Columbia College, Historical Homes

Free Food and History

Even history buffs like me enjoy some perks from time to time. The public unveiling of the 2013 Most Notable Properties on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, includes hors d’oeuvres — yes, free food. Get more information and RSVP at

The event is sponsored by the Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Columbia. It will be held at 7 p.m. preceded by light appetizers. The event will be in the Historic Daniel Boone Building Lobby, which has recent under gone an amazing renovation itself. It is at 701 East Broadway, Columbia, Mo.

Why attend? This is where the year’s newest additions to the city’s Most Notable Properties list are announced, the property owners accept the honors and you have an opportunity to get to know more about Columbia and the properties that mark the city’s history. Last properties named to the list have included the “Gingerbread house,” at 121 N. West Blvd., brick streets and even Columbia Cemetery.

This Columbia Missourian article of Feb. 6, 2012, “Six properties to be honored by Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission,” covers last year’s event, honoring the Arrowhead Motel, Calvary Cemetery, Harry Satterlee Bill and Florence Henderson Home, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority House, Missouri Hall at Columbia College, and the Columbia Telephone Building, which now houses CenturyLink.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Historical Homes

2012 Most Notable Properties Gala, Feb. 7, 2012

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, a gala to celebrate Columbia, Missouri’s Most Notable Properties will be held in the lobby of City Hall at 701 E. Broadway. The event is open to the public.

The event has been previewed in both the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune in articles published on Feb. 6, 2012.



Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Historical Homes

1601 Stoney Brook Place

Accuracy counts, even in small things. I am a journalist and recently learned the correct address for the home at 1601 Stoney Brook Place. Other accounts listed the house at 1601 Stoney Brook Ave., Drive and other designation.

So why update it? Because the purpose of this website is to provide accurate information on historic homes in Columbia so that people can become aware of the history all around them and perhaps even visit these sites. The correct address is crucial for that.

So now for the background on the house at 1601 Stoney Brook Place. It is 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, a site dedicated to “celebrating the glory of historic homes.” This house is not currently for sale, but is in the archives of this site. A picture accompanies this article published on Feb. 4, 2008 by the Columbia Missourian, marking it being named to the Notable Properties list. Note the article refers to the address as 1601 Stoney Brook Ave., however, Boone County Assessor’s Office records refer to it as 1601 Stoney Brook Place.

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.”

Historical Homes

Two homes saved, others in danger?

An article in the Columbia Missourian’s August 11, 2011 issue of Vox magazine highlighted two historic homes that were saved.

One of the houses featured is the John W. “Blind” Boone House at 10 N. Fourth St., set to become a museum.

The other is the Taylor House at 716 W. Broadway. Today it is a bed and breakfast.

In the case of the house on Fourth Street, the home was saved because it was the home of the famous ragtime musician John W. “Blind” Boone. Supporters saved the house for historic reasons. In the other case, the function of the house at 716 W. Broadway was changed but the home was saved. No longer a single family home, the beauty and integrity of this house lives on.

However, some homes do not survive. For example, where the Missouri Theatre now stands once stood a house occupied by the cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln. Few would argue we should have kept the house to forgo the development of downtown with a beautify movie palace such as the Missouri Theatre, which has recently been leased by MU.

Yet, a phone call tells another story. Curtis Stafford called me and identified himself as the owner of 303 St. Joseph, outraged that a nearby house at 308 St. Joseph is slated for demolition. I went to see the house. I don’t know whether it should be razed or not, but the loss of homes in the area could endanger the streetscape — the feeling — of the street. St. Joseph street is just a few blocks from Orr Street, where as Stafford put it, and the street has an “art vibe.” Stafford said, “These are great single family homes,” and he’d like to see the area remain as it is.

But not all old homes are worth saving.

I don’t know if this home is worth saving or not, but I do know that in Columbia, demolishing a historic home is not easy. All demolition requests are routed through Columbia’s Public Works Department. Requests to demolish an older home, older than 50 years old, are reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission and if the house is deemed a significant property, the Commission works with the owners of the property to see if it can be saved.

For now, the house still exists. Should it be saved?

Brick streets

Brick streets in Columbia, Missouri

History comes in all shapes and sizes — including streets.

This Columbia Missourian article highlights the brick streets of Columbia with a map of their locations.

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.


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.