Preservation Month 2019 was a month to celebrate the history, culture, and special places in Missouri. Missouri Main Street Connection staff was able to travel around the state to visit events and historic sites. We want to share our stories with you...
As someone who has lived only a couple hours away from both the Gateway Arch National Park and the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site for most of their life, I am sad to say I had never been to either site before Preservation Month this May. Construction of the landmarks on both sites was completed almost 150 years apart and I think that perfectly illustrates that preservation is all-encompassing. My entire trip consisted of opposing observations of each site that further enforce that while preservation is a singular idea, it looks different in each place it is implemented. White Haven, the home at the Ulysess S. Grant National Historic Site, appears secluded in the midst of the active city atmosphere which showcases how important preservation of surroundings is in telling the story of a place.
The Gateway Arch is purposely set in the midst of this active atmosphere as a monument to the city that grew out of westward expansion and continues to grow today. White Haven is a traditionally constructed home that is simple in its style, designed and built by its original owner William Long to meet his utilitarian needs. The Arch is also simple but is modern in its construction, the result of an architectural design competition won by professional architect Eero Saarinen. Finally, there is no known photos of White Haven's construction while visitors of the Arch can watch a 28-minute fill detailing each step of the construction process. Neither site is without some controversy, but each site showcases the importance of preservation as a way to tell the diverse history of St. Louis and the nation.
- Katelyn Brotherton
On Sunday, May 19, staff member Susan Sheppard and board member Karen Bode Baxter attended Preservation Month events in Ferguson and Florissant.
Ferguson hosted a Historic Window Repair and Restoration workshop, taught by Bob McCarty, owner of Painted Effects in Ferguson. At the newly restored Gittemeier House, an 1860s farmhouse in Florissant, there was a high tea hosted by members and volunteers. Also in Florissant the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine opened its doors for tours, with music and costumed docents. The Shrine complex was built in the 19th century, with the convent dating back to 1819.
- Susan Sheppard
Despite a rainy morning, nearly 50 people gathered on the Harrisonville Square for the Downtown History Walking Tour led by David Atkinson. He certainly knows his history and gave an informative and interesting presentation.
MMSC was happy to be a part of it. No one seemed to mind a little rain!
- Diane Hannah
Gayla Roten took a Trip Down Memory Main event that showcased iconic buildings on Main Street USA. It was amazing to see all the great things Marceline is achieving.
- Gayla Roten, State Director
Janie Dennison and Katelyn Brotherton traveled to Chillicothe, MO. They were able to tour downtown with elementary students and learn about the history. The students had great questions and filled out a scavenger hunt worksheet on the way through the tour.
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