Missouri’s Most Endangered 2002
James Clemens, Jr. House
St. Louis City
Washington, Franklin County
St. Thomas Presbyterian Church
Waverly, Lafayette County
Speed Horse Barns, Missouri State Fair Grounds
Sedalia, Pettis County
Kemper Military School
Boonville, Cooper County
Old Lexington City Hall
Lexington, Lafayette County
John Glaser Pottery Factory
Washington, Franklin County
George Washington Carver School
Fulton, Callaway County
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County
Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church
Glasgow, Howard County
The James Clemens, Jr. House (1859-60) St. Louis
The James Clemens, Jr. House, St. Louis, 1859-60. Constructed in 1859 for James Clemens, Jr., a highly successful businessman and cousin to writer Samuel Clemens, the James Clemens, Jr. House is listed on the National Register and is a St. Louis City Landmark.
This imposing Palladian villa with extensive cast iron ornamentation represents one of the most intact antebellum mansions in the St. Louis area. After the death of the illustrious owner in 1888, the house and furnishings were sold to the Sisters of Carondelet, a chapel addition was constructed, and the property became the Convent of Our Lady of Good Counsel. In recent years, the complex has been used as a homeless shelter and the buildings have received little or no maintenance. Although the property recently changed ownership, the buildings are currently vacant and have been vandalized. (Also listed on the 2001 Landmarks St. Louis 11 Most Endangered List)
Turner Hall (1866-1940)
Washington | Franklin County
Located in downtown Washington, the property known as Turner Hall is a complex of buildings consisting of the Washington Turnverein Hall, the former Puchta Saloon and the former Washington Elks Lodge #1559. The earliest part of the complex, the Washington Turnverein Hall (Turner Hall), a one-story brick building whose design is credited to noted local architect, Otto Brix, served as a community meeting place for a wide variety of activities including gymnastic events, dramatic productions, cultural debates and high school graduations. In 1997, the City of Washington purchased the property and plans to demolish the complex for parking unless a suitable use for the buildings can be found.
St. Thomas Presbyterian Church (ca. 1853)
Waverly | Lafayette County
Constructed in 1853, the St. Thomas Presbyterian Church is the oldest and most intact church building in Waverly, Missouri. In the 1980s, the small brick Temple-front church building was sold to an individual and was used for a time as an antiques shop. Today, however, the building is only used for storage and is in danger of demolition by neglect. Deferred maintenance and damage due to the demolition of nearby buildings continue to threaten the building.
Speed Horse Barns, Missouri State Fair Grounds (ca. 1901 and ca. 1937)
Sedalia | Pettis County
Even though a recent survey of Missouri citizens showed that more than 90% of the respondents expressed support of the preservation/renovation of the historic buildings of the Fairgrounds, these historic frame barns have been allowed to deteriorate, and have been demolished a few at a time. Recently, the State Fair Site Administrator notified the State Historic Preservation Office that the last two barns are slated for demolition after the 2002 Fair season.
Update: A buyer with plans to rehabilitate the building was announced in 2019.
Kemper Military School (1842-ca. 1950) Boonville | Cooper County
Kemper Military School is the oldest military school west of the Mississippi. The alumni list includes names of local, state and national significance. The Kemper campus consists of thirteen buildings which date from 1842 to the mid-1950s, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the buildings suffer from years of deferred maintenance due to the school’s lack of funds. This financial crisis forced the school into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. Although the school has been reorganized and continues to operate, the extent of work needed on buildings across the campus is daunting.
Old Lexington City Hall (1906) Lexington | Lafayette County
Lexington’s Old City Hall, which served as the symbol and heart of town government for more than eighty years, closed its doors in 1985. As a result, the two and one-half story brick building on the town ‘s public square is suffering from demolition by neglect. Although a recent feasibility study found that the building could be updated to meet municipal needs, the City has failed to endorse a plan for reuse.
John Glaser Pottery Factory (1878) Washington | Franklin County
Constructed in 1878 by Riverboat Captain Archibald Bryan, the building at 812 W. Front Street in Washington was leased to John Glaser for use as a pottery factory. The John Glaser Pottery Factory is by far the largest intact example in the town of Washington of the German-originated construction method known as Fachwerk . Arguably, the building is one of the largest documented buildings of this construction type found in any of Missouri’s German settlement areas. Fachwerk is a construction system of heavy timber framing that is infilled with brick wall nogging. The Pottery Factory is currently vacant and is endangered by deferred maintenance and demolition by neglect. Some structural problems appear to exist and a structural assessment and stabilization effort are needed to save this important building.
George Washington Carver School (1937)
Fulton | Callaway County
Constructed in 1937 by the Kansas City architectural firm of Felt, Dunham, & Kreihn, the George Washington Carver School has been the center of Fulton’s African-American community. It is one of the only architect-designed African-American schools in the State of Missouri, and it was dedicated by Dr. George Washington Carver, for whom the building was named. The school closed in 1982 and was used for storage for several years, but in 1989, it was purchased by the George Washington Carver Memorial Foundation with the intent of restoring the building to its prominent place in the lives of Fulton’s African-American community. The first floor of the building houses a black history museum and library with a special exhibit on Dr. Carver and his visit. The second floor of the building is used by the Fulton Family Resource Center, a community organization dedicated to serving children and families. Despite it’s importance to the black community of Fulton and Callaway County, the school is currently threatened by lack of funds and a need for the broad-based community support necessary to complete the renovation. The George Washington Carver Memorial Foundation’s non-profit board continues to struggle to fund the ongoing repair and maintenance of the building to ensure that this important piece of Fulton and Missouri’s black heritage is preserved for future generations.
Marquette Hotel (1928)
Cape Girardeau | Cape Girardeau Co.
Considered one of the finest hotels in Southeast Missouri when it was completed in 1928, the 81-room,six story Marquette Hotel is a fine example of Spanish Revival architecture that was favored by architects of the period. Closed as a hotel in 1971, the building has been condemned by the City of Cape Girardeau and is threatened with demolition by the City if a buyer cannot be found to rehabilitate the structure. Although structurally sound, the building bears the signs of deferred maintenance with broken windows, rusted ironwork, unstable marquee, interior water damage, peeling paint and failed masonry. While community support exists for saving this landmark property, the City remains committed to demolition – estimated to cost nearly $1 million – if a buyer does not come forward in the near future. The Marquette is Cape Girardeau’s last remaining historic downtown hotel.
Update: Saved and recipient of a Missouri Preservation Honor Award.
Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church (1865) Glasgow | Howard County
Founded in 1860 by freed slaves Corbin and Ann Moore, Campbell Chapel is the oldest African-American congregation in the town of Glasgow, Missouri, and a notable and highly intact example of vernacular Greek Revival architecture in Missouri. Under the direction of carpenter Corbin Moore, a small group of freed slaves erected the brick church on Commerce Street in 1865, naming it in honor of the 8th consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jabez P. Campbell. 136 years later, Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church still stands as one of the most intact mid-nineteenth century African-American churches in Missouri. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The simple, vernacular Greek Revival period building set into the side of the hill features a largely unaltered brick exterior and an interior that retains many of its early furnishing.
The threat to Campbell Chapel involves a dwindling, aging church congregation and the fact that funds are insufficient to maintain the historic structure. The building is in immediate need of repointing; its soft brick having succumbed to 136 years of freeze and thaw. Deteriorated window frames and entrance doors have made it difficult to achieve energy efficiency in the building. A desire to improve the comfort of the environment during worship services could result in the loss of important and rare historic building fabric. Deferred maintenance could lead to the eventual closure and demolition of the historic sanctuary.