2020 Honor Awards

The 2020 Honor Awards winners were announced virtually on Tuesday, December 8th. In lieu of our annual celebration at the Capitol in Jefferson City, our Honor Awards Chair, Rachel Consolloy, and Executive Director, Bill Hart, delivered the awards to our recipients across the state and recorded their remarks for us to share.

The Rozier Award

Tim Conley

Tim Conley on the porch of the Aubuchon House.

Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve County
Tim Conley has dedicated over fifty years to the field of historic preservation and has personally undertaken the restoration of five historic properties in Missouri. At age twenty-one, Mr. Conley purchased his first historic home, the Blair-Huse McAvoy Mansion in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis. He spent more than ten years restoring the property. In 1974, he published Lafayette Square: An Urban Renaissance, about the restoration of his neighborhood. He spent nine years in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area restoring two homes. Mr. Conley returned to Missouri in 1994, when he purchased and restored the historic Ste. Genevieve Academy, constructed in 1808. In 2003, he moved north to Louisiana, Missouri, where he purchased and restored the Edward G. McQuie House. While serving on the local historic preservation commission in Louisiana, he helped initiate the Great Mansion Tour. Only a few years later, he moved back to Ste. Genevieve and purchased the Jean Baptiste Valle House, constructed in 1794. The extended vacancy of this French Colonial vertical log house resulted in the substantial deterioration of the roof, which caused significant damage to the interior. Mr. Conley renovated the home and restored the two-hundred-year-old formal garden. In 2013, he sold this property to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Missouri. His next Ste. Genevieve project was the Antoine Aubuchon House, constructed in 1812. He continues to reside in this French Colonial vertical log home. Along with preserving historic structures, Mr. Conley has supported a variety of local and statewide preservation efforts in Missouri. From 1999 to 2006, he served on the Ste. Genevieve Historic Landmarks Commission, and chaired the commission from 2001 to 2006. He served on the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation from 2002 to 2006, and chaired the council from 2003 to 2006. Mr. Conley also served on the board of directors for Missouri Preservation.

Osmund Overby Award

The Lost St. Louis Riverfront 1930-1943
Thomas Grady

St. Louis City
The Lost St. Louis Riverfront 1930-1943, by Thomas C. Grady, is a pictorial record of the numerous nineteenth century buildings along the St. Louis riverfront that were demolished between 1930 and 1943 to make way for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (now known as the Gateway Arch National Park). Black and white photographs document the area from the waterfront up to the east side of Third Street, most listed with names and addresses of the occupants at the time. While the Gateway Arch has now become the most iconic representation of St. Louis City, this book highlights the important architecture that once flourished in its place.

Anyone interested in purchasing the book (which has sold out and is now in the process of being printed again) can contact:

Julie at the St. Louis Mercantile Library @ UMSL

or you can contact the Campbell House Museum Gift Shop or Left Bank Books in St. Louis.

The McReynolds Awards

The Silversmith’s House — Antoine ONeille House Restoration

Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve County
The First Presbyterian Church of Ste. Genevieve purchased the Antoine Oneille House in 2006, to house the congregation’s programs and services. Oneille, a prominent nineteenth century silversmith, built the house between 1813 and 1820. The building had undergone heavy damage in its two hundred-year history, including a fire in 1982 and months of flooding in 1993, which led to major termite damage to the framing. Previous owners stabilized the structure but did little to repair the damage. With the help of the Jeffris Challenge Grant, and a successful capital campaign to match, work finally began in 2017. The entry hall, staircase, and front rooms were restored, including the original stone fireplace. Work included the installation of new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. The organization transformed the second floor into the Youth Center, converted the back porch, long ago enclosed, into a food pantry, and installed support spaces and storage in the basement. An interpretive display in the entry hall provides visitors with the information about the life of Antoine Oneille. The organization completed renovations in 2019 and the house opened on September 14th with a special exhibit of Oneille’s silverwork.

Missouri Botanical Garden Stone Wall Rehabilitation

St. Louis City
When Henry Shaw opened his botanical garden to the St. Louis public in 1859, he constructed a two thousand-foot stone wall along the northern and eastern sides. Over the years, portions of the wall began to fail due to poor repointing activities. The regrading of Tower Grove Avenue in the 1930s left the foundation to the east exposed while the planting of oak trees between the wall and sidewalk caused substantial uplift. In 2014, the Missouri Botanical Garden began a six-year, multiphase restoration project on various portions of the wall, totaling 420 linear feet. Original stone, as well as original and later replacement mortars were tested to determine how the origin and composition of these materials contributed to the failure of large sections of the wall. Three hundred ninety feet of the wall required full dismantling and reconstruction. Sections of the wall that had not failed were fully delineated to discern patterns and understand the original builders’ methods. As the project was federally funded, requirements for the masons included training and certification in the methods of mid-nineteenth century stone masonry. This training, combined with the study of the original builders’ methods, produced an authentic process that yielded a near seamless integration of the newly constructed wall with adjacent areas of the original wall.

Kansas City African American Heritage Trail

Kansas City, Jackson County
From the first settlements at the Town of Kansas, to the small communities such as Steptoe, Hell’s Half Acre, and Belvidere, to the rich culture of the 18th & Vine area, there are sites across Kansas City filled with African American history and heritage. African Americans worked on the construction of the Hannibal Bridge, fought for freedom from enslavement, developed Kansas City Jazz, created iconic businesses, and so much more. The creation of the African American Heritage Trail developed over the course of a few years, as numerous significant sites were lost to development and demolition. The concept of the heritage trail was proposed to raise awareness for these sites. In 2018, the city’s Preservation Office received a Historic Preservation Fund Grant from the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office to build an online heritage trail and produce a printed brochure. Community feedback on the project determined that this was far more than just a list of sites and short walks, but the creation of an entity representing innumerable voices and histories from the community. With public opinion in mind, city planning staff reassessed the project and focused on the things deemed most important, such as documenting sites that are difficult to interpret – including those related to enslavement and lynching – along with the sites related to those African Americans with significant contributions to Kansas City’s history and culture. The City created the “digital framework” for the online heritage trail while partnering with existing groups, such as the Community Remembrance Project and the Stopping Stones project, who could document and interpret sites. While the initial project www.aahtkc.org has been launched, the platform remains open for community members to continually submit recommended sites to add to the trail. The project will continue with partners focused on future initiatives, such as establishing an education committee to develop lesson plans. The City is partnering with regional groups to prepare broader contexts, develop physical markers and marked trails, and design kiosks to promote the trail. Coordination with local tourism groups will highlight cultural history, while working closely with existing partners will enhance programing designed to educate about the African American experience.

Preserve Missouri Awards

The Louis Lange Publishing Company

St. Louis City
The building at 3600 Texas Avenue (formerly Clara Street) in St. Louis was constructed between 1876 and 1884 for the Louis Lange Publishing Company, which resided in the space for more than half a century. When Blackline Investments, LLC purchased the building in 2016, it had stood vacant for decades. Most of the interior was gutted and nearly or completely collapsed, many of the first-floor windows had been bricked in, and the entire structure had been painted red. The building had to be stabilized and the exterior masonry restored. The space was transformed into fifteen residential units surrounding an open-air courtyard in what was at one time a delivery area accessed by carriages. Original windows were restored and historically appropriate replacement windows were installed where necessary. Few historic interior finishes remained intact, but the remaining Arts and Crafts fireplace in the corner unit was kept and restored. This project not only preserved an important building on Texas Avenue, it also encouraged further development in this historic community.

J. Rieger & Co.

Kansas City, Jackson County
In the 1880s, Jacob Rieger founded the J. Rieger & Company Distillery in Kansas City’s West Bottoms area, while across town, Ferdinand Heim established the Heim Brewery Company in the industrial East Bottoms; Prohibition shuttered both operations. Ninety years later, Rieger’s great-great-great-grandson, Andy Rieger, set out to reinvent the family distillery and selected the historic Heim Brewery to house the operations. After operating for four years in an adjacent warehouse, the growing business led Rieger to purchase the 63,000 square foot Heim Brewer Bottling Plant as a place to expand. The brick and stonework of the exterior was cleaned and repointed. New windows designed to match the historic profiles were installed, along with lighting to highlight the rhythm and symmetry of the architecture. On the interior, the building’s original two-story atrium concept was restored to house the distillery’s working production floor. The staircases, metal railings, columns, and hardwood floors were cleaned, repaired, and refinished. As a working distillery, event space, and vibrant KC destination, people can immerse themselves into the history of Kansas City, the production of whisky, and the history of both the Heim and Rieger families.

Woodward Lofts

St. Louis City
In 1925, the Woodward & Tiernan Printing Company, the largest of the 320 printing firms in St. Louis at the time, moved to their new headquarters at the corner of Tower Grove and Vandeventer Avenues in St. Louis. The rehabilitation project to turn this 246,000+ square foot warehouse into 164 loft-style apartments began in 2017. The multi-light industrial style windows were a character-defining feature of the Daylight Factory property type and integral to the significance of the building. The windows required special consideration when determining a treatment that would meet the requirements of the state and federal historic tax credit programs. Historically appropriate aluminum replacement windows with high performance glazing were installed. The project retained the historic brick “head house” and the oak-framed lead glass partitions that made up the original Woodward & Tiernan offices. Added partitions and dropped ceilings that covered the clerestory over the grand staircase from the main entry were removed. The team used historic photographs to restore the front entry and replace the non-historic commercial aluminum entry system. What was originally thought to be poured concrete floor in the warehouse and printing facility, was actually terrazzo covered in layers of grime. Cleaning and polishing of the salvageable areas revealed the historic finish. Since the project’s completion in February 2019, Woodward Lofts has proved to be a catalyst for development throughout the neighborhood.

The Buckley

Excelsior Springs, Clay County
Built between 1909 and 1913, the Buckley Hotel is a reminder of the thriving boarding house property type that once proliferated in downtown Excelsior Springs, now recognized in a National Register historic district. Like many of the buildings in the district, it had fallen into disrepair. In 2018, Brent McElwee purchased the building and began an ambitious rehabilitation project. Using state and federal historic credits, McElwee preserved the historic layout of the apartments while improving efficiency and flow. Non-historic, outdated finishes and fixtures were removed while extant historic material, including tile and brick fireplaces, wood trim and floors, and plaster walls and ceilings, were retained and restored. McElwee brought the building into compliance with local building code by raising and painting the front porch railing, as well as updating all of the building systems. This wonderful transformation, achieved with a relatively small budget, highlights the importance of the state and federal historic tax credit programs in helping to leverage private investment in resources in small towns across the state. The Buckley Hotel, now restored to its former glory, is an important component of downtown Excelsior Springs.

Mrs. John Isbell House

Washington, Franklin County
When Elizabeth and Lute Cain purchased the house in January 2016, 205 East Main Street in Washington, MO had already been vacant for some time and exhibited extensive deterioration. The roof was leaking, and the rotting soffits were falling off, along with the rusted gutters. Significant water infiltration led to damaged walls, ceilings, and floors. It was also apparent that the original construction was not designed well, as some joists failed to connect to load-bearing walls. With the help of state historic tax credits, the Cains were able to complete their project, which had far exceeded their budget due to unexpected repairs. Much of the plaster on the first floor had to be removed to address the structure issues, and then replaced. Historically appropriate wood windows with insulated glazing replaced the existing rotting wood windows. Non-historic brick infill within the large arched windows of the first-floor sunroom was removed and replaced with new historically appropriate windows. After structural repairs were made, the non-historic vinyl windows on the second-floor sleeping porch were replaced. Most of the building systems, including the electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling, had to be replaced. Walls and ceilings, which suffered extensive water damage, were repaired and repainted, and the wood floors were refinished. Work continued into the basement where, after structural repairs were completed, stone walls were repaired and a new concrete floor was poured. Every effort was made to retain all of the original interior millwork trim and doors, staircases and railings, bookshelves, and living room fireplace mantel, as well as the original wood cabinetry in the bathroom. The original bedroom ceiling, complete with pressed metal light fixture and two bare bulbs, was retained, along with the stained-glass windows that flank the fireplace. Elizabeth and Lute Cain’s dedication to this rehabilitation project, despite the many obstacles, has resulted in a spectacular transformation.

Gotham Apartments Rehabilitation

Kansas City, Jackson County
The Gotham Apartments rehabilitation project includes six apartment buildings that were historically unassociated but came under the same ownership within the past few decades. The Gotham Apartments (1919), the Aurora Apartments (1925), and the four buildings of the Agee Apartments Historic District (1925) comprise the project in the heart of Kansas City. In 2017, IDP Properties of Valdosta, Georgia and Four Corners Development of Springfield, Missouri embarked on the two-year rehabilitation project, utilizing both state and federal historic tax credits, as well as Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Each building was systematically updated with new fixtures and finishes while retaining what historic fabric remained. Historic multi-light patio doors were restored, where possible, and matching ones were installed as needed. The historic marble panels in the vestibules and wood window trim in the units of the Agee Apartment Buildings were preserved. Inappropriate replacement windows were replaced with historically appropriate alternatives that also improved energy efficiency. The rehabilitation of these six buildings had a substantial impact on the streetscape of this stretch of Linwood Boulevard and proved a significant investment in a long-neglected area.

Revitalization of Ivers Square: Old Town Cape, Inc.

Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County
The revitalization of Ivers Square focused on multiple historic resources that make up the area in front of the Common Pleas Courthouse in Cape Girardeau. Old Town Cape, Inc., the city’s Main Street revitalization program, spearheaded the project, using funds sourced primarily from a Partners in Preservation grant. A key portion of the project was the replacement of the non-historic bandstand roof with a historically accurate version similar to the 1900s original. A structural engineer helped determine that the original existing columns would withstand the weight of a new roof and the City approved final plans. Electrical updates, including increased amperage, ensured the bandstand’s continued use as a community event area while a new pendant light, reminiscent of the original fixture, was installed. New landscaping and perimeter lighting highlighted the restored bandstand. The project also included cleaning and repainting the nearby fountain, after the multiple cracks in its base were repaired. Two newly installed interpretive boards also contributed to the revitalization; the first contextualizes the Civil War monuments on the grounds; the second relays the history of the Ivers family, for whom the square was renamed in 2017, and the contribution of African American soldiers during the Civil War. This contribution was also recognized during the rehabilitation with the installation of a bronze statue depicting a United States Colored Troops soldier. This revitalization project not only ensured that a well-loved community space would continue to be used for generations, but also helped emphasize all aspects of Cape Girardeau’s history and allowed the city to educate and expand awareness of the importance of historic preservation.

Lincoln County Courthouse Column Restoration

Troy, Lincoln County
Designed in the Georgian style by German architect Gustav Bachmann, the Lincoln County Courthouse has served as the county seat of government since its completion in 1870. While the county has constructed multiple additions over the years, six cast-iron columns supporting the entry to the porch remained intact. The porch and its supporting columns were integral to Bachmann’s original design. In 2017, in preparation for the county’s sesquicentennial, county officials initiated a project to assess the condition of the columns and gather recommendations for their restoration. Evaluations and paint tests revealed crazing, cracking, peeling paint, and corrosion of the case-iron bases, caused by trapped moisture and improper ventilation. The assessment determined that the columns would be removed for restoration, in order to keep open the front entry of the courthouse. The column shafts and capitals were stripped and cleaned. New bases were cast in a local foundry, utilizing 3-D printing to create the sand molds. These recreations included minor alterations that would allow water to drain. Removal of layers of paint revealed that the cast-iron capitals featured decorative elements, including dogwood flowers, flying griffins, and acanthus leaves. Some of the intact leaves were removed and scanned to generate the 3-D printed molds that could reproduce missing leaves. The restored columns were reinstalled in January 2019 and wire cages were added to the underside of the porch to deter birds from the nesting in the column capitals. With this project, these significant artifacts of Lincoln County’s history were retained and preserved for future generations.

Thank you to the generous sponsors of the 2020 Honor Awards:

Mary Pillsbury Wainwright & Mary Pillsbury Companies

InSite Consulting Architects, Inc.
Iron Star, Inc.

MarksNelson CPAs + Business Advisors
Rosin Preservation

Blackline Design + Construction
Wollenberg Building Conservation
Karen Bode Baxter, Preservation Specialist