2012 Honor Awards

Rozier Award

Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff


Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County
Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff has been an active professional in the burgeoning field of historic preservation since 1978, when she joined the Missouri State Historical Society in Columbia, working first as an editorial secretary and then as an acquisitions librarian. In 1984, she left for a position with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Office where she prepared and reviewed National Register nominations and conducted historical research. Her contribution to historic preservation during this period included the survey and nominations of hundreds of resources associated with the CCC and WPA programs in Missouri State Parks. Dr. Stepenoff transferred within DNR from the SHPO to the Historic Sites Program in 1986, where she helped historic site managers understand and maintain their collections and guided the division in planning for the future of Missouri’s state park system. After receiving her Ph.D. in 1992, Dr. Stepenoff joined the faculty of Southeast Missouri (SEMO) State University, becoming coordinator of the Historic Preservation Program in 1995. With other colleagues she organized a historic preservation summer field school in Ste. Genevieve that has helped to document and preserve the unique resources of that community. During her tenure at SEMO she has taught 1500 students and published numerous articles on a variety of topics. A sabbatical in 2002 provided an opportunity to work with the National Park Service to write a historic site report for the Big Spring State Park in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Since stepping back from teaching in 2003, Dr. Stepenoff has dedicated her time to writing and serving Missouri’s historical organizations. She has published five books and serves on a variety of boards, including the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the editorial board of the Missouri Historical Review. Dr. Stepenoff’s deep love of history and historic places will have a long and lasting impact on the fabric of our state.

Osmund Overby Award

Oakland by Suzane Stewart Bolten
Holly Hills
by Nini Harris


Sharing the Overby Award this year are two books that document St. Louis communities that are at once similar and different. In Holly Hills, NiNi Harris tells the story of the Holly Hills subdivision, developed adjacent to Carondelet Park in the 1920s. The transformation of a rural area in St. Louis County into a post-war suburban community is the focus of Suzanne Stewart Bolten in Oakland. Both authors adeptly document the evolution from land into community, shedding on the physical resources, the architectural styles, the cultural and civic institutions, and the people that make each place unique.

McReynolds Awards

Jason Deem – JAD Productions*


City of St. Louis
Over the past seven years Jason Deem has invested in the rehabilitation of numerous buildings along Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue in the Gravois-Jefferson Streetcar Suburbs Historic District. Using archival images and historic fabric as his guides, Jason has employed a sensitive adaptive reuse strategy that has brought eight buildings back to life so far. These projects are largely mixed-use, creating gallery, studio and office space at street level and residential units in the buildings’ upper stories. State and federal tax credits have made possible over $1 million of investment in the neighborhood and have stimulated the resurgence of a unique, creative community.

Craig Wagoner*

Springfield, Greene County
For three decades, Craig Wagoner has been involved in the redevelopment of buildings in Center City Springfield. Using state and federal historic tax credits he has created 127 residential lofts and 24 commercial spaces, contributing significantly to Springfield’s urban revitalization. The living space has brought a surge of young professionals back into Center City, while the commercial tenants serve the new downtown residents as well as day time workers. One of Craig’s most innovative adaptive reuse projects is the Park Central Library, a branch of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library System that is housed in the historic Park Central Building. This space offers computers and other library services to the urban core. In addition to his private development projects, Craig has earned the respect of other community leaders through his service on many civic boards that support redevelopment of Springfield’s urban core.

Save the Katy Bridge Coalition


Boonville, Cooper County
In 2005, Missouri Preservation’s list of Most Endangered Places included the 1932 KATY Railroad bridge at Boonville. Owner Union Pacific Railroad sought to replace the aging river crossing with a new railroad bridge. The proposed upgrade included demolition of the existing lift bridge. The KATY Bridge Coalition formed to save the historic bridge with the goal of converting it into a bicycle/pedestrian link across the Missouri River for the Katy Trail. After six years of advocacy by the Coalition, Governor Jay Nixon announced that the bridge would not be torn down. An agreement signed by the State, the City of Boonville and Union Pacific turned ownership of the bridge over to the City of Boonville. With this major hurdle overcome, the Coalition is now moving forward with plans to convert the bridge to pedestrian use.

Preserve Missouri Awards

Crestmead — Robert & Ann Betteridge

Pilot Grove, Cooper County
The Crestmead plantation has a long and distinguished history in Cooper County. The Italianate house, then named Prairie View, was erected in 1857-59 as an addition to an existing one-story Greek Revival D dwelling. William Betteridge, grandfather of the current owner, purchased the property in 1903, renaming it Crestmead (“high meadow”). The Betteridge family made only a few changes to the house over the next 80 years – the cupola was shortened to correct water leakage and the porch was widened to span the façade. Robert Betteridge and his wife Ann acquired the property in 1980. Over the next 30 years they lovingly restored the interior and listed the property on the National Register of Historic Places. They also used the house to help tell the story of plantation life to area school children. In March 2008 an electrical fire caused near-total destruction of Crestmead. The cost to repair the damage was staggering, but through dogged determination, the Betteridges restored the house from the original plans, taking up residence again just three years later. Today, Crestmead stands ready to share the history of Cooper County for another 150 years.


Saline County Courthouse


Marshall, Saline County
The county courthouse is an important civic building in communities throughout Missouri, anchoring a ceremonial position at the center of the business district. Like many of Missouri’s courthouses, the Saline County Courthouse was erected in the 1880s in an architectural style befitting its function as a civic monument. After 125 years of continuous use the building was in need of repairs. The Saline County Commission embarked on an extensive restoration plan that involved repairing extant historic fabric, reconstructing missing details, and updating building systems and life safety features. The comprehensive project was completed on-budget without interrupting day-to-day courthouse operations. The refurbished building is ready to serve the citizens of Saline County for another century.

The Finke Theatre

California, Moniteau County
The Finke Theatre was designed by noted St. Louis architect J.B. Legg in 1885 as the California Opera House. It operated under several different names before closing in 1978. The Friends of Finke Board formed to bring the theater back to life. Volunteers worked tirelessly for many years, raising funds and getting their hands dirty, to make this a reality. Beginning with the non-glamorous tasks, new structural piers and posts were installed and a beam was added to reinforce the roof trusses. The stage was enlarged, dressing rooms were renovated, and the auditorium seats were rebuilt. The theater received new electrical and HVAC systems as well as an Art Deco paint scheme compatible with renovations from the 1930s. By connecting the theater to the building next door, the Friends were able to expand the concession area and provide ample modern restrooms. After being shuttered for 30 years, performances resumed at the Finke Theatre in September 2009. Now in their third season, the restored theater is once again a hub of cultural activity for the California community.

Commerce Building*

Sedalia, Pettis County
During the depths of the recession, the Commerce Building underwent a dramatic rehabilitation that transformed the building, created affordable housing for families, and brought a shot of vitality to downtown Sedalia. For over a century following its construction in 1896-97, the building was home to a variety of retail tenants and professional offices. An expansion in the 1920s nearly doubled the frontage on Ohio Avenue, but matched the height and architectural features of the original building. Storefronts and interior finishes were modernized over time, most notably in the 1920s and again after World War II. Despite the various upgrades, the Commerce Building retained many unique historic elements that were sensitively preserved during the rehabilitation. Some apartment units have pressed metal ceilings and cast iron columns; distinctive tile floors, windows and doors were retained in the upper story corridors; and historic stair cases were retained. State and federal historic tax credits helped restore vitality to this building, which in turn has sparked interest in renovating other buildings in the Sedalia business district.

Inter-State Grocer Company Building*


Joplin, Jasper County
In 1901 three grocery companies in communities straddling the Missouri-Kansas state line merged to form the Interstate Grocer Company. Headquartered in Joplin, the company erected a 124,000 square foot warehouse and office building in 1915. The handsome fireproof concrete building had brick veneer with decorative terracotta trim, large steel windows, and functional interior spaces. It was rehabilitated into office and retail space in 2011. Rebuilding the front parapet became a sensitive task when much of the original terracotta was lost. Molds were created from surviving pieces to restore these key elements. Historic photographs were used to recreate the exterior canopies of the old loading docks. On the interior, elements of the historic offices were retained on the first floor, while the upper floors were left as large open spaces. By utilizing a raised floor system the architects were able to hide most of the building’s infrastructure, leaving the historic character largely unaltered. The work restored and found a vital new use for an important building in downtown Joplin, in the process meeting the requirements of both state and federal historic tax credits and LEED certification.

Pickler Building*


Kirksville, Adair County
Rehabilitation of the Pickler Building has led the charge in revitalizing Kirksville’s historic courthouse square. In 2008-09 it became the first of many buildings on the square to shed the 1970s façade that obscured its historic features. The project sensitively restored the original Pickler sign and wall mural and installed new windows to replace missing sashes. After non-historic fabric was removed from the interior, the owners created an old-fashioned soda fountain/ice cream shop on the first floor and space for a community theater on the second floor. Architectural sketches of the façade prepared through the DREAM initiative inspired the owners, while state and federal historic tax credits made the renovation financially feasible. Today the building shows the tremendous impact single historic rehabilitation can have on the character of a community. Pickler Building façade before restoration above and Restored from evidence found in the historic photo below.


Reeves Wiedeman Company Headquarters*


Kansas City, Jackson County
The O.H. Dean building stands on a prominent stretch of Main Street in midtown Kansas City. It had been vacant and boarded up for many years before the Reeves Wiedeman Company purchased it. Using state and federal historic tax credits, Reeves Wiedeman moved their headquarters from suburban Kansas into the rehabilitated building in midtown Kansas City. The glazed terra cotta façade, deteriorated and missing elements, was sensitively restored. Windows and storefronts were reclaimed, giving the building back its soul. The project celebrated the heritage of the plumbing supply company by incorporating a variety of copper-clad surfaces into the building. Today, the Reeves Wiedeman Company Headquarters is one of only eight buildings in the Kansas City region that has met the standards of LEED Gold.

*Noted projects made possible in part by the state and/or federal historic tax credits.

Thank you to the following sponsors:




Marsh & Company, P.A.



RubinBrown, LLP