Events, Get involved, Historic Hours, Missouri Preservation

Hate change? St. Louis event might change your mind

I’m going to admit it: I hate change. But an event set in St. Louis on Friday, July 20, 2018 has me rethinking my attitude.

From 5-8 p.m., a Missouri Preservation fundraiser will be held in the Arcade Building at 800 Olive St., in St. Louis, and the event will include rooftop views of the Arch, music, an open bar and appetizers.

Vacant for nearly 30 years, the former office/retail block is now an apartment complex with commercial space — with special appeal to artists.  The National Historic Landmark building includes more than 11,000 square feet of shared work and studio spaces including a “music and multi-media studio, and music practice rooms, ” according to the Arcade website.

One of the commercial residents is Webster University’s Gateway Campus. It occupies 54,000 square feet of the building, according to this Oct. 3, 2017 news release from Webster University.

Ideas for change in Columbia?

OK, so maybe I am learning to like change. Maybe you can, too. What kind of change like this would you like to see in Columbia?

Ready to get in the car?

This event is a fundraiser for Missouri Preservation, a nonprofit historic preservation organization. The cost is $30 for Missouri Preservation members and $40 for nonmembers. What do you get for this? The event will include tours of the award-winning renovated 1919 building called a “Gothic Revival skyscraper.” It also will include music performed by Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, and an open bar and appetizers from Urban Eats.

Can’t go, but you still want to see it?

This June 6, 2018 post on the National Association of Home Builders site will give you a sweet peek. The NAHB awarded the Arcade Apartments with not one, but two awards.

In 2017, the Arcade was named the Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Award winner in the “Best Affordable Apartment Community (Over 100 units)” category, said Crystal Jackson of the NAHB via an email. Jackson is the association’s director of multifamily and 55plus housing.  She added, “The Arcade was also a finalist in the “Best Adaptive Reuse” category in 2017.”

Here’s a peek at the project as it was underway via this Dec. 23, 2015 article in the St. Louis Business Journal.

So what kinds of renovations for buildings would you like to see in Columbia? 

 

 

 

Events, Missouri Preservation

Apply now! Preservation conference scholarships available until April 9 close of business

I wanted to headline this as free money because it sounds so exciting to me.

Turns out there are 10 scholarships still available for the 2018 Missouri Preservation Conference set for May 2-4 in Sedalia. You have until the end of business on Monday, April 9 to apply. Go here to find the link to the application.

Here is all the info on the conference itself.

So what’s included? 

This is a $280 value. According to a recent email from Missouri Preservation the scholarships will cover “registration, meals, snacks, field sessions and networking opportunities, and … reimbursement for hotel expenses for the three-day conference.”

The scholarships are available to any citizen within a Certified Local Government (CLG) and g

uess what — Columbia’s included. Here’s a list of all the CLGs.

OK, I’m going to be honest here. The application notes that first preference is for preservation consultants, commissioners and local preservation staff members but it also includes citizens so I say go for the scholarship. I’m going to apply myself because nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

So why should you go?

dianna2-001I don’t have to tell you what thrills me. I’ve been blogging about historic places for eight years, so this workshop caught my eye: “House story: How to Research Sites and Structures.” But the three-day conference is filled with presentations ranging from working with real estate agents to engaging public investment and protection.

If those presentations aren’t enough to get you to Sedalia, the keynote speaker is Briana Grosicki, of PlaceEconomics. It’s a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that, as the website states, “works at the nexus of economic and historic preservation.” Now who isn’t concerned with money these days? She’s the head of research at PlaceEconomics, so she’ll be talking facts and figures, not opinions and wishes.

Gotta go and make out my application for a scholarship! See you in Sedalia?

Black History, Sharp End

I never get tired of this

One of the best things that happened in Columbia was when Sharp End was marked. Here’s a 2015 video about the marking of this economic and social heart of Columbia, which was lost due to urban renewal and some misguided policies.

I never get tired of watching this video about Sharp End, an area of Fifth and Sixth Street and Walnut Street!

The Sharp End Heritage Committee should be lauded over and over. Thanks to all who made this happen including James Whitt, Larry Monroe, Sheon Williams, Kenny Green, Mary Beth Brown, Mike Brooks.

I’m sure I’m many names. Fill me in!

Events, University of Missouri, Women

Black women fighting for equality

Strong women fighting for equality isn’t new. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, MU History Professor Keona K. Ervin will discuss her book, “Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis.”

The event will be held in Fisher Auditorium in 88 Gannett Hall.

According to an announcement from the State Historical Society of Missouri, one of the sponsors of the event, her talk will cover these historic times:

“From the Great Depression to the 1960s, the city of St. Louis experienced significant decline as its population and industrial base stagnated while its suburbs expanded. To combat ingrained racism, crippling levels of poverty, and substandard living conditions, black women workers in St. Louis formed a community-based culture of resistance, fighting for fair and full employment, a living wage, affordable housing, political leadership, and personal dignity… and … effectively grounded working-class struggle in movements for racial justice and set the stage for the defining campaigns of the explosive 1960s.”

The lecture by Ervin is part of a series is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Center for Missouri StudiesUniversity of Missouri’s Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity; and the Missouri Humanities Council.

Events

A doctorate in historic preservation?

A recent news release proclaimed Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation was offering the United States’ first Ph.D. program in historic preservation. Yet, a search reveals the University of Texas at Austin has already been offering doctorate study in architecture and historic preservation.

 

Either way, an opportunity to learn about historic preservation is available much closer to home — right here in Missouri and without the graduate fees.

On March 26-28, 2018, Main Street Now will hold a conference of the National Main Street Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information on the event states that it brings together “doers, makers, and innovators to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities facing 21st-century downtowns and commercial districts.”

Worried you’re not Main Street Now material? The website states the event attracts professionals in preservation community revitalization … and volunteers. That pretty much could include anyone. Note the price tag isn’t low. Attending one day is $325, and there are half-day deals as well.  Either way, it’s still much cheaper than graduate school.

Apartments, Events

See art and the Niedermeyer Apartments

I’m a historic voyeur, always looking for opportunities to peek inside the historic buildings I write about. Surprisingly, not everyone welcomes me into their home or building to see the historic inside. Sometimes I find real estate videos or photos, but now here’s a unique chance to see the Neidermeyer.

From 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, there will be a pop-up show featuring the work of 10 UMC artists, according to a Coming Up notice in the Nov. 27, 2017 Columbia Daily Tribune.

Yes! It’s a winner. Art and history!

1907 photograph, when the Niedermeyer Apartments were the Gordon Hotel. Photo from the Missouri State Historical Society, with the notation of no known copyright restrictions.
1907, when the Niedermeyer Apartments were the Gordon Hotel. Photo from the Missouri State Historical Society, with the notation of no known copyright restrictions.

But it’s also a miracle story. If you’re new around Columbia, you might not remember 2013 fight for the Niedermeyer’s existence.

At that time, there were rumors, then plans, then news that a company was going to buy the Niedermeyer, raze it and build a student-focused apartment building there. This Feb. 10, 2013 Columbia Daily Tribune article,  “If walls could talk”, outlines the history of the building.

The article written by Andrew Denney states it was the site of the Columbia Female Academy from 1837 until about 1854. The building was rented out as a residence from 1865 until 1895. From 1895 until about 1911, it was operated as a hotel. For a period of time, it housed the MU Department of Domestic Science. In 1921, it reopened as the Niedermeyer Apartments, the article continues.

The Niedermeyer was saved from destruction by Nakhle Asmar, who planned to buy and renovate the buildings, according to this Columbia Daily Tribune March 13, 2013 article, “Buyer plans to start with basic fixes.”

This destruction and construction boom even caught the eye of the New York Times, which published this article on June 13, 2013, “In Student Housing, Luxuries Overshadow Studying.”  In summary, it highlights the downtown student housing boom, and includes statements from various people expressing concern about the area being overbuilt, how students may or may not be spoiled by all the luxuries at the new housing, as well as one comment which called the new apartments “soulless” compared to the Niedermeyer Apartments.

Here’s another way you can get a peek, even without attending Friday’s event. This blog put together by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Department and City of Columbia has this post on the Niedermeyer with lots of inside photos!

You can get a view of the outside and some history in this City of Columbia video made to commemorate the building’s addition to the 2013 Most Notable Properties list. Forward to 3:03 and watch until 4:42, unless you really like the music.

Here’s the Columbia Missourian article about the Neidermeyer when it was named to the 2013 list.

But you don’t have to rely on newspaper articles or videos to see the Neidermeyer on the inside with Friday’s event. See you there?

Black History, Events

A historic note on #MeToo

The recent news about Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood’s outrage about his sexual assaults shows news affects people even when it happens far away.

In 1855, 26 miles from Columbia, Missouri, a slave woman was hanged after she killed her white owner who had been raping her for years. The headline merely says a Missouri woman but in reality, it was a woman with a name, Celia, a woman who lived about 26 miles from where I live.

This account states puts the first rape even closer, stating the first assault took place nine miles south of Fulton. That place the attack at about 14 miles from my home. Closer than all the assaults of Weinstein.

This Oct. 19, 2017, Washington Post article describes how Celia lost her life when she refused one more assault and killed her attacker. She was found guilty of killing the man who owned her by a jury of 12 white men.

I’m certain this news reached Columbia when it took place in 1855. The same way people certainly knew about the attacks of Weinstein and others of his ilk. And that’s why the #MeToo is so powerful. We are no longer alone. We are no longer powerless. And we are no longer going to be tried or silenced.

Finally, this is why ColumbiaHistoricHomes.com and our history is so important. If we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Let’s make #MeToo part of our past and not our present or future.