On Thursday, March 22, 2018 the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation presented its 39th annual Statewide Preservation Honor Awards. The Awards ceremony took place at 11:00 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City, with a reception following at the Millbottom Event Center. This year thirteen recipients received awards representing individual historic building projects, people and/or projects that have created or inspired synergy in historic preservation, published works promoting Missouri’s architectural history, and lifetime achievements in the field of historic preservation. This year’s award recipients are:
Rozier Award — Brenda Rubach-Thurmer
Osmund Overby Award — Kansas City: A Place in Time
McReynolds Award — Florence “Winky” Chestnutt Friedrichs
McReynolds Award — Neal Group Construction LLC
PreserveMO Award — Westport Commons
PreserveMO Award — East 9 Pickwick Plaza
PreserveMO Award — 4th Street Theatre
PreserveMO Award — Fred Schnier Building
PreserveMO Award — Monett Historical Museum
PreserveMO Award — German American Bank Building
PreserveMO Award — 5201-5203 Virginia Avenue
PreserveMO Award — Beck Event Space
PreserveMO Award — Marquette Tower Properties
The Rozier Award
St. Peters, St. Charles County
To Brenda Rubach Thurmer, preservation is more than a job, it is her passion. In her role as Preservation Planner for the City of St. Charles for ten years, Brenda went above and beyond her job duties. Utilizing Historic Preservation Fund Grants, she conducted architectural surveys and prepared three National Register Historic District nominations. She was instrumental in the review and alteration of city codes to incorporate preservation, which ultimately improved the regulation of construction and development within recognized historic districts. Brenda’s knowledge of the area was also sought by the Historic Frenchtown Association and the Historic Downtown Association for the promotion of historic areas as tourist destinations and viable neighborhoods. She assisted the St. Charles County Historical Society with information for their annual home tour brochures. Outside of the office, Brenda also served as a liaison to the Landmarks Board, reviewed Certificate of Appropriateness Applications, and provided to members of the Board ongoing training and information about further education in the field of preservation. She aided in the establishment of an annual preservation awards program for the City of St. Charles, held every May during Historic Preservation month.
Osmund Overby Award
Kansas City: A Place in Time
Bradley Wolf, Editor; Historic Preservation Commission of Kansas City
Kansas City, Jackson County
Kansas City: A Place in Time is the second edition of a book released forty years ago by the Historic Preservation Commission of Kansas City. Edited by the city’s Historic Preservation Officer, Bradley Wolf, this second edition features nearly 350 residential and commercial structures found throughout the city. Not only does it feature buildings not previously included, but each page displays professional color photographs and detailed descriptions of Kansas City’s built environment. Using old and new texts, the book dutifully covers the six Kansas City areas of Northland, Downtown-Westside-Northeast, Crossroads-Midtown-Westport, Country Club-Brookside-Waldo, East Side-Swope, and Martin City-Hickman Mills-Little Blue Valley. Detailed street maps lay out the location of each featured structure making it the essential guidebook for architectural tours of Kansas City.
Florence “Winky” Chestnutt Friedrichs
Pilot Grove, Cooper County
Florence Chesnutt Friedrichs is known as an early and long-term driving force within Cooper County, Missouri’s historic preservation movement. Known to her friends and admirers as “Winky,” this accomplished artist is the owner of the historic plantation, Pleasant Green. Mrs. Friedrichs has committed her life to both her art and preservation, often fusing the two together. Now in her early 90’s, she has decades of accomplishments in preserving the area’s important history while also excelling in her love of art. Mrs. Friedrichs’ artwork has been featured in calendars, cookbooks, and on t-shirts to support the local Chamber and Tourism Office. It can also be found in a book titled Discover Historic Cooper County, which is given to 4th graders within the county. She was an original co-founder of the Cooper County Historical Society and can still be found at the research center in Pilot Grove during the open season. Mrs. Friedrichs is a firm believer in the connection between preservation and heritage tourism and promotes it in local communities. Her own home is opened to the public for school groups and tours, including a slave dwelling on her property that is a part of the nationally recognized “Slave Dwelling Project.”
Neal Group Construction, LLC
Joplin, Jasper County
Carolina and Jeff Neal of Neal Group Construction, LLC started their preservation journey in 2004 with the purchase of the Columbian Block, which was also the first recipient of a City of Joplin Façade Grant. Their transformation of the vacant three-story building later earned them multiple awards, including a Missouri Preservation Legacy Award. The Neal’s were also contractors for the Inter State Grocer Building Rehabilitation, a five-story, 120,000 square foot concrete/masonry shell turned Class A office and retail space. Following the devastating Joplin tornado in 2011, Neal Group Construction directed the rehabilitation of a 100 year old warehouse building into a new elementary school for St. Mary’s parish(?). The project took only eight weeks. Their most current project features the sustainable retrofitting of over 60,000 square feet of National Register buildings with clean solar energy, rainwater irrigation systems for the patio area, and energy efficient operating systems. Aside from rehabilitation work, the Neal’s are also strong advocates for historic preservation both in Joplin and across the state of Missouri.
Preserve Missouri Awards
Kansas City, Jackson County
The Westport Middle school opened in 1923 as the first dedicated Junior High School in the Kansas City School District. The five-story building exemplifies Progressive-Era educational philosophy. After the building closed in 2010, it sat vacant until 2016 when construction began on the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use. Creating the world’s largest co-working facility in a 90-year old middle school presented unique challenges. The development team utilized a combination of historic and new market tax credits to finance the $19.1 million project. The designers found creative solutions to preserve and utilize character-defining features. Blackboards and lockers still line the walls of former classrooms and corridors, which have been converted to dedicated workspaces, meeting rooms, and common areas. Glass partitions and lighting have been added to classrooms and significant spaces. The auditorium and the gymnasiums were restored. Ornate plaster in the auditorium and corridors was carefully restored, along with a unique historic mural painted on a classroom wall by junior college art students in 1947.
East 9 Pickwick Plaza
Kansas City, Jackson County
The historic Pickwick Plaza, built in 1930, was a landmark of downtown Kansas City and an early example of a mixed-use urban center. It’s original uses included offices, a hotel, a parking garage, a regional bus terminal, ground-level retail storefronts, a restaurant, and a radio station. President Harry S. Truman was a frequent visitor during the 1950’s. In 1972, following the closing of the offices and bus terminal, the hotel was re-configured into low-income housing. The property sat vacant and dilapidated for many years until Gold Crown Properties began rehabilitating the historic complex in 2008. It took nearly ten years to acquire all the components of the property and fully complete the rehabilitation project, which converted the building into 260 new apartments and street-level retail space. Special care was taken to retain the Art Deco styling of the exterior and lobby. The $66 million rehab project utilized both local incentives, federal and state historic tax credits. Now fully occupied, the rehabilitated mixed-use building is proving to be a catalyst for revitalization in the eastern portion of downtown Kansas City.
4th Street Theatre
Moberly, Randolph County
The historic 4th Street Theatre was constructed in 1913 for use as a motion picture and vaudeville theater. Designed by German émigré and Moberly architect Ludwig Abt, 4th Street Theatre operated as a theater from 1914 until 1997. In 1999 the theater was donated to the Randolph County Historical Society. Local Moberly citizen, Carolee Hazlet took the project under her wing declaring that no loans would be taken to restore it. Carolee was true to her word. The entire project was funded by donations, grants, bake sales and other creative money-raising strategies— including name plates on chairs and stars around the box office. It also utilized historic preservation tax credits. In 2010, Carolee formed an independent Board of Directions with the Community Theatre Corp and created the 4th St. Theatre, Inc. Made up of eleven board members, this new board owns, maintains, and operates the theater. The theater now sports a full-size movie screen, a large area for banquets and other events, and a fully operating sound and light system. True to it’s past, 4th Street Theatre now hosts monthly classic movie nights and live stage performances. The rehabilitation of 4th Street Theatre has proven to be a motivation for other improvements in the downtown Moberly area.
Fred Schnier Building
Washington, Franklin County
The Fred Schnier building was constructed in 1883 and served as both the home and store for Mr. Schnier, who sold sewing machines, and Mrs. Schnier who provided hair goods. They occupied the building until 1913, but it remained an important part of downtown Washington throughout the 20th century. Pat Peterson purchased the building in 2016 after being enticed by the successful redevelopment of historic downtown Washington. Ms. Peterson started the project on her own, submitting her own applications for state and federal tax credits. After meeting with the State Historic Preservation Office, she realized she needed the help of someone who understands historic building design and tax credit projects and contracted with Ed Heine of Heine and Croghan and Karen Bode Baxter. The project included complete replacement of mechanical systems the renovation of interior spaces. Two apartments were created upstairs while the ground floor retained its original function as a retail space. The storefront was completely rebuilt to match its original historic composition and details, including putting cast iron columns back in their original locations. The Fred Schnier Building is now home to Bryan Haynes Studio Gallery.
Monett Historical Museum
Monett, Barry County
418-422 Broadway in Monett once consisted of the old Monett State Bank and Tatum Wright Dry Goods. Built in 1902, these connected buildings are now part of the larger Downtown Monett Historic District. Local property owners Bob and Debbie Berger began the transformation of the corner structure in 2013. Major renovations included structural stabilization, wood window replacement, new mechanical systems, and restoration of the original tin ceilings. In keeping with the requirements of the state and federal historic tax credit program, care was taken to restore what was intact and replace what was not. The entire layout of the second floor remains the same, complete with historic skylight and typographic artwork on office doors. When the project began, the original turret that graced the corner entry of the bank was missing and the corner squared off. Master craftsmen rebuilt the corner, replicating the original brick detailing and stone cornices. A new fiberglass dome was installed and precast columns were fabricated to match an original found in Monett Park, completing this stunning transformation. The Monett Historical Museum now occupies the first floor and has plans to expand to the second floor.
German American Bank Building
St. Joseph, Buchanan County
The German American Bank Building, completed in 1889, is a six-story bank and office building in downtown St. Joseph. A formidable structure in the Richardsonian Romanesque style with Beaux Arts details, the former bank suffered many alterations over the years and eventually ended up vacant. In 2014, Heartland Health and Mosaic Life Care chose to use state and federal historic tax credits to rehabilitate the building as an office space for over 200 employees. Using historic photographs and working closely with the National Park Service, the non-historic windows were replaced with new windows that closely matched the originals. The exterior was carefully cleaned and repaired, and replacement storefronts were installed at the first story. Interior spaces received a modern design update to create a unique work environment. In the basement, the original bank vault was repurposed as a break room. The main lobby of the historic banking space was returned to its former glory with the restoration of the marble floors, marble and plaster columns, and the coffered ceilings with the installation of more sympathetic light fixtures. The revitalization of the German American Bank building adds to the on-going revitalization in downtown St. Joseph while also extending the life of this beautiful building.
5201-5203 Virginia Avenue
St. Louis City
Built in 1910, the double storefront building was vacant for many years before Gary and Mary Joan Wood of Cairo, Missouri purchased it. Enticed by their daughter’s investment in a property down the street, the Wood’s thought the historic tax credit program made it seem like a financially feasible project. Their journey began in 2014 and did not finish until October of 2017. In that time, the Wood’s put a lot of sweat equity into restoring the structure. They peeled wallpaper, patched plaster walls, and repaired and repainted the pressed tin ceilings. Break-ins and subcontractors proved to be difficult obstacles. Several months passed between when the building was finished and when they finally found tenants. The Wood’s perseverance paid off, however, because they insisted that the work be “done right” and used best preservation practices. A façade grant from the City of St. Louis helped with the expenses of repairing the storefronts while state and federal historic preservation tax credits helped finance the rest of the project.
Beck Event Space
Harrisonville, Cass County
Formerly the Davis Brothers Garage, the Beck Event Space was the result of two Harrisonville photographers realizing the need for an event space in their downtown. When Mike Freeland and Scott Beck purchased the building, it was in dire shape. An abandoned rehab project had removed the display windows and front entry but the owners could still see the potential in the space. The renovation of the structure utilized state and federal historic tax credits and included taking the abandoned second floor at the rear and converting it to event preparation spaces, as well as creating a kitchen and support rooms. The front “garage” area was left open as the event venue. All new building systems were installed and an ADA entrance was created utilizing a building annexed next door. Historic photos informed the design of the replacement storefront façade, which emulates the historic windows and garage door. Bookings started coming in before the space was even finished; after it opened, the business spurred the renewal of other structures in downtown Harrisonville.
Marquette Tower Property
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County
Completed in 1928, the Marquette Hotel in Cape Girardeau has been near the center of commerce for decades. However, like many downtown businesses, the hotel faced decline with the arrival of the interstate highway. Many attempts were taken to give the Marquette Hotel new life but none were successful until 2016, when investors announced plans to redevelop the vacant commercial property. The former Marquette Hotel, now the Marquette Tower, was turned into a hub for the Marquette Tech District. The tower now offers small offices and suites and is anchored by Codefi, “the area’s first co-working space and technology incubator.” A coffee shop and café, Baristas, has taken up shop and the Old Town Cape, Inc. has also relocated their offices to the building. Future plans include a rooftop restaurant that will offer views of the Mississippi River and downtown Cape Girardeau. Installation of a state of the art fiberoptic and wi-fi network has extended wi-fi capabilities throughout the entire downtown area. The successful rehabilitation of the Marquette Tower has been vital to the continued livelihood of downtown Cape Girardeau.
Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors!
CAPITAL PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
MarksNelson CPA’s and Business Advisors
Enhanced Historic Credit Partners
Deb Sheals, Preservation Specialist
Wollenberg Building Conservation