Opportunity or Trajedy? Guitar Mansion/Confederate Hill

Guitar Mansion, dubbed Confederate Hill in the 1940s, at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road is going up for Absolute Real Estate Auction on October 18, 2010. A viewing day is slated for Sept. 18, 2010.

An absolute auction means whatever the price is when the gavel goes down, that what the house will be sold for. Some auctions have a floor bid, but not this one.

The house has been vacant for some time, but well cared for. Once slated to become a bed and breakfast, the house has a commercial grade kitchen and amazingly has retained much of the historic features.

Built in roughly 1862, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

The agent listing the house says she’s had inquires from all over the nation. Let’s hope so. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of many of the fine mansions that once lined our streets.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some of the characteristics of St. Genevieve, a destination for its historic sites? Or St. Charles? Or even Independence, a thriving city which also has a historic flavor to it far beyond its ties to Truman.

Interested in learning more about this landmark home? This auction flier outlines the characteristics of the home.

Oct 18 Absolute Auctions

Nominate A Building

It is your turn to decide what building, home or area should be on the Most Notable Properties list of the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.

Nominations are being taken for selection for the list. Here’s a link to more information and the nomination form. Nominations are due by Oct. 1, 2010. The gala event announcing the winners will be in February 2011.

The criteria are:

  • Properties must be at least 50 years old.
  • Located within Columbia’s city limits.
  • Have architectural or historic characteristics that contribute to Columbia’s social or aesthetic resources.

What kind of buildings or areas have made the list in the past? The brick streets of Columbia are on the list, as are several public schools. A modest Cape Cod is on the list as well as Columbia’s more majestic mansions including Maplewood. Two bed and breakfast locations are on the list. But the list also includes scores of residential homes that may look quite ordinary to some, yet have historic value either due to their former owners or the building’s qualities.

You can’t win if you don’t play and Columbia can’t laud historic properties if someone doesn’t nominate them.

Here’s your chance.

Street Renaming Controversy Not New

Recently, there’s been a move afoot to rename Maryland Avenue at the University of Missouri to Tiger Avenue.

Reports indicate some controversy about the proposal. Research on the historic significance of Maryland Avenue even reached back to an October 23, 1912 article in the University Missourian newspaper, with the help of the Western Historic Manuscript Collection.

But such divided opinions on renaming streets isn’t new. In 1957, work was being done on Third Street. What? Can’t find Third Street in Columbia? That’s because today it is Providence Road.

Nor is it the first time people sought to rename a street to up the recognition of the University of Missouri.

In 1957, there was a move to change the name of Third Street to Caniff Road. Caniff? What? Why Caniff?

In the 1940s, Milton Caniff was the creator of the then famous Steve Canyon comic strip, according to “A Boone County Album,” published in 1971.

Caniff visited Columbia and incorporated a character Miss Mizzou into his syndicated strip. Much hoopla occurred during the years, with a model being chosen to represent Miss Mizzou. She was Miss Bek Stiner then of the chorus of the Coppacabana Night Club in New York City. (Unusual spelling of first names, apparently, isn’t new either.)

Then in 1952, Miss Stiner appeared at half-time at the Missouri homecoming football game, according to “A Boone County Album.” In 1957, the book relates, “A group of businessmen felt that since Mr. Caniff had been so kind and had given the University of Missouri so much good publicity, he should be remembered by renaming Third Street, Caniff Road.”

However, then as now, opinion was divided. Letters to the editor, radio spots and editorials took sides, with people weighing in from all over the world.

“Actual battle was avoided when the City Council selected ‘Providence Road’ for the new name,” the book continues. Finally, a private developer did name a few streets with a nod to Milton Caniff, Steve Canyon and Miss Mizzou by naming streets Caniff Circle, Canyon Drive and Mizzou Place, according to “A Boone County Album.”

Something to think about the next time you are driving down Third Street — I mean Providence Road.

Brick Streets – History under our feet

Sometimes history is truly right under our feet. That’s the case with Columbia’s brick streets, named to the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission’s list of Most Notable Historic Properties in 2010.

From 1909 to 1915, many of Columbia’s streets were paved using bricks. 

Today, many of these streets have been covered by asphalt or concrete, but a few brick streets remain, including Cherry Street, Glenwood, University Avenue and Waugh.

Some communities are removing the covering over the bricks and revealing the historic paving.

Click here to see a map of where the brick streets are or were.

Here’s a list of the streets.

Cherry Street. From 4th Street to 7th Street. Paved 1912
University Avenue. From College Avenue to South William Street. Paved 1911
Lee Street. Bouchelle Avenue to Wilson Ave. Paved 1909
Bouchelle Avenue. From College Ave. to S. William St. Paved in 1909
Short Street. From Broadway to Walnut St. Paved in 1909
Waugh Street. From Broadway to Locust St. Paved in 1911
Glenwood Avenue. From Broadway to Stewart Road. Paved in 1909
Sanford Street. From Conley Avenue to Turner Avenue. Unknown when paved.
Seventh Street. From Locust Street to Elm Street. Paved in 1912
Lowry Street (Lowry Mall). From Ninth Street to Hitt Street. Paved circa 1915. Original bricks were used to repave the street into a mall in 1984.