2014 Most Notable Properties

The City of Columbia will soon be hosting the 2014 Most Notable Historic Properties event! The Historic Preservation Commission invites you to join them in recognizing five notable historic properties and the property owners preserving them on April 1. The reception begins at 6:30pm in the lobby of the Historic Daniel Boone Building, 701 E. Broadway. The recognition program will begin at 7pm. RSVPS are appreciated.

Listed below are the five most notable historic properties of 2014.

Fairview Methodist Church-1320 S. Fairview Road

            Fairview Methodist Church began in 1899 when founders J.B. Turner, J.P. Turner, and W.P. Smith decided that their community needed a church building. They all chipped in and with the help of donations they were able to build the church, which was dedicated on June 30, 1901. It was named “Fairview” by early church member Lochie Turner Martin, because “it looked so pretty sitting up on top of the hill like it does.” This Church, located at the intersection of Fairview and Chapel Hill, became the namesake for those two roads as the City of Columbia began to grow to the south and west.

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The original church was built using vernacular architecture, a style of architecture based on local needs and construction materials, and reflecting local traditions and building practices.

It burned to the ground in September 1940 due to an overheated stove. Only a few seats, the piano, and the pulpit were saved. Church services were held at a nearby school until a new church building could be built.

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The new building, a concrete block structure, reflecting the recent lesson on the flammable nature of wood, was dedicated on July 5, 1942. The replacement structure, which is constructed of fireproof concrete blocks, includes interior finishes that were installed by a member of the congregation, James Dorsey Grant with help from Emmet Maxwell. The Grant family has a long connection to the property. James Dorsey Grant’s son, Robert E. Grant, still helps operate the cemetery, and his father, Elijah Grant, owned a farm directly across the street from the church for decades.

In 1959, members again came together to build the front steeple and bell tower. The bell installed in the steeple was originally in the Methodist Church in Ashland, Missouri.

As the congregation grew, a campaign for a newer, bigger building began. Construction began in 1969 and the congregation worshiped in the new building for the first time on the last Sunday of August 1970.

The congregation sold the property to Rex and Carol Nothbohm, who opened the Countryside Nursery School there in 1979.

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Now on its second owner, the Countryside Nursery School has had more than 3,000 students over the years. It is one of the longest operating day care facilities in the city.

While the interior of the building has been modified from its original ecclesiastic purpose, the exterior remains highly intact today. Other examples of adaptive reuse in Columbia’s historic inventory include Ragtag Cinema (formally the Coca Cola Bottling Co.) and the Blue Note, which was once the Varsity Theater.

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Fairview Cemetery- S. Fairview Road at Chapel Hill

Fairview Cemetery began in 1914 when Elijah Grant, Dorsey Grant, Roy Grant, and J.A. Buffon, all of whom lived nearby, decided to found the cemetery on October 31, 1914.

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It was a common tradition to bury family members on your own property but it became less and less popular as the years went on, and country church cemeteries began to flourish in Boone County. Other historic cemeteries in what is now the city limits of Columbia include the Jewell, Columbia, and Calvary cemeteries.

The founding members bought the small piece of land behind the church and divided it in lots that they sold for $7.50 a piece with eight grave sites in each lot. (That would be $160 per lot today.)

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The cemetery is still active today and holds the history of many families, including the Grant’s.

Lee School-1208 Locust

Lee School was constructed in 1934 and is one of the oldest elementary school buildings in Columbia. It is only seven years newer than the oldest public elementary school, Thomas Hart Benton Elementary School, in the city to continuously operate at the same site.

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The original Lee School was built in 1904 at the corner of Waugh and Locust Streets, just west of the current building. It was opened in order to create more room for Benton and Jefferson Schools, the only other white elementary schools open at the time. The original four-room Lee School building was filled to capacity within a few years, prompting a large addition in the early 1920s. This addition was still unable to house enough students and by the 1930’s it was once again crowded as well as outdated.

In the 1930’s, the school board was able to take advantage of the federal public works program, which allowed for the construction of a large new professionally designed building on the lot next to the older school. It was one of several New Deal construction projects that took place in Columbia during the Great Depression. New Deal programs, which were developed by President Franklin Roosevelt to increase employment and lessen the impact of the Depression, funded public works projects across the country. Other New Deal historic properties in the city include the National Guard Armory and the Ellis Fischel State Cancer Hospital. (A complete list of Columbia’s New Deal buildings may be found here.)

The new Lee School was one of more than fifteen New Deal construction projects that were completed in Columbia during the Great Depression. The programs had a particularly strong impact upon educational facilities in Columbia; 12 of the 15 known local New Deal projects involved the construction of buildings for the University (Townshend Hall, Walter Williams Hall, and Ellis Library’s Northwest Addition are a few) and Columbia’s Public School system.

This plaque displays the schools year of erection and many important contributors and information including the president, vice president, builders, and architects.

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The prominent St. Louis architectural firm of Bonsack and Pearce designed Lee school. The firm began to emerge during the 1930s that specialized in school building architecture. They designed a number of New Deal funded schools across the state. They have been credited with at least 13 educational buildings in Missouri, including three in Columbia—the new Lee School, and large additions to Ridgeway and Douglass Schools.

The design of Lee school was based on the Collegiate Gothic style, which began in North America in the 1800s. Other schools designed with this same style include Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis.

Pike, Francis, House-1502 Anthony

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This East Campus giraffe rock house was built in 1939 for local historian Francis Pike, one of Columbia’s most significant historians in the last half of the 20th century. Francis Pike was an employee of the Columbia Daily Tribune for 75 years; he authored several books as well as a popular history column called “Mid-Missouri Memoirs.” He was president of the State Historical Society of Missouri and a long-time member of the Boone County Historical Society. He was also a Mizzou graduate of the 1932 Journalism school.

Francis Pike brought the stones used for the exterior walls from southern Missouri. The house was built in the Tudor Revival style and offers a rare local example of a native stone construction method that is often referred to as “Ozark Rock” or “Giraffe Rock.” Architecturally, the house offers an interesting combination of refined Tudor Revival styling and vernacular masonry. The steeply pitched roof, arched porch openings, and ornamental half timbering of the gable ends are common elements of the Tudor Revival style, which was popular for houses in many parts of the country from the late 1910’s until around 1940. The next Most Notable Property, 905 S. Providence Road, shares this architectural style.

Buildings of the Ozarks region of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas inspired the stonework used on the Pike house walls. Ozark Rock construction features undressed stone, or rock, generally used just as it came from the field. This distinctive method developed in the Ozarks, where rock was often more plentiful than farmland. Streets of Ozarks towns are often lined with modest rock buildings that were built in the early part of the 20th century. Although still familiar locally, Ozark Rock is much less common this far north, and only a few examples can be found in Columbia. The highest concentration may be seen on, and in the vicinity, of Jewell Avenue.

Thornton, Bessie, and Dr. J.E., House-905 S. Providence Road

            This Tudor Revival style house was built for Dr. James E. Thornton and his wife Bessie W. Thornton in 1926. Dr. Thornton was a local physician who served on the Columbia Board of Education in the 1910s, and as a trustee and college physician for Stephens College in the 1920s.

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This house was one of the first plat buildings to be completed in the Grasslands Addition to Columbia. The Grasslands Addition plat was created by the Rollins family, on land originally owned by G. B. Rollins.  It was named for his farm, Grasslands, which included hundreds of acres at one point. The Grasslands Addition was laid out by nationally renowned planning firm Hare and Hare, and soon became a residential neighborhood of choice for prominent Columbians. The standard of houses in the Grasslands was very high and were all built to a high architectural standard in order to create a unified appearance. These restrictions were set to make the addition the most beautiful residential district of Columbia.

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The Thornton family moved into the house in 1927. However, Mr. Thornton died that same year, not living to enjoy the new house. Mrs. Thornton moved away soon after, but kept the house as rental property. One of the first tenants was another doctor, Claude R. Bruner, who later purchased the original G.B Rollins family home, which is located just a few doors north of this property which is now the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, a 2010 Most Notable Property. In the late 1940’s, the Thornton house was purchased by Dean Parks, the owner of Parks Department Store, which was a thriving downtown business for several decades in the mid 1900s.

113 West Blvd. N.- Part I (The Exterior)

Nearly 5,000 vehicles and a few hundred bicyclists and pedestrians travel past Patrick Earney’s house at 113 West Boulevard North every day. Those that pass by on a regular basis over the past few months have watched Earney steadily renovate his 1,050 sq. ft. 1940 Tudor-inspired brick home. Now that the thoughtful addition is nearly done, the attention to every detail and design consideration, combined with the careful reuse of original and salvaged materials, makes the addition look as though it was there the day the home was built.

photo (5)The “before” picture is shown above. Notable architectural elements include brick arches or lunettes above each door, decorative limestone masonry infused into the red brick, and original windows.

When faced with the needs of an expanding family, Earney decided to maintain the historic integrity of his home, but squeeze in a little extra living space on the same 1940s footprint. It also helped that as a professional engineer and member of the Historic Preservation Commission, Earney was able to take on the majority of the design and construction work himself with a little help from friend and fellow HP Commissioner Robert Tucker. The plans Earney drew for the project may be downloaded here: TPE Garage 130904.

“I love my home and will live here forever. With a few tweaks to the floor plan, and a little extra space, I knew I could upgrade the functionality of my home but maintain its historic elements. Old homes have a charm and personality that can’t be replicated, and it was important that this addition look like it was always there.” –Earney

The new addition has gone along mostly to plan, with some upgrades and enhancements made along the way to turn this two-bedroom and two-bath home into a three-bedroom and four-bath home:

  • The original garage has been shortened to include an extra powder room  and mudroom area off the kitchen to the rear of the house
  • A master bedroom, bathroom and closet have been built on top of the garage and a front dormer window and two rear windows were added for natural light
  • A back door and deck will connect the back door to the back yard
  • Overall, about 300 sq. feet of living space will be added

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The garage was removed, as shown above (Earney is to the right), and a new foundation for the garage and addition was poured, as shown below. The exterior brick from the north side- where the addition would go- has been removed for re-use on the front of the addition.

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The picture below shows the new garage and master suite framed in and ready for brick, siding and shingles. Note how the new roof line seamlessly blends with the height of the original roof. photo (2)The picture below shows the exterior of the new addition nearly complete. One of the best ways for historic renovations to maintain the property’s historic integrity is to use original materials. The bricks removed from the original garage were reused, and the extra facade space above the garage allowed for Earney to incorporate the arched lunette design used above the doorways to visually enhance the space above the garage. This provides visual interest and continuity between the addition and the existing architecture.

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All of the new siding, windows soffits and fascia will be matched to the original materials, and painted to provide a perfect color match between the existing and new wood trim.

The garage door will be re-installed, and a new driveway will be poured next.photo (1)

The rear window shown in the picture below now provides light into a bathroom instead of a garage. The back door will provide access to the back yard once a landing and stairs are built.  Two new windows matched to the original windows provide light and a view of the back yard to the master bathroom and bedroom addition.

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“Older homes have great lots, locations, and architecture– something that new construction just can’t match. Property owners should not be afraid to make small changes to their historic homes to meet modern needs because it isn’t difficult to do it right. This addition enhances the existing architecture of the home by building upon its unique architectural elements and using appropriate building materials. The effect is subtle and enhanced, not jarring and obvious. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that any addition is proportional to the house. I had to compromise on some internal functionality to ensure that the addition looked like original construction” — Earney

Interested in taking on your own project? The Historic Preservation Commission provides technical assistance to property owners wanting to renovate or rehabilitate while maintaining their home’s historic charm.

Great progress has been made on the exterior of this lovely home, and the inside has been transformed as well! Stay tuned for Part II for a tour of the interior of the addition to 113 West Blvd. N.!

The Guitar Mansion

ImageWhile Missouri, and certainly Boone County, are not considered to be part of the South, there are a few reminders lingering in the area that remind central Missouri residents that we are not as far as we may think. One such reminder is the Guitar Mansion, one of the few remaining antebellum houses within the city of Columbia, and is, according to the National Register of Historic Places, a “near-perfect” example of the Italianate style. The Guitar Mansion, is located at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road in north-central Columbia on what was named Confederate Hill by later owners of the property.

The mansion and the surrounding property has switched ownership numerous times throughout its history and is currently owned, after a nearly three year vacancy, by Elena Vega, who unexpectedly bought the property at auction in 2010 for $155,500, with her husband, Patrick Westhoff. In addition to no shortage of restoration projects within the house, another project that Ms. Vega has undertaken is the restoration of the mansion’s original summer kitchen. This summer kitchen, as the name implies, would have been used as the primary cooking area during the hot summer months so as to keep the actual house cooler. There is also speculation that the summer kitchen could have been used at some point immediately after the Mansion’s construction as a slave cabin.

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Ms. Vega has stated that she would like to restore the kitchen to working order while preserving as much of the original material as possible. She would also like to do the same with the mansion itself, however, in both cases, after several previous owners and restoration projects, a fair portion of the materials, especially within the house, are not original. Much of the kitchen will be restored with functionality in mind, meaning that not all materials could be original.

The existence, preservation, and renovation of this historic property serve to underscore the importance of this period of time in American history and further emphasize Missouri’s unique position along the brushstrokes painted from North to South and East to West across this country.


St. Joseph Street Builders Cottage

The Kennans purchased their home in 2006 and have renovated it through the City of Columbia’s Rehabilitation Program. Built between 1900 and 1907, this “Gabled Ell” House (Gable-Front-and-Wing, Plains Cottage) is located on St. Joseph Street. This style property was popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Gabled Ells were also common in “dressing up” the property with minor elements of high style architecture, especially with front porches, seen with this property. Though this home has been around for a hundred-plus, the street address has always been 305, even though this was not the historical trend.

The Keenans worked with the original structure of the home adding only minor exterior changes such as the shutters.

The Keenans worked with the original structure of the home adding only minor exterior changes such as the shutters. This picture shows the final exterior!

The Keenans were drawn to the St. Joseph property because of their love for historical homes and the North Village area in Columbia. Both have lived downtown Columbia for the majority of their time as residents. While looking for a historic home in downtown Columbia, the Keenans jumped on the chance to purchase their home and quickly fell in love with it.

One of the first property owners were John H. and Elizabeth Asbury who moved there after their retirement from farming. In 1923, John A. Cavanaugh, who was an engineer with the University of Missouri, moved into the property. Cavanaugh, with his wife, Mollie, lived in the home until 1933 when he moved to Kansas City as a stationary engineer. In 1940, J. Frank and Irene Spencer became the owners. Mr. Spencer served as a fireman for Columbia and also worked with the University of Missouri. With the current property owners, it would seem that the cycle has come full circle. Through research, the homeowners found that their single family home was the Asbury’s dream retirement home, same as it is to them.

The Keenans began their major renovation in 2009 and while they consider their project ongoing, they have moved from major fixes to more cosmetic renovations. Through utilizing local renovation programs such as the City of Columbia’s Rehabilitation Program and a local weatherization program through Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), the renovation became a reality. The Keenans also had to do a lot of major work such as foundation work to secure their home, a new partial roof, adding insulation and consistent wiring throughout. While these major projects may seem intimidating, the Keenans had a great team of contractors to help them through. They also renovated their kitchen and bathroom up to modern conveniences. In order to add more flow, due to the lack of hallways in their home, the Keenans took out the wall separating the kitchen and living room. All of the major renovations worked to make their home up to modern code and more energy efficient.

With all major renovations completed, the Keenans have shifted to more cosmetic changes. For the exterior, the Keenans have also repainted their home and made minor addition, like trim and shutters. With these cosmetic changes, the homeowners have strived to keep the spirit of their historic home alive by following its architectural details. They stayed true to the 6-panel doors throughout the home when replacing them and reused the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom by using a more-modern color palette and adding features that fit their style. Every renovation effort strives to keep the spirit of the North Village Arts District alive in hopes of inspiring families to renovation the historic homes just as the Keenans have.

Kitchen Area Before

Here is the after picture of the kitchen. This is a great example of the how the Keenans reused various materials throughout the home by just updating them cosmetically, like the cabinets with paint.

Here is the after picture of the kitchen. This is a great example of the how the Keenans reused various materials throughout the home by just updating them cosmetically, like the cabinets with paint.

The Keenans stress patience when working with older homes! Things can turn up but the end result is worth it. They worked with a great group of talented contractors that helped keep the project inexpensive. The owners also utilized various rehabilitation programs that made the project doable for them and would highly suggest looking into the resources the city offers! Their renovations are not done yet with future plans to redo the floors throughout the home. Below the Keenans have recommended a few contractors for historic property owners.

Thank you to the Keenans for their assistance in this article and also for their dedication to historic preservation in the City of Columbia.

Until Next Time, Teagan (the current HPC Intern)

Suggested Contractors:

-RDH Construction for general contracting needs (573-826-8125)

-Cal-Air Mechanical LLC for air conditioning needs (573-544-5423)

-Enrich Construction for roofing

-Joe Coke of Kraftwerks for woodworking and carpentry (573-355-2477)

***Pictures were taken by the property owners.

***Historical research of the home is credited to Deb Sheals, who was contracted by the homeowners.

Glenwood Avenue Craftsman-style Tudor Revival

Located on Glenwood Avenue, the Craftsman-style Tudor Revival residence is approaching its 100th birthday in 2015, which is why the property owners decided to kick off the two phase renovation. Douglas and Jami Jones first bought the property in 2009 and began the renovations in 2010. The Joneses have always loved older homes. After moving to Columbia in 2000, they became familiar with Old Southwest neighborhoods throughout Columbia and jumped on the chance to live in one of those neighborhoods in 2009, when they bought their current home. The distinct architectural style first drew Jones to his home. The historical trend with homes during the time of its building was to simplify and go against the frills of the Victorian era.

Front of Jones Home

The Craftsman-style Tudor Revival has quite a history, which is one of the reasons the Joneses loves the property. Built by Edwin B. Branson, a prominent geology professor at the University of Missouri, in 1915, the property still has a lot of the original aspects. In addition to Branson, Clay and Frances Cooper were also owners of the property. Clay was not only a Mizzou alum and talented athlete in football, basketball, and track but also coached football and basketball from 1947 until 1975.

Before the renovation began, the Joneses spent months and months on research to preserve the historical aspect of the home. The Joneses not only worked with their architect for over a year but also attended workshops to educate themselves on how to build things like windows and their jambs to keep the home as historically accurate as possible.

The five-year renovation plan is characterized by two facets: renovating the entire existing structure up to modern standards and two additions that created a new kitchen, master bedroom, and garage. Both of these facets are working to update the mechanical components while maintaining the historic aesthetic of the home. The historically-sensitive addition will model the original architecture of the home and use as many traditional building materials as possible, such as real stone veneer, salvaged windows, and original period light fixtures. The Joneses are always working to create a consistent look throughout his almost 100 year old home through these salvages. The couple worked to create the most environmentally friendly renovation that they could by reusing various materials from other parts of their home and neighbor’s homes, as well.

As you can see the original part of home aligns nicely with the addition and please note the window vacancies, which will all be filled with salvaged windows.

As you can see the original part of home aligns nicely with the addition and please note the window vacancies, which will all be filled with salvaged windows.

While the Joneses used contractors for the major elements of the renovation such as the foundation, framing, and roofing, they are doing the rest of the work in terms of plumbing, wiring, windows, etc. He cannot wait for the renovations to be finished to celebrate his home’s 100th birthday. While he is sure he will enjoy the final project, he wishes he would have stuck to the original footprint of the home versus the additions. While no renovation is completely conflict free, the cost, time, and complications of addition have been taxing.

As you can see, the windows and addition were made to match the original architecture of the home.

As you can see, the windows and addition were made to match the original architecture of the home.

While Douglas was very self-sufficient throughout the project, he did suggest a helpful resource for homeowners. For do-it-yourselfers who are looking to preserve the historic elements of your home, Jones suggested looking at The Belvedere School in Hannibal. The school offers three-day hands-on workshops in a variety of topics like how to build your own storm windows and how to refinish floors. He also stresses the importance of an architect who is fluent in old, historic homes. Jones relied heavily on his architect to help preserve the historic aspect of the home.

The five-year renovation is over half way through and Jones’ favorite part of the renovation is definitely the windows. As a self-proclaimed window geek, he worked to make sure he would not be mixing new windows with the old, original windows. He salvaged windows from other neighborhood houses to keep the look throughout his home, and built the 21 needed window jambs himself. For property owners looking for information on how to repair historic windows, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior provides a step-step guide online here. For those looking to install historically-sensitive modern windows, the Secretary of the Interior has information on selecting appropriate windows online here.

These windows were salvaged by Douglas Jones and placed into the addition. The windows have been stormed proofed effectively and are still historically accurate.

This is the original structure of the home. Please draw attention to all of the small architectural details. The Joneses will be working to duplicate things like the windows and the posts below the roof.

With 2015 coming quickly, the Joneses are working to push through their renovation to fully celebrate the 100th birthday of the property.

Thank you to the Jones family for assisting in this article. Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, Teagan (the current HPC Intern).

If you are interested in having your property featured, let us know via the contact page and fill out the survey here.

Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by CoMo Revamp: Adventures in Historic Preservation! Soon we will begin posting about local historic renovations in Columbia, Missouri. The posts will discuss the project, tips from the property owners, local resources, and much more.

Do you think you would be interested in having your property featured? Is your property at least 50 years old and within the Columbia city limits? We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form to express your interest along with sending us an email at cityofcolumbiahpc@gmail.com and we will be in touch!

This blog was made and is maintained by the historic preservation intern.