Missouri’s Most Endangered 2000

Longview Farm
Lee’s Summit

Robert Alexander Long Mansion “Corinthian Hall”
Kansas City, Jackson County

Old Lexington City Hall
Lexington, Lafayette County

Washington Avenue Baptist Church
Springfield, Greene County

Livestock Exchange Building
St. Joseph, Buchanan County

Round Top Schoolhouse
Dallas, DeKalb County

The Lohman House
Jefferson City, Cole County

John Glaser Pottery Factory
Washington, Franklin County

William Brooks House
Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve County

Charbonier Bluff
St. Louis County


Longview Farm
Lee’s Summit | Jackson County

The inspiration of millionaire lumber baron Robert Alexander Long, Longview Farm is a National Register of Historic pLaces listed farm complex that exemplifies the vision of a planned “scientific farm.” When completed in 1916, the farm boasted a collection of some 40 structures. Each of the buildings was architecturally related with red tile roofs and stucco exteriors. Many of the buildings featured elaborate cupolas and custom coper weathervanes. Gazebos, pergolas, and planter boxes were used to provide a formal landscape component to the farm compound. Paved roads with gloves on metal light standards interlaced the farm adding a grand boulevard effect. Eight miles of white painted cypress fence defined the perimeter of the complex.

Longview Farm is threatened. The City of Lee’s Summit is in the planning stages of building a 4-lane Parkway extending from Interstate 470 to Highway 150. The Longview Parkway, as planned, would run through the boundaries of the Longview Farm National Register Historic District. Longview Properties LTD, the owner of Longview Farm, has maintained the mansion and repaired some of the gardens around the house. However, many of the buildings have not received any maintenance. Without governmental support, it appears that Longview Farm’s legacy of buildings and landscape will become nothing more than a memory.

Robert Alexander Long Mansion “Corinthian Hall”
Kansas City | Jackson County

The Robert Alexander Long Mansion known as Corinthinan Hall was completed in 1910. Architect Henry Ford Hoit designed this 70 room Beaux-Arts palace. Following Long’s death in 1934, Corinthian Hall was deeded by his family to the Kansas City Museum Association and subsequently to the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Years of public use and the lack of adequate maintenance have taken its toll on the estate which was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Rehabilitation estimates for the mansion and carriage house are upwards of $6 million dollars and with the lack of needed funds and a sound plan for raising the money, rehabilitation costs will continue to escalate, resulting in an uncertain future for this early 20th century landmark.

Old Lexington City Hall
Lexington | Lafayette County

Lexington Mayor Oswald Winkler was the man behind the 1906 Lexington City Hall. The 2 1/2 story structure, located on the town’s public square, incorporates walls of red brick manufactured locally. The red brick exterior is highlighted by buff brick corner pilasters, Carthage limestone window sills and trim, and concrete foundations. The roof is sheathed in slate and capped by an unusual floating dome supported by six ionic columns. Decorative lion heads and electric lights surround the base of the dome. The building remained the symbol and heart of town government for nearly 80 years, closing its doors in 1985.

Today, Lexington’s Old City Hall is suffering from demolition by neglect. Wooden window frames and architectural elements are in need of repair and paint; a leaking slate roof is causing interior damage; a bird infestation and failing guttering system are causing significant damage to the dome. The interior has suffered vandalism, including the breaking of original light fixtures and stairway balusters. A recent and extensive feasibility study was undertaken to examine the re-use potential of the building. The report found that the structure could be sensitively updated to meet current municipal needs. However, the City has failed to endorse a plan for re-use. A grassroots citizen campaign has begun to promote the building’s future but the deterioration and the cost associated with renovation continue to escalate, threatening the future of this landmark.

Washington Avenue Baptist Church
Springfield | Greene County

Washington Avenue Baptist Church is an important African-American historic site that has served the active ministry of its congregation since its construction in 1885. The congregation that worships at this site was organized in 1867. The eastern portion of Jordan Creek Valley, known as East side, served as the core residential neighborhood for Springfield’s African-American population.

Located south of the Midtown National Register Historic District and adjacent to Drury College, Washington Avenue Baptist Church is threatened with demolition by aggressive expansion plans by the college. the Church has agreed to sell the present church complex to Drury College which has indicated its intent to demolish the building. A grassroots campaign was formed to investigate alternatives to demolition. In August 1999, the Landmarks Commission reviewed and endorsed a concept plan recommending a relocation and adaptive reuse of the church as the only means of saving the structure from imminent demolition. Retention of architectural features and a relocation to a nearby site will hopefully enable future National register listing. The College is supportive. Unfortunately, time is running out and funds have not been secured to make the move a reality. Demolition is scheduled for May 2001, affording enough time to begin a serious fundraising effort for the move. A coordinated and energized local preservation effort is needed to ensure that a significant reminder of Springfield’s African American heritage is allowed to continue a ministry of dialogue, healing, and community betterment in the 21st century.

Livestock Exchange Building
St. Joseph| Buchanan County

The St. Joseph Livestock Exchange Building is a significant as one of the last remaining buildings of what was once a 440 acre complex of stockyards and packing houses in St. Joseph. Construction of this monumental, four story building of pressed red brick and stone began in 1898. Designed by the regionally-renowned architect Edmond J. Eckel, the building boasts a Classical Revival exterior with an imposing arched and colonnaded entrance and a central domed tower. The tower provided ample natural light to the building’s 105 rooms.

The decline of the Livestock Exchange Building mirrored the decline of the surrounding industry. Deferred maintenance has been a systemic problem as tenants continue to vacate the building. Today, only the first and second floors are occupied. Numerous windows are broken. Sections of the building’s cornice fell during a window storm in the spring of 1999; other sections are held in place by metal straps. There are holes in the roof of the tower. Masonry repointing in certain areas is needed. The interior has suffered from some insensitive remodeling which has diminished the presence of overlooked historic features. Preservation of the Livestock Exchange Building is necessary to preserve the last vestiges of St. Joseph’s livestock history.

Round Top Schoolhouse
Dallas | DeKalb County

Constructed in 1878 by Willis Burton, the Round Top Schoolhouse in DeKalb County’s Dallas township is significant as one of Missouri’s few remaining octagonally-shaped structures and as a one-room, rural schoolhouse. The property has been determined to be eligible for National Register listing as a result of a local county survey conducted in 1979. The Round Top School remained in active use until 1953 when the school was consolidated with the nearby Pattonsburg school system. Although a remodeling in the 1920s removed a central chimney and changed some of the building’s window locations, the school house retains its unique octagonal form, which was in vogue in the 1870s. The owner remains open to find a “preservation savior” for this building and will allow it to remain on site. But without immediate assistance, this building will be another victim of neglect, as its roof leaks and floors are beginning to fall in.

The Lohman House
Jefferson City | Cole County

The Louis Lohman house is one of the Capitol City’s most important residential landmarks. The 2 1/2 story modified Queen Anne brick house with Romanesque Revival influences was designed by the local architectural firm of Miller & Opel and constructed in 1893 in what was then a suburb of Jefferson City on South Jefferson Street. A 1921 fire destroyed the house’s original roofline which boasted two turrets, complicated gables, dormers, and roof cresting. A simplified early 20th century design was used for the replacement roof. The Lohman house remained in the Lohman family until 1969 when it was acquired by The Salvation Army which has used the house as its Jefferson City headquarters. Over the years, the house has suffered from deferred maintenance and insensitive alterations. The historic Lohman house now remains vacant and deteriorated, with no commitment from The Salvation Army on a re-use plan for the historic building.

Widespread community support for the preservation of the house exists. However, neither The Salvation Army management nor the Board of Directors have entertained a re-use plan. Efforts to locally designate the property have failed at the City Council level. Without The Salvation Army’s willingness to meet with the community and discuss viable plans for the re-use of the house, demolition appears likely.

John Glaser Pottery Factory
Washington | Franklin County

The John Glaser Pottery Factory at 812 W. Front Street was constructed about 1878 by Riverboat Captain Archibald Bryan. Research of early census records indicates the building was leased to John Glaser who operated a pottery factory at this location. It remained in active use as a pottery factory until the turn-of-the-century. The large rectangular building with a gable roof, stone foundation, and walls sheathed in narrow weatherboards was later converted to a tenement house. Today only a small portion of the building is occupied for residential purposes. The remainder of the building is vacant.

The significance of this building lies in its construction technology. The John Glaser Pottery Factory is by far the largest intact example in the town of Washington of a German-originated construction method known as Fachwerk and arguably one of the largest documented buildings of this construction type found in any of Missouri’s German settlement areas. Fachwerk, which is also known as Deutscher Verband, was used in Germany as early as the third century and is one of the most distinctly German construction methods found in Missouri. The building exhibits a heavy timber braced-frame structural system that is infilled with brick wall nogging. This important example of Fachwerk construction has no current use and is in danger of being lost due to deferred maintenance and demolition by neglect. There is signification deflection in the south wall of the building, reflecting structural problems. A structural assessment and stabilization effort are needed to save this wall from collapse. Roof leaks have also begun which will cause both structural and interior finish damage. Without intervention, this important example of Missouri-German building construction will be lost.

William Brooks House
Ste. Genevieve | Ste. Genevieve County

One in a row of houses along St. Mary’s Road associated with Ste. Genevieve’s African-American heritage, the William Brooks House is a rare survivor in a community known for its rich French Colonial heritage and architecture. The house is a classic example of a vernacular i-house form that was popular throughout the mid-to-late 19th century in Missouri and across the Midwest.

William Brooks was the patriarch of a much admired and highly respected family whose history communicates an important component of Ste. Genevieve’s history. Born in 1889, William was an employee of three prominent families in the community: St. Gemme, the Roziers, and the Valles. He was an honored and decorated World War I veteran who had served nobly in France in some of the haviest combat missions including Argonne Forest, Chateau Thiery, and Catigny, Reims and Mets. On July 14, 1928, William Brooks married Johannah McNabb, a school teacher. His was was the first African-American from Ste. Genevieve to earn a college degree. A much loved educator, she was elected Vice-President of the Missouri Parent Teachers Association in 1940, well before most Missouri schools were even desegregated. In 1941, she became a professor at Stowe Teachers College (now Harris-Stow University in St. Louis). All of the Brooks children went on to have highly successful careers and lives.

Unoccupied since the death of William Brooks in 1983, the house has suffered from years of deferred maintenance. The flood of 1993 resulted in further damage as flood waters inundated the first floor for nearly 6 weeks. Foundation walls have begun to fail, front porch structural work is needed, and the house’s rear el is in a state of near collapse. A grassroots effort has resulted in the creation of a committee which has secured a $5,000 grant to begin development of a local African American Interpretive Center. The committee hopes to persuade the family to donate or sell the property to a non-profit organization that could develop the site for this purpose. However, neither the funds nor the commitment from the family are in place to ensure that the William Brooks house will remain to tell the personal story of one family’s legacy to the African American heritage of Ste. Genevieve

Charbonier Bluff
St. Louis County

Charbonier Bluff was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 as Missouri’s first natural feature of historic significance. In 1804, Lewis and Clark wrote of passing a remarkable Coal Hill called by the French “Carbonare.” Charbonier Bluff is soon to be named an official Lewis and Clark Trail site by the National Park Service.

The Jesuits of St. Stanislaus Seminary eventually acquired the south third of the Bluff, using it for recreation and spiritual retreat. After the seminary closed in 1972, part of its land was acquired by the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation, and more recently management of that tract has passed to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The southern portion of the 240 acre bluff is now in public ownership, and the norther portion has been owned and maintained in natural state for many years by the Love family. The central 86 acres, however, were proposed in 1993 for the development of 228 houses, a move which would divide the bluff landscape in two and destroy its natural and historical integrity. Christy Love launched a campaign to save the Bluff, which resulted in nearly 8,000 letters of protest and put development plans on hold.

Now the development proposal has been revived. In the meantime, this part of the bluff has been annexed by the City of Hazelwood, which will have jurisdiction over the development request. To meet this threat, a group called Citizens to Save Charbonier Bluff is being organized, and a major letter writing campaign is again being planned. Ultimately the fate of Charbonier Bluff is in the hands of public officials.

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