2023 Honor Awards

The 2023 Honor Awards announcment was held Tuesday, April 25th in the Missouri State Capitol. We were delighted to recognize these much deserving individuals and projects.

The Rozier Award

Susan G. Rehkopf

University City, Saint Louis County
Susan Rehkopf serves professionally as archivist and registrar for the Episcopal Dioceses of Missouri and voluntarily as the archivist for the Historical Society of University City (HSCU). Her work, both professionally and through her time as the archivist for HSUC, has been integral to the documentation of history in St. Louis and beyond and has earned her the moniker “The Archivist’s Archivist”. She spearheaded the Century Plaque project which has recognized 100 University City homes, helped coordinate the research to authenticate the home’s eligibility, and presented homeowners with their plaques. Sue doesn’t hesitate to tackle difficult projects. One of her most ambitious accomplishments was the completion of an extensive database and finding aid for the collections of HSCU and the University City Public Library. Her role as Diocesan Archivist has led to a number of special projects, like helping congregations research and write congressional histories. Her knowledge and assistance aided the completion of a number of National Register of Historic Places listings, emphasizing the critical yet often overlooked role that archivists play in the preservation of the built environment. Her motto: “If you don’t know it, research it until you do.” Missouri Preservation is pleased to present the Rozier Award to Sue Rehkopf for her significant contributions to the field of historic preservation in Missouri.  

Osmund Overby Award

Coloring St. Louis: A Coloring Book for All Ages
by Andrew Wanko, art by Rori!

Saint Louis City
Coloring St. Louis: A Coloring Book for All Ages was created in conjunction with the current exhibition that opened August 2022 at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. It includes thirty full page, line illustrations drawn by artist Rori!  Historian Andrew Wanko selected a number of landmark buildings from around the region as well as composite examples of commonly found residential styles. Coloring books have been capturing the attention of all ages over the last decade, and Coloring St. Louis is helping introduce the importance of historic architecture to new audiences across the city and beyond.

Purchase book here.

Lost Jefferson City
by Michelle Brooks

Lost Jefferson City by Michelle Brooks was published in 2022 by The History Press and highlights the history of the built environment in the capital city that has come and gone since incorporation in 1825. There are five areas of focus: Mill Bottom, the area west of the State Capitol; “The Foot”, the neighborhood that arose at the foot of the hill crowned by Lincoln University, as well as other neighborhoods important to Jefferson City’s black history; the areas once used for recreational purposes like ballfields and race tracks that eventually gave way to housing; early cemeteries in Jefferson City; and landmark houses. Using a series of gridded maps, Brooks provides exact locations of now-missing features and presents a model that can be used to discuss and document features of any city that are no longer visible. 

Purchase book here.

The McReynolds Awards

Rise Community Development

Saint Louis City
Since 1989, Rise has dedicated itself to making a positive impact on historic communities as a  nonprofit developer, development consultant, and by providing capacity-building technical assistance and training to other nonprofit community development organizations (CDCs), government agencies, and institutions in the St. Louis metropolitan area. They have aided the development of over 5,500 homes and 137,000 square feet of commercial space, much of which is in historic communities and properties. Rise is also a leading advocate for community development and affordable housing policy at both the state and local level. Rise works with organizations to help them meet goals like acquiring neglected properties and stabilizing neighborhoods. They empower both residents and entrepreneurs by providing effective solutions to the real estate development challenges often faced in communities affected by issues like disinvestment and appraisal gaps. As a Community Development Financial Institution they provide loans and services to small contractors, developers and businesses that are underserved by traditional banks. As developers and consultants they also contribute directly to the neighborhood revitalization process and partner with communities to make real estate more economically feasible. Rise also places an emphasis on the importance of data, as a resource for development within a neighborhood and as a way to educate St. Louisans about their region. Missouri Preservation is proud to recognize Rise Community Development for their commitment to the betterment of historic neighborhoods across the St. Louis region.

Jill Aboussie | City Restoration & Revival LLC

Saint Louis City
Jill Aboussie founded City Restoration & Revival in 2002 and over the last 20 years has dedicated her career to the stabilization and beautification of her own neighborhood of Tower Grove South, and beyond. Aboussie wears many hats; as a licensed realtor she leads all aspects of purchasing, selling, and managing her properties, and on renovation projects she serves as both project manager and general contractor. As one of few women in St. Louis’ developer/contractor industry, Jill has forged her own path. Her work has inspired many and served as a model for young developers wanting to take on preservation projects throughout the city. She is not one to shy away from a difficult project and many of her renovations tackled missing roofs, crumbling walls, critter infestations, and other issues that most would cite as cause for demolition. Her earliest projects pre-date Tower Grove’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places and were driven purely by her belief in making her neighborhood better. The ability to utilize both State and Federal Historic Tax Credits on many of her later projects is a bonus, and helps make her projects more feasible. Jill values St. Louis’ unique architectural history. She believes that historic preservation is the way to reduce problem properties, vacancies and crime, and that renovation projects like hers will inspire others in the neighborhood to value and improve their community. Missouri Preservation applauds Jill Aboussie for her tireless work ethic and dedication to breathing life into historic neighborhoods of St. Louis.

Ellen & Gary Dolan | Friends of the Thompson House, Inc.

Trenton, Grundy County
By 2009, the c. 1834 home of Grundy County’s earliest settler, Dr. William Preston Thompson, was little more than a ruin within the confines of Crowder State Park. As a doctor, politician and slave owner, Dr. Thompson’s home reflects many facets of the region’s history. Upon learning that Missouri State Parks planned to preserve the homesite as a ruin, concerned locals took action and formed Friends of the Thompson House, Inc. They believed the home would offer more value to the community if it were restored and utilized as a place for education. Through tireless advocacy efforts, the nonprofit gained ownership of the Thompson House and has spent the last decade completing its restoration. Ellen and Gary Dolan were instrumental in the organization’s success; overseeing grant writing and management of financing and donations. They have kept community interest in the project alive. A large portion of the construction and maintenance work was led by the Dolans and completed by volunteers. The restoration was finished in 2020 but the Dolans and Friends of the Thompson House, Inc. are not done yet. Ellen and Gary have a vision for the home in its third century; there are innumerable ways the Thompson House can be used as a place of learning, reconciliation and reflection. Missouri Preservation commends Ellen and Gary Dolan for their leadership of Friends of the Thompson House, Inc., the completion of the Thompson House restoration, and their dedication to keeping history open, honest and accessible.

Preserve Missouri Awards

Woodneath Branch | Mid-Continent Public Library

Kansas City, Jackson County
The Elbridge Arnold Homestead, built in 1855-56 and recognized as the second oldest home in Kansas City north of the river, was overshadowed by burgeoning suburban development when the Mid-Continent Public Library purchased it in 2008 for a new library. Upon completion of the Woodneath Branch in 2013, focus was shifted to the rehabilitation of the new library’s focal point: the imposing Greek Revival style homestead. A new roof was installed and the masonry was stabilized, cleaned, and repointed. The grandiose east porch was restored with each of the two story columns being removed, repaired, and reinstalled on new footings. A simplified version of the design was utilized on the south facade, replacing a porch installed in the 1930s-50s. All of the windows, frames and shutters were fully restored. When the exterior was complete, work began on the interior with removal of non-original features and stabilization of the wood framing. The historic winding staircase was restored in place with structural steel stabilization integrated at the top landing and the handrail was offset with a glass guardrail that would meet building codes but still allow the stair to keep its historic integrity. Plaster was refinished where possible and the historic wood trim, baseboards, picture rails and doors were restored throughout. Historic photographs were used to replicate missing entryways and doors that were sensitive to the historic design but easy to distinguish from the original. A connection between old and new construction creates an accessible pathway into the entrance hall while leaving the historic entrances undisturbed. Now called The Story Center, this rehabilitated piece of Kansas City history naturally enhances the experience for all who come to learn about arts of oral, written and digital storytelling.

Oglesby Hotel Apartments

Kansas City, Jackson County
The Oglesby Hotel in Kansas City was built in 1891 as a private residence and converted to a 40-room hotel in 1911 with the addition of a full 3rd story. In 2017, concerned about the lack of affordable housing in the neighborhood, locals established 3930 Troost, LLC and began fundraising to purchase and rehab the structure. It is unclear how long the building was vacant before it was purchased by 3930 Troost, LLC for conversion into apartments. Prolonged vacancy had led to water infiltration and areas of deterioration, and no updates appear to have been made past the 1960s. With the help of local real estate developers experienced with affordable housing and the historic rehabilitation tax credit, construction began only to be halted by COVID in 2020. When construction resumed, the team hustled to complete the project by early 2023. One of the most striking improvements was the removal of a 1954 non-contributing addition that covered the facade. The small rooms were combined to create modern, habitable apartment layouts while still retaining the historic configuration. Historic fabric was retained wherever possible, including plaster walls and ceilings, wood trim, and the unique historic tile in the vestibule, lobby and some of the bathrooms. Details from a c.1935 renovation that modified the lobby also remain, including marble wainscot, fireplace, and stone tile. This striking rehabilitation of the Oglesby Hotel has successfully created much-needed affordable housing in the South Hyde Park Historic District of Kansas City.

Casa Di Vite

Excelsior Springs, Clay County
The former Hope Funeral Home in Excelsior Springs had been vacant for more than three decades when Susan Blaser fell in love with its historic charm and purchased it for an extensive rehabilitation project. Susan’s vision fit the existing space well, and although the interior had been mostly gutted by previous owners’ attempts at rehabilitation, her plan required little alteration to the already open spaces. The distinguishing stone exterior and red roof were in decent condition but repairs were made where necessary.  The structure was stabilized and all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing services were installed along with accessibility updates. With the help of historic tax credits, remaining historic fabric was retained and restored where possible including portions of wood floors, the wooden staircase, and original windows. Special care was taken to select new finishes and materials to facilitate the building’s new use as a wine tasting venue but complement its historic character. The building now houses a chapel for weddings, bridal party dressing rooms, tasting rooms and event space. Although faced with many challenges, including delays caused by COVID, the Blaser’s have successfully transformed this historic structure and added two businesses to the downtown Excelsior Springs community.

Malone Apartments

Saint Louis City
The Malone Building, constructed in 1909 and known originally as the Beaumont Telephone Exchange Building, was expanded six times before the original structure was completely abandoned in favor of the latest addition. The building sat vacant for over thirty years, and after watching five other developers attempt to tackle a rehabilitation, Renaissance Development stepped up to the challenge. The unique building footprint, an ‘E’, and roughly 10,000 square feet of space was perfect for accommodating a mixed-use development. It was not an easy start, as along with the usual issues encountered on a historic rehabilitation, work also began at the height of COVID. A number of environmental issues had to be addressed, debris removed, and the wooden internal structure of the original 3-story building had to be rebuilt. With the help of both State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, portions of the original elaborate plaster ceilings were refurbished, the tongue and groove wooden ceilings replicated, and ornamental steel columns and wooden beams were restored. Original glazed brick walls were also uncovered, repaired and repainted. Replicas of original windows were installed and a facade restoration brought the exterior back to life. The entire building was rebranded as The Malone, inspired by the first African-American entrepreneur millionaire Annie Malone, and the project was programmed to encourage creativity and collaboration in a time of uncertainty and change in the home and workplace. 72 apartments, a lobby and coffee bar, co-working space, creative office space, and 10 Maker’s Studios for artists to create and display their work now reside in The Malone. The space is completely leased up and is proving to be a major catalyst for the continued revitalization of this central corridor in St. Louis.

Boots Court

Carthage, Jasper County
Boots Court was built in 1939 at the corner of US Highway 71 and Route 66. The Streamline Moderne style motel was built specifically for the Route 66 tourist trade and originally consisted of four small guest rooms, a small office, and a gas station. In 1946, an additional five rooms were constructed in a new building to the rear. Over ensuing years and through many owners, the iconic motel fell into disrepair and only the back five rooms were available for travelers. In 2021, The Boots Court Foundation was established to prevent the motel from further decline and possible demolition, with an overall goal of rehabilitating the structure. While the five back rooms required minimal work, the original structure required extensive repairs. Issues with the flat roof were addressed to prevent further leaking, interior condensation and foundation damage. All of the exterior arched art deco neon lighting was carefully removed, the underlying stucco repaired, and the neon repaired and reinstalled. Original features inside were retained where possible, including original tiled bathrooms, flooring and windows. All new electrical, HVAC and plumbing was installed, and the curved walls that had been removed by a previous owner were reconstructed. Care has been taken to reflect the era through furnishings and decor. Boots Court was approved for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in September 2022. Although its namesake has been saved and rehabbed, Boots Court Foundation has further goals to improve their corner of the community and is currently working on the rehabilitation of a neighboring 1960s Sinclair gas station to be used as a Boots Check-in Office and Visitor Center. The foundation hopes that the revitalization of this well-known corner will spur further interest in saving the many historic buildings in Carthage.

Muir-Willard Project

Joplin, Jasper County
When Lori and Jeremy Haun, owners of Geneva Development, acquired the Muir Block and Willard Hotel in the 900 block of Main Street in Joplin in 2016, they were in for a big project. Both structures were in poor condition, with dropped ceilings hiding crumbling plaster and worn floors piled with debris from decay and previous occupants. In both buildings, what original features could be salvaged were retained, such as doors, trim, and spindles, and reproductions made by local craftsmen where they could not. The first floor of the c. 1901 Willard Hotel had not been occupied in decades; crumbling masonry walls required extensive repairs. The older c. 1891 Muir Block, though more recently occupied, needed top to bottom repointing. The original wooden floor joists on the first floor were no longer salvageable. With no crawl space, modern lumber would not last nearly as long as the old growth wood and it was determined that concrete would better serve the structure and stone foundation. Windows were overall in poor condition, and replaced with appropriate wood replicas. None of the original wood floors were salvageable, but traditional oak flooring was installed throughout the second floors and the majority of the first floor of the Willard. Both buildings’ storefronts had to be recreated using clues and examples from similar buildings. The largest challenge of the project was recreating the oriel windows on the west facade of the Muir. Using a lone photograph of the building taken in the 1970s, the owners were able to ascertain the windows’ appearance. No source was found to manufacture an element similar to what was built in 1901, likely pressed tin bolted to the structure. Instead, engineers designed a special steel support, architects recreated the basic dimensions and shape, and the entire piece was finished with specially sourced trim and materials to finalize the recreation of this original feature. The rehabilitation of both the Willard Hotel and the Muir Block have been integral to the revitalization of historic Joplin, moving efforts farther afield, and creating homes for new businesses and residents that chose to relocate downtown.

Ashcroft Hall Renovation | College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, Taney County
Ashcroft Hall on the campus of the College of the Ozarks was built in 1962-64 as a residence hall for women. It was designed by mathematics professor and campus architect, Walter Haskew, and built by both students and staff. The building is characterized by its cast-in-place concrete structure, unique brick masonry detailing, stone cut locally from a campus quarry, and numerous windows that provided abundant light. Although the building was well maintained, it was determined in 2018 that the building would be the first to undergo renovations and receive a number of upgrades. Original drawings had been lost in a fire, so building research was aided by construction photographs from campus archives and intact drawings of other Haskew-designed buildings that shared similar details. Stepped aluminum fascia flashing common to Haskew projects that had previously been removed, was restored. Extensive asbestos abatement was required throughout to remove the existing ceiling finish and allowed for the replastering and smoothing of the chamfered coffers. The low ceiling height of concrete structure and existing mechanical chase configurations created a unique design challenge for the installation of all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. A significant portion of the project was the replacement of more than 230 uninsulated jalousie windows that had caused numerous HVAC issues in the temperate Ozark climate. While replacement of such a unique feature is generally frowned upon, the use of something that was so ill-bred for the environment outweighed keeping what was original. Operable insulated units that matched both finish and muntin profile of the original jalousie lap weatherstripping were installed in the existing openings. This successful renovation of Ashcroft Hall has allowed this unique piece of Ozark mid-century architecture to remain as a legacy of the former hardworking students and staff that first completed the building six decades ago.

Cape Girardeau City Hall Restoration & Addition

Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County
When the City of Cape Girardeau outgrew its old facility, they made the commendable decision not to build new, but to reutilize the historic Court of Common Pleas and nearby Carnegie Library as their new home. The location of the courthouse (c. 1854 & 188) and library (c. 1922) presented a unique challenge to the design-build team, which was tasked with connecting the two structures with a modern addition across a six-foot elevation difference. Equal to that challenge was designing something that respected the two different eras and architectural styles without distracting from either. The extant interior features of the Federal style courthouse were preserved and restored, including window casings and decorative plaster ceiling medallions in the second floor courtroom.The exterior was repointed, patched, and cleaned. The project also included the innovative restoration of the iconic 120-year old staircase leading to the Court of Common Pleas. Meanwhile, the non-contributing 1959 facade addition on the Collegiate Gothic style library was removed. Using historic photographs and clues left within the original window frames, the original facade was restored. Remaining original features of the interior, such as the marble stair, original doors and window casings, were also restored. The three-story, new addition combines light-colored limestone elements with dark accents to tie together the existing structures without creating a false sense of history. A glass atrium connects the buildings together while allowing the three centuries of architectural history to retain their integrity and remain separate, yet still look compatible. With this successful rehabilitation and addition, the City of Cape Girardeau has created a facility that meets their needs and those of the public, but also highlights the history and views that have long defined the downtown skyline.

In Memoriam

Missouri Preservation would also like to take a moment to recognize individuals who have passed in the last year who made significant contributions to historic preservation in their communities.

2023 Honor Awards Sponsors

Rosemann & Associates, P.C.

2023 Missouri Preservation Corporate Partners


Rosin Preservation