Apartments, Black History, Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Events, Get involved, Historical Homes

Meeting Saturday: Saving my father’s bookcase

On Saturday, April 6, you’re invited to help write Columbia’s action plan for historic preservation at a meeting from 10 – 11:45 a.m. It will be held in the historic J.W. “Blind” Boone House at 10 N. Fourth Street. Free coffee and snacks will start the event at 9:45 a.m.

It’s a chance to be heard by the Historic Preservation Commission members and help write how we as residents of Columbia want to preserve our history.

So, what do you think should be the city’s priorities? How do you think historic preservation could benefit you? Reply here or on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission’s Facebook page.

Why this is important: My father’s bookcase

For me, historic preservation comes back to my father’s bookcase. When my brothers and I were cleaning out my mother’s house, long after my father had died, one of them held up this battered bookcase/table combination. It didn’t look like much. It was painted a generic white. Clearly, it had seen better days. But just before my brothers tossed it into the dumpster, I said, “I think Dad made that in shop in high school.” We all stopped. “Really? I didn’t know that,” one of my brothers said. “Yeah, I think so,” I said.

We kept it. That’s what historic preservation is all about to me. It wasn’t the bookcase itself. There are lots of small white bookcases in the world. But it was the fact that my father made it — and trust me he wasn’t a master craftsman when he made that bookcase. It gave us a chance to remember and talk about a man who loved and cared for his family the best way he knew how, working long hours, two jobs and repairing everything himself.

Columbia’s bookcases

    • If you were around in 2000/2001, you may remember we almost lost Stephens Park to development. Instead, a city government-citizen partnership provided the push and funding to allow the purchase of this land for one of our city’s most beautiful parks.
    • Or maybe you recall the near loss in 2013 of the Neidermeyer Apartments
    • We’ll be holding the meeting one of the city’s most important historic preservation wins, a journey that took 16 years, the J.W. “Blind” Boone House.

If we’d lost the Boone house, we would have lost the reminder of a man who was born in 1864, the child of a contraband former slave and a Union army bugler. Boone went on to tour the country as a classical and ragtime composer and musician becoming one of the richest men in Boone County before his 1927 death. 

What “bookcases” in Columbia do you want to save? How can the HPC better serve you? What partners should the Commission be seeking?

Let’s have coffee on Saturday and talk about it. I’ll be there to tell you more about my Dad.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Events, Get involved

Ready to get plastered? Oct. 13 plaster workshop

Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission is offering a one-day workshop on how to repair your own plaster.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2018. It will be held in the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Area at 1905 Hillcrest Drive in Columbia. The cost is $85.

Sign up now, as space is limited.

The event, according to a HPC Facebook post, will be taught by Eric Aulbach, who has more 30 years experience in traditional plaster repair, patching, skim coats, drywall repair, exterior stucco, polished Italian/Venetian plasters, ornamental, cove work and imitation marble in slab and veneer methods.

The workshop will include the basics of plastering, the differences between plaster and drywall, safety and simple shortcuts.

Sign up here, you’ll need the class code 113143 or the location to use the search function. The event is co-sponsored with Columbia’s Parks and Rec.

Why take the class? The HPC Facebook post notes, “This workshop will help property owners save money by being able to patch plaster themselves. A typical 2 square foot ceiling patch in St Louis would cost between $350.00-450.00 to hire a plasterer to do the repair.”

  • Check-in is at 8:45 a.m.
  • Lunch will be provided with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
  • Wear clothes you can get dirty and shoes with substantial protection from falling tools. No open toe shoes, please.

Location:
Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Area
1905 Hillcrest Drive
Columbia, MO 65201
White Pole Barn (From the entrance off Old 63 – follow the asphalt road to the top of the hill until you arrive at a parking lot adjacent to the white building.)

Questions? Contact Pat Fowler, chair of the City of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, fowlerpatj@gmail.com with plaster workshop in the subject line or text your question to 573-256-6841.

Apartments, Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, demolition, Events

You can make a difference

If you’ve ever felt discouraged about the demolition of Columbia’s historic structures, here’s a way you can get involved. The Columbia Historic Preservation Commission schedules work days to save parts of houses and structures before they’re demolished. Those items are then stored and later offered for sale.

Door and hardware from 121 S. Tenth St., March 1, 2016.
Solid wood doors and hardware saved prior to the demolition of the James Apartments, 121 S. Tenth St.

You can get involved saving these important parts of buildings before they’re lost.

Here’s a message from Pat Fowler, chair of the HPC:

Saturday, June 17, we are planning a salvage work day and a small scale salvage on a house soon to be demolished.  We need about 10 volunteers, in four-hour shifts, and a couple of pick-up trucks.  The city has set aside salvage from the Blind Boone home renovation and materials donated for our transport to our salvage barn in Rock Quarry Park.

One team will go to the little house and then join us to transport the Blind Boone salvage.

Part of our plan is to label the source of the Blind Boone Salvage and other items so that when we offer them for sale later this summer, we can convey to our purchasers as much information as we haveThe little house has some cool cabinets, some trim and we’d like to practice pulling some hardwood floor.

One of our new members on Historic Preservation, John Gagliardi, will be our team lead on the little house.

If you are interested, please send an email to fowlerpatj@gmail.com, or message us on the City of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission Facebook page, with your contact info.  We’ll send out specific start times, a suggested list of things to bring and be ready for your participation.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Commercial, Commercial Buildings, Notable Properties List

The Blue Note and Ragtag/Uprise/Hitt Records buildings honored

This just in — the buildings that house The Blue Note, Ragtag Cinema, Uprise Bakery and Hitt Records will be honored with a new award.

According to this Columbia Missourian March 28, 2017 article, Brent Gardner is creating Cornerstones to highlight downtown businesses and buildings.

The article states that the building at 10 Hitt St. was once the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plant, built in 1935. The site where The Blue Note is now, 17 N. Ninth St., was where the Star theatre was before the Varsity Theatre was built by Tom C. Hill, who also owned the Hall Theatre, according to the article.

Gardner, the article reports, said an event to celebrate the two businesses could be held in July.

Gardner is a former member of the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, which overseas the city’s Most Notable Properties list and celebration.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Commercial, Commercial Buildings, demolition, Events

April 1 new Bull Pen salvage date

The salvage date for the Bull Pen Cafe has been pushed back to 8 a.m. Saturday, April 1, according to this update from Pat Fowler, a member of the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission

Fowler posted on Facebook, “More information following. Stay tuned. You are cordially invited to attend, tell stories, help us remove the seating and the barn wood inside the sales ring. Bring tools, wear goggles. You get the picture.”

As previously posted, Fowler is looking for help to salvage parts of the Bull Pen Cafe, a local eatery that was open for 60 years prior to its closing in 2007. Salvage efforts are planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25. The Bull Pen is at 2310 Business Loop, Columbia, Missouri.

She and the commission are also looking for stories about the Bull Pen Cafe. For more information, contact Fowler at fowlerpatj@gmail.com, call or text (573) 256-6841.

As Fowler wrote on her Facebook page, and I’m posting her with her permission:

“You may have heard the Bull Pen Cafe will be demolished in the coming weeks. If you grew up in Columbia and attended a livestock auction, you’ll remember the amphitheater seating immediately behind the restaurant. We’d like to remove as many of those seats as we can muster volunteers for. There are also some other cool amenities inside that space we’d like to remove and put in the salvage barn for an upcoming city sponsored sale. Message me here, or on the HPC FB page if you can help. There are lots of great stories to ‘show and tell’ about the Bull Pen Cafe. We’d like to hear them.”

The upcoming demolition was covered in this March 10, 2017 Columbia Missourian article headlined, “Bull Pen Cafe building will face the wrecking ball.”

Here’s a link to a July 20, 2008 Columbia Missourian article about the Bull Pen. The headline is, “Cafe irreplaceable to regulars.

 

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, demolition, Historical Homes, Notable Properties List

Why not nominate your home for Notable Properties designation?

Worried about restrictions? Think your home isn’t grand enough? Fearful of extra taxes? Shrinking from publicity? Fear not.

If these are reasons you are avoiding or someone you know is putting off nominating a property to the Columbia’s Notable Properties list, that’s balderdash.

Modest homes like a Cape Cod at 1252 Sunset Drive has been named to the list. Worried you’ll have to keep up appearances? Bah. The house on the list at Garth and Worley, a shotgun house, isn’t even at that spot anymore! Concerned you won’t be able to do as you like with your house? The Annie Fisher house at 2911 Old Highway 63 South was torn down in 2011, without nary a petition or protest to mark its passing.

2911 Old 63 S., Annie Fisher House, demolished 2011
2911 Old 63 S., Annie Fisher House, demolished 2011

Here’s a brochure about what it means to have a property listed.

So am I going to nominate my home? Yes, I just might, but it might not meet the criteria. My house is older than 50 years, at least part of it. An addition was added at some point, but this opportunity gives me a chance to do some digging, and as a journalist, that digging is what I love.

It might not meet the other criteria such as whether anything of local, regional or national note ever took place here, unless I can count starting this blog with its 43,488 followers. As for the unusual or notable architectural qualities, I think as a ranch style, one of the country’s most popular forms, that might make it worthy.

Think you might want to give it a try? Here’s the application form.

With less than two months for nominations to Columbia’s Notable Property list, this article in the Columbia Missourian frets that only one property has been submitted for consideration.

So what is holding you back?

 

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, demolition

Learn and snag some history

Looking for something unique? Want to learn how to fix up your home?

Both of those two possibilities will be on tap from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11 at the city’s storage barn in Rock Quarry Park at 2002 Grindstone Parkway.

Members of the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission and untold volunteers have managed to snag and store items from more than a dozen historic buildings that have been razed. Now, those items that range from bathtubs to window frames will be sold.

But it’s not just a historic shop-a-thon. According to this article in the Columbia Daily Tribune, there will be workshops at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday to help people learn how to reinstall the doors and windows.

The sale will be cash or check only, noted Pat Fowler, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, in the article. The take from the sale will go to the city and set aside for future preservation efforts.

Can’t attend the sale or workshops? You can still keep up with preservation efforts by connecting with the Facebook page of the City of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.