2007 Honor Awards

March 8, 2007

Rozier Award — Nancy Brown Dornan
McReynolds Award — Warren & Katherine Head
McReynolds Award — Old Boyd Plantation & Towne Park
McReynolds Award — Ste. Genevieve’s Memorial Cemetery
Overby Award — Henry Shaw’s Victorian Landscape: The Botanical Gardens & Tower Grove
PreserveMO Award — Howard & Gentry Buildings
PreserveMO Award — Louis J. & Harriet Rozier House
PreserveMO Award — Corinthian Hall
PreserveMO Award — 104 Market Street
PreserveMO Award — Longview Farm Elementary Partnership
PreserveMO Award — Security Building
PreserveMO Award — Southeast Missourian Building


Rozier Award

Nancy Brown Dornan
Greene County

Gillioz Theater

Nancy’s love of preservation began with “renovating” her grandmother’s chicken coop, complete with brick pavers and cleaned laying stations; she was 10 years old when she discovered the magic of preservation and adaptive reuse.  Her adult preservation career began in 1987 with the renovation and adaptive reuse of three historic properties, which became the Walnut Street Inn, an award-winning 14 room luxury Bed and Breakfast.  Nancy was active in the creation of the Walnut Street Historic District in Springfield, and she has been involved with ten different rehab projects on that street.  She continues that work today, and she and her husband Tom Dornan keep busy rehabbing residential and commercial properties in and around downtown Springfield.  They are in the final stages of rehabilitating a former downtown commercial building into loft apartments.

The “crown jewel” of her preservation career is the Gillioz Theater, which recently re-opened, after sixteen years of work to save and restore this priceless architectural treasure.  Built in 1926 in the tradition of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it was the city’s grandest and most elaborate theater palace.  By the mid-50’s public interest in variety-vaudeville shows had disappeared and, even though an attempt was made to keep the theater operating, it closed in 1980 only to be ravaged by vagrants, weather and neglect.   A decade later, when demolition appeared imminent, Mrs. Dornan stepped in.  Even though the restoration was to cost more than $9,000,000 and took sixteen years to complete, she never lost her dream or her enthusiasm.  Persevering, she formed partnerships such as the Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust, staged fundraising events, sought support from foundations and private contributors, applied for funding from city, county and federal sources, and utilized tax credits, including the Missouri Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.  As a result, the exterior of the Gillioz –roof, window, and brickwork – has finally been repaired, all systems have been modernized, and the extensive interior ornamentation – has been carefully restored.

Nancy Brown Dornan does not limit her work to local historic preservation projects. She has served on the statewide boards of Missouri Citizens for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council and Missouri Preservation. She has also been instrumental in forming the Walnut Street Historical Neighborhood Association, Urban Districts Alliance, and Heritage Tourism of the Ozarks. Ms. Dornan knows that historic preservation leads to economic development and heritage tourism and is a strong supporter of the Missouri Historic Tax Credit.


McReynolds Awards

Warren & Katherine Head
Marion County

Thirty-six years ago, bulldozers were poised to begin demolition of the old Gardner farmhouse in Palmyra.  Built in 1828, the house had played an important role in the history of the town and of Northeast Missouri.  The house had served as a stagecoach hostelry, a private girl’s school and a warehouse for a local furniture store.  It was Warren and Katherine Head who stepped forward to save the local landmark and they have been working on it ever since. 

The Heads quickly formed the Palmyra Heritage Seekers which purchased the property and began restoration.  Together with a small group of hard-working volunteers, Warren himself stabilized the structure, painted, plastered, glazed windows, and landscaped; for 20 years he traveled around to farm sales collecting shutters until each window was properly shuttered.   Even at the age of 93, Warren Head recently climbed a ladder and single handedly patched the damage and painted the ceilings of two second floor rooms.

Over the past three decades, Mr. and Mrs. Head and the Palmyra Heritage Seekers have collected and preserved artifacts and ephemera from Palmyra’s history–period clothing, furniture, toys and books, and Civil War memorabilia – so that they could be displayed in the house.   

Old Boyd Plantation & Towne Park
St. Charles County

A few years ago, the St Charles County Government adopted a plan to develop several parks that would interpret the development of agriculture in the region. The County acquired all that remained of the old Boyd tobacco plantation: a 110 acre tract which included the original 1828 main house, several barns and outbuildings – even an intact outhouse.  Before the park could be established, fire gutted the house, leaving only a shell of masonry walls.  Even so, the County was determined to reconstruct the badly damaged building to its original condition in order for it to be operated as a museum house and to help future generations learn the story of the important role tobacco production played in Missouri’s history. 

In order to assure that the reconstructed building would exactly replicate the original, old documents and photographs were researched, the remaining shell measured, and many remaining fragments salvaged.  As much salvaged material as possible was used in the reconstruction – including the façade brick and the shutter hardware.  Old materials from other buildings — such as pine floor planks — were brought to the site, and exact replicas of windows, doors, fireplace mantles and wood framing and trim were expertly fabricated.  The result is a historically accurate reconstruction including copies of the original front porch, entry hall and stairs, root cellar and kitchen cooking hearth.

St. Charles County is now continuing work on its master plan to develop the entire 110 acre site as an interpretive tobacco plantation museum, with the reconstructed house at its heart.

Ste. Genevieve’s Memorial Cemetery
Ste. Genevieve County

Three years ago, the Foundation for Restoration of Ste Genevieve tackled improvement at the Ste Genevieve Memorial Cemetery.  At that time, conditions had badly deteriorated. The cemetery had been vandalized; many tombstones had fallen or were leaning precariously. Dead trees, brush and debris littered the ground, and the wire fencing around the perimeter was ineffective and unsightly.  With assistance from a federal Save America’s Treasures grant, foundation volunteers have righted and restored many of the toppled stones, cleared away the debris and erected a new cast iron fence.  They have also completed a Station Survey and Mapping of the entire cemetery, created a record of existing tombstones, and conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the cemetery’s sub surface features.  Weatherproof wayside interpretive markers are being developed.  In addition, the Foundation conducts tombstone cleaning classes and organizes an annual “Spirit Reunion” to memorialize persons buried in the cemetery. 

The Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve has a long history of service in the community.  It manages two open-to-the-public historic houses, the Guiboud-Valle House and the Kiel-Schwent House.  It also oversees the Mecker Library which contains historic documents and material related to the history of the community, the Mississippi River Region and the formation of the State of Missouri.

The Ste. Genevieve Memorial Cemetery Restoration project has already significantly improved conditions even though the project is not yet complete.  The work of Foundation volunteers has provided an impetus for continued restoration efforts and long-range maintenance.  Public awareness for the historical value of the cemetery has been renewed, and the community has greater appreciation of the value of historic preservation to the local economy.


Overby Award

Henry Shaw’s Victorian Landscape: The Botanical Gardens & Tower Grove Park
Dr. Carol Gove
Columbia, Boone County

Henry Shaw did not see much beauty in the tract of undulating prairie on the outskirts of St. Louis which he purchased in 1842.  Rather he saw the site as a blank canvas, a setting where he could create a remarkable display of plants and a botanical garden of greater size and scope than any other in the United States.  Dr. Carol Grove, herself a master gardener, tells the story of Shaw’s life and his vision in her latest work, the richly illustrated, well documented and very readable book, Henry Shaw’s Victorian Landscapes; the Missouri Botanical Garden and Tower Grove Park.

Having immigrated to St. Louis from Sheffield, England, making his fortune still as a young man, Shaw traveled the world collecting knowledge about plants and ideas for the best way to display them.  He called upon the highest authorities in the field of horticulture for advice and experimented with plants and planting methods gathered from all parts of the globe.

His vision, however, was not to merely display plants, both native and exotic, but rather to educate the public, foster scientific research and thus elevate society.  In the garden he created, plants, shrubs and trees were treated individually, as specimens, labeled and formally arranged in bright floral beds and an arboretum.  To add visual interest and catch public attention, he included features such as a maze, a sunken parterre, whimsical pavilions and plant houses.  During the 1860’s, when Shaw turned his attention to developing a nearby tract into Tower Grove Park, he again planted colorful, formal Victorian flower beds set amid bridges and pavilions, driving roads and walking paths.

Dr. Grove is an assistant professor who teaches art history and landscape studies in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  She promotes landscapes as an important component of historic preservation.


Howard & Gentry Buildings
Boone County

Howard Building

In 1932, when the City of Columbia built the classic Beaux Art style Howard Building, the building had ample space for the offices of all municipal services.  Even though many offices moved to other buildings as the town grew and demand for services increased, by the mid 1990s conditions became so crowded that employees were working in the hallways.  At that point, the City made the decision not to abandon the Howard Building.  Rather, they decided to undertake a complete renovation that would incorporate modern technology but still keep the most important historic features. When the interior was gutted, many architectural details that had been hidden by partition walls and lowered ceilings were revealed and could be restored.  Old marble base stones were refurbished.  Original cove moldings were cleaned; and painted and original doors were stripped and refinished.  The 1930s light fixtures were cleaned, polished and rewired.

Gentry Building

The feature that most benefited from the complete rehabilitation is a feature unique to the building: a series of twelve murals that adorn the walls of the Municipal Court.  Painted by University of Missouri art professor Kenneth Hudson between 1934 and 1938, the murals depict the history and development of the City of Columbia in a simple style showing ordinary people going about their daily tasks.  Now, each mural has been cleaned, repaired and restored to its original condition by a special team of artists. Concurrently, the City of Columbia rehabilitated a second property, the Gentry Building.  Built in 1904 to serve as a post office, it later became the Columbia Public Library and, finally, municipal offices.  In addition to a full interior makeover, the recent restoration project included construction of a new canopy over the entrance door, restoration of the standing seam metal roof, and removal of modern window infill so that more appropriate arched windows could be installed. 

Louis J. & Harriet Rozier House*
De Soto, Jefferson County

The Louis J. and Harriet Rozier house in DeSoto was built at the time when the town was booming and townsfolk displayed their new prosperity by building impressive homes.  Dating from 1887, the house is designed in the elaborate spindle Queen Anne style, and is one of the larger homes built in DeSoto during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Today, it is one of the few Queen Anne houses left in the community and the only one to be spared alterations over the years, leaving it a pristine example of its type. Bob Wood of the Clayton Investment Corp. recognized the special qualities of the Rozier House.   Using the State Historic Tax Credit, he was able to correct numerous problems caused by years of neglect and deterioration: a leaking roof, rotting shingles and crumbling siding on the outside; damaged walls and obsolete, non-functioning systems inside.  He did, however, discover that it still contained original stained-glass windows, doors, millwork and hardware (including some highly unusual window locks), two original fireplace mantles and the original wood floors. Rehabilitation was aimed at repairing rather than replacing, replicating details only where they were not repairable.  A rear porch enclosure was removed and the original open porch rebuilt.  The interior layout was returned to its original configuration, new kitchen and bathrooms were installed and all mechanical systems were brought up to code. Being the first major historic preservation project in DeSoto and having set a very high standard for quality, the revitalization of the Rozier House has inspired the entire community.  Mr. Wood has preserved an excellent example of a rare Queen Anne style home which now serves as a visual reminder of the town’s early growth and prosperity.

Corinthian Hall
Kansas City, Jackson County

In planning the restoration of Corinthian Hall, Robert A. Long’s elaborate mansion that has housed the Kansas City Museum of History and Science for almost seven decades, the International Architects Atelier dug deep into the history of the Long family and the building’s historic design documents.  After ten years of study, the first phase of the project includes a full restoration of the exterior masonry and roof, was completed, utilizing unique techniques that earned for IAA the Missouri Preservation Honor Award.
Both biological growth and atmospheric deposits had soiled the building’s marble and limestone masonry.   The challenge was to find the most effective yet benign cleaning method.  Agents ranging from de-ionized water and industrial cleaners to standard household detergents were tested.  In the end, IAA devised a 2-part chemical process specific to each type of soil that would clean without bleaching or damaging the original stones.  Meanwhile, original wood and bronze trim, doors and art glass windows had to be protected for future restoration.
It was also necessary to reset all the stones from cornice, chimney, balustrades and sections of ornamental veneer that had been displaced over time.  Again, two methods were used:  epoxy injection, and cutting and patching with a non-shrinking porous historic patching mortar.   Specially-formulated historic pointing mortar was used for tuckpointing following analysis of preliminary samples of the original mortar. Roof repairs received equal care and damaged tiles were replaced with identical material from demolition at another Long estate site. Along with masonry and roof work, IAA restored an elaborate bronze porte-cochere canopy on the west porch.  The badly deteriorated structural support system was re-created from stainless steel.  Missing elements were re-cast and curved glass glazing was re-created from a UV-stable non-yellowing resin that replicates the appearance of the original but provides superior strength against breakage. As funding becomes available restoration will continue on the interior and the remaining buildings and grounds of the 3-acre estate.  The final goal is to provide Kansas City with a magnificent architectural artifact and a civic institution that serves the entire community.

104 Market Street*
Glasgow, Howard County

Like many Missouri towns established in mid-19th century, Glasgow enjoyed an early period of prosperity.  River traffic and railroads fostered the establishment of two colleges, the building of magnificent homes, and the development of a vibrant downtown with thriving businesses and impressive buildings.  But decline set in and Glasgow lost the colleges and much of its population.   Also lost, were many historic homes and downtown structures.  In 2000 that trend began to reverse when Greg Speiser purchased and rehabilitated a deteriorating old bank building on the main street.  It became an antique and art gallery that attracted visitors from many surrounding communities.  Soon after, he constructed a historically designed building in a vacant lot next door.  In 2005, he used Historic Tax Credits to help complete the rehabilitation of the building at 104 Market Street, which is now a successful bakery and restaurant serving local customers and tourists.

Mr. Speiser, who lives with his family in a restored historic home in Glasgow, is a charter member of Glasgow’s Main Street Program and has been an alderman as well as serving on a number of civic boards.  His efforts to retain the town’s historic character have created an excitement and enthusiasm not seen in Glasgow for many years.  Not only have the rehabilitated buildings increased interest in historic preservation among the town’s citizens, but the picturesque setting and the new businesses are also generating an influx of tourism which promises to be a boon for many small towns, including Glasgow.

Longview Farm Elementary Partnership
Jackson County

Longview, the 1700 acre farm developed in Lee’s Summit at the turn of the 20th century by lumber baron Robert A. Long, originally featured 40 different structures, including the impressive Longview Show Horse Arena.  In 2001, Gale Communities, Inc. purchased the remaining 260 acres, planning to build a sustainable community while saving as many of the farm’s historic structures. From the outset, Gale Communities had a vision of a “walkable community” based on traditional residential neighborhoods integrated with a commercial district, parks and green space.  At the same time, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, one of the fastest growing in Missouri, was struggling to construct additional schools fast enough to keep up with the ever-increasing number of new students. 

To their mutual benefit, David Gale approached the superintendent of the Lee’s Summit School District with the idea of renovating the Show Horse Arena into an elementary school.  Their discussion led to a partnership between the developer, the School District, and the City of Lee’s Summit.  As the project progressed, the City’s interest in preserving the facades of the Horse Show Arena led to a Historic Preservation Easement.  The project included the addition of a classroom wing and the preservation of all historic elements on the public faces of the original structure, including windows, clock, cupola, and tile roof, as well as the reuse of interior rolling doors and stable walls. The school is designed to accommodate about 650 students, kindergarten through sixth grade, in flexible yet technology-friendly spaces. The riding arena now serves as a gym and cafeteria, with the original barn doors reused as partitions, and stall panels that still bear hoof marks lining the walls.  The space that once stabled the Longs’ prize horse is a cozy “reading stall” complete with original saddle brackets and side saddle.   Earlier times are reflected in exposed timber framing and period light fixtures. The opening of the Longview Farm Elementary School has reassured and excited the community that had hoped for development of a sustainable use for the old farm and has renewed the developer’s efforts to preserve its historic attributes.

Security Building*
City of St. Louis

Built in 1892 at the heart of St. Louis’ bustling financial center, the Security Building was one of the most prestigious buildings of its time.  During its history, it housed the Noonday Club, some of whose members sponsored Charles Lindberg’s transatlantic flight in the “Spirit of St. Louis”.   Time took its toll; by 1993 the Lawrence Group purchased the property, it required a full-scale rehabilitation.  The result, made feasible by use of Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit, was a stunning renovation that has not only provided attractive downtown office space, but has also became the city’s first certified “green” or environmentally friendly historic building.

This project provides a great example of a growing trend to combine historic preservation with energy efficient design.  While many aspects of the historic structure were preserved, the renovation includes numerous energy-saving design elements such as low-emittance glass windows and a white agrifiber coating on the roof to deflect heat.  All mechanical systems were upgraded, new efficient elevators and sprinklers were installed, and all new plumbing with low-flow fixtures and motion sensor faucets were put in place. The centerpiece of the project is a six-level atrium addition above the domed lobby.  Formed within the natural space of the building’s U-shape, exterior walls become interior walls and a skylight brings natural light into the atrium and through the original glass dome into the lobby below.

Southeast Missourian Building*
Cape Girardeau County

The Rust family only intended to update and redecorate the large commercial building in downtown Cape Girardeau where their newspaper, the Southeast Missourian, is published.   The family was rightly proud of the building’s architecture and historic legacy, but they were hesitant listing it in the National Register because they were concerned about government interference or restrictions of their property rights (a common misunderstanding).  Careful inspection revealed that the building needed much more than interior upgrades.  They learned that by utilizing Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit, a much larger renovation project would be financially feasible.  They decided to list the property, and the renovation blossomed into a full-scale historic rehabilitation.

On the exterior, hand painted tiles on the façade of the building and glazed tile murals on the side walls had been badly chipped; a decorative street level bay window had been converted into an entry door; exterior wood trim was in need of major repairs and paint.  Inside, the original wood paneled wainscoting in the main room had been painted over and the decorative tin ceiling was obscured by dropped ceilings.  Mechanical and electrical systems were dated and insufficient to meet the demands of modern printing and computer equipment.  Today, the historic features of the Southeast Missourian Building have been restored to their original splendor, and space planning has resulted in state-of-the-art facilities, more appropriate to the newspaper’s current needs. 

In addition, this historic renovation has captured the attention of the public in Cape Girardeau.  The building recently served as the backdrop for the announcement of Governor Blunt’s new DREAM initiative to encourage revitalization of towns throughout Missouri.  The newspaper now works closely with the local Main Street program to encourage other property owners to undertake historic rehabilitation projects downtown.

*Projects made possible in part by the Missouri Historic Preservation Tax Credits


The 2007 Honor Awards Ceremony Sponsored By:
Commerce Bank
Spencer, Fane, Britt & Brown LLP
Marsh and Company, PA
Murray’s Restaurant