks were being carefully removed from an entire wall on one side and turned to their “good side.”  The bricks were then returned to their place in the wall.  When the tent came down, the result was a structure looking very much as it had when Mr. Spaunhorst opened a general store there in 1867. When David and Sherry Ginnett purchased the building, they were determined to restore its original character while giving it a new role to play in the community.  They were helped by photographs from the Washington Historical Society and some lucky “finds” such as the original wooden shutters hidden away in the attic. Even though the building is now completely energy efficient, has all new plumbing, electrical wiring and an automatic fire alarm system, the interior has been returned to a century-old feel with high ceilings, wide wood baseboards, crown molding, and wood rosettes on each of the door frames.  The exterior presented greater challenges. The Ginnetts set out to remove the brick used for filler and replace the existing windows with windows as nearly like original as possible.  In the end, the entire façade and the south wall, which had suffered extensive damage from weather and neglect, had to be completely rebuilt. The rehabilitation of the Spaunhorst General Store demonstrates how significantly preservation can impact an historic small town.   A primary streetscape in Washington has been altered and improved by the completion of this project.

Walnut Street Apartments*

Greene County
Carlson-Gardner has helped transform a blighted neighborhood by rehabilitating four buildings along the 700 block of East Walnut Street.  Originally built in the 1900’s for private residences and multiple dwelling apartment, these buildings have long been recognized for their architectural style and classical detail.  The historic character of this early upper-middle-class residential landscape is enhanced by original cut-limestone curbing, portions of the original brick sidewalk, and some limestone “buggy steps.”  Over the years, the structures had weakened.  They were neglected by the owners and tenants alike.  Eventually, the entire area fell into decline and disrepair and the area lost its status as a dignified housing district. The City of Springfield’s Vision 20/20 Plan identified a community-wide need for a low-to-moderate income housing and, at the same time, encouraged preservation of the unique structures to the reviving downtown.   In the Walnut Apartments project, Carlson-Gardner met both of those goals in their commitment to creating quality, affordable housing while preserving the historic structures of the neighborhood.  This project not only represents an exceptional example of residential development but by reconnecting two of Springfield’s historic districts, Walnut Street and Downtown, it helps to revitalize an entire neighborhood.

*Projects made possible in part by the Missouri Historic Tax Credit