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?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. A Saint Joseph Street Resident says:

    You should have seen what Stafford’s house looked like when he started. Today its a beautiful home. If 303 Saint Joseph was able to be saved, then 308 can most certainly be brought back to it’s former glory.

    Besides, even in 308’s dilapidated condition its better than any kind of new ” 8-plex developments that are planned for the site.

  2. A great insight itno another country’s attitude towards its old buildings, thank you. Here in the UK we ‘list’ buildings and give them a status. means they can’t be knocked down: it also means its harder to modernise and improve them.

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