Historical Homes

Demolition of four 90-plus-year-old homes planned

Should historic homes be demolished to accommodate the growth of Columbia?

As Columbia grows, it will face more and more such questions, just as it has in the past. The Missouri Theatre, built in 1928, displaced the home that was once there. Now, there are four homes built from 1900-1915 that will probably be demolished to accommodate the building of new apartment buildings. Jon and Nathan Odle have requested a rezoning permit for the area.

An article published on Dec. 16, 2010 in the Columbia Missourian states the construction would “displace four homes, a grassy field and an existing parking lot.” Displaced means torn down, destroyed, razed. As a member of a city commission wondered aloud at a recent meeting, will the new apartments be built to stand the test of time, as have these Victorian homes?

The homes are at 113 College, built 1900, 1211 E. Walnut, built 1915 and 1215 E. Walnut Street, built 1900. Some comments on the Columbia Missourian site showed residents would welcome one of the houses being destroyed, calling the pink house ugly.

But is that what we want? Victorian homes, even ugly ones, demolished?

Some old Victorians can become what are called “Painted ladies,” renovated and spruced up. They can even become tourist draws, such as those in San Francisco.

On the other hand, an old house sometimes is just an old house.



Missouri Theatre: A history of volunteerism

Here’s an article about the Missouri Theatre that outlines how many buildings are saved: through the efforts of volunteers.

Missouri Theatre, built in 1928, could have ended up like so many of the beautiful movie palaces, divided into tiny little screening rooms. But volunteers and others worked to save the theatre in its glorious original state. The theatre is now facing financial troubles and crushing debt, but still, volunteers like Marge Berchek continue to work to save it. The building was named to the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission’s Most Notable Properties in 2000.

Click here to read the entire article by Keija K. Parssinen published on Dec. 10, 2010 in the Columbia Business times.


Historical Homes

See Boone County “poor farm”

No need to leave go outside to see this historic home at 1601 Stoney Brook Drive.

Reputed to be the oldest home in Boone County, it started out as Boone County’s “poor farm,” a place for the sick or indigent.

You can see this historic home here on OldHouses.com, a site dedicated to “celebrating the glory of historic homes.”

This house is now privately owned and is not currently for sale, but these photos are in the archives of this site.

This home was built in 1864 according to materials provided by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, however, another source notes it was built in 1854. It was named to the Columbia Most Notable Properties list in 2008 — the 100th such designation.

According to information provided by the city of Columbia: “The land was purchased in 1854 by the court from Murdock and Anne Garrett to establish a county infirmary or poor farm for the county’s indigent citizens. The infirmary was erected in 1864 and was maintained by the county until 1898 when the land property was sold to J.B. Turner. This property represents the 100th selection of Most Notable Property by the Historic Preservation Commission.”

Commercial, General, National Register of Historic Places

A nude calendar in Columbia’s future?

Every day it seems Columbia faces yet another historic building that is seeking financial support — the Missouri Theatre, the Blind Boone home and perhaps, one day the Annie Fisher home.

But in Rapid City, South Dakota, they’ve taken action and taken off their clothing for historic buildings. Twelve business men have posed nude for a fund-raising calendar which highlights historic buildings.

This article describes this effort of Rapid City business men to support the historic preservation efforts of their city. The article notes a similar effort in Oregon raised $250,000 for historic renovation and preservation.

The article notes two important things: 1) Few people asked to help turned down the request; 2) Those involved said it was important that people look for new and fun ways to raise money for such important ventures.

Even if such an effort raised $250,000 here in Columbia, it wouldn’t solve all of the Missouri Theatre’s $2.5 million debt problem, but it would be a big step forward.

I think it’s a great idea and would love to buy such a calendar here in Columbia, Missouri.



Heibel-March Building at 900-902 Range Line faces opportunity

Built in 1927, the Heibel-March Building now faces a possible new life as the headquarters for Legacy Construction. The building was named to Columbia’s Notable Properties list in 2005.

Below is a newspaper article that outlines the current possibility for the building.

Dec. 8, 2010, Historic Preservation Commission endorses Heibel-March purchase, Columbia Daily Tribune.

Dec. 7, 2010, Historic Preservation Commission votes to keep Heibel-March Building alive, Columbia Missourian.

Historical Homes

Home at the Guitar Mansion at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road

Guitar Mansion at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road will once again be a home. Purchased in October by Elena Vega, in December 2010, the Columbia Missourian published an article on her plans to return the 1860s home to a private residence. It had been operated as a bed and breakfast as well as an event venue.

By the way, you can still take a peek inside, via this Dec. 11, 2009 slide show on the Columbia Tribune’s website. http://www.columbiatribune.com/photos/galleries/2009/dec/11/saving-guitar-mansion/flash/

Media Report:

Dec. 6, 2010, Unexpectedly purchased, Guitar Mansion to be a home again, Columbia Missourian. The link to the article is: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/12/06/unexpected-owner-guitar-mansion-keep-home/

According to previous news reports, the home had been vacant for several years until Pat Westhoff and Elena Vega bought the historic property on Oct. 18, 2010 at absolute auction for $155,500. The house previously had been on the market for $499,000.

Here are links to the articles about the auction of the property:

Historic Guitar Mansion sold at auction for $155,000, Oct. 19, 2010, Columbia Daily Tribune.
Historic Guitar Mansion sold to surprised bidder, Oct. 18, 2010, Columbia Missourian.

The home at 2815 Oakland Gravel Road was built 1862. The residence of David Guitar, for a time it was called the Guitar Mansion. Much later, the house became known as Confederate Hill.

This Late Victorian Italianate style home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 9, 1993.

After that, the house had since fallen on tough times. Once slated for a bed and breakfast, today the house is sided by subdivisions and on the market at a bargain price —  $499,000. 

Despite the nearby homes, the landscaping and slope of the home allows you to approach the home and look out the windows seeing it much as it must have looked when it was built between 1859 and 1862.


August 8, 2004. Visions of the past. Columbia Daily Tribune.
Summary: The Guitar House becomes a bed and breakfast under the ownership of Noel and Mary Ann Crowson. Includes photographs of the restored home, historic photos of Odon Guitar, David Guitar and graphics on the additions to the home from 1859-1940.