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AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Historic Preservation committee of Missouri Main Street Connection continues to provide Missouri Main Street organizations, building owners, and business owners with an innovative consultation service, the “Doctor Is In.” This service offers participants the chance to get expert advice from a diverse group of professionals, volunteering their time to address preservation-related issues. In February, the “Doctor Is In” consultation provided information to Reverend Kary Mann, the Reverend of Trinity Episcopal in Independence, Missouri.

 

 


The Trinity Episcopal church has had its doors open for weekly services since 1881 and was frequented by First Lady Bess Wallace Truman and President Harry S. Truman and was the location where they were married. Reverend Mann consulted with the “Doctors” in February as she needed help locating additional contractors for their building renovation that will address the church’s needs for measures to combat moisture coming into the building, including brick repointing, appropriate guttering, restoration of the interior plaster walls, and painting. The Historic Preservation Committee was able to provide Reverend Mann a list of local contractors as well as contractors from across Missouri that could do all of the work or could specialize on certain aspects of the building renovation. Also, since this is a major project, a diverse mix of grants, local funds, and other funding options will need to be used for this project. The “Doctors” outlined several possible grant and other funding options for these efforts. In addition, Resource Development Coordinator Katelyn Brotherton provided possible grant opportunities for which Reverend Mann could be eligible to apply. The Historic Preservation Committee also talked about other funding opportunities, including how to raise money locally for these revitalization efforts. As a result, Reverend Mann is applying for a grant through the National Trust’s Fund for Sacred Places, a grant centered on helping places of worship. As this work progresses, Missouri Main Street Connection will provide updates on the efforts of Trinity Episcopal Church.

 

 


This service is available to all communities in good standing in the top 3 tiers: Accredited, Associate, and Affiliate. Community Empowerment Grant and St. Louis Main Street communities/districts are also eligible as communities in the Affiliate Tier. To see if your community is represented on this list, click here: Missouri Main Street Connection Tiers Lists (as of March 4th).


The Historic Preservation Committee can consult on a wide range of preservation-related questions. You can find the application for this service here: Doctor Is In HP 2022. All applications can be submitted to Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, who will reach out for any additional information the committee may need to get a full picture of the applicant’s needs. You may be asked to provide more pictures and documentation, depending on what “Doctors” need in order to have an educated conversation and to have the full picture of your needs. Please be sure to submit all requested supporting documents as outlined in the application form.  The application is simple and serves as the initial communication with Ben. The applicant will then be invited to a Zoom meeting to explain and discuss the problem with the “Doctors” at which time the “Doctors” will provide feedback. Then, Ben will provide any additional feedback and follow-up. Reach out to Ben with any questions. We are looking forward to seeing your submission!

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AUTHOR
Ben White »

The National Register for Historic Places contains many amazing places that have historical and/or architectural significance that can aid communities in pursuing revitalization. Some examples include the Cape Girardeau Commercial Historic District, the Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs, and the Joplin YMCA building. The National Register of Historic Places is a list honoring districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that meet the criteria of significance. The significance falls into several categories, but the predominant ones are location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association to a specific era, person, and event within the past 50 years. You can learn more about these criteria by reading National Register Bulletin 15: How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. 

 

The National Register designation of districts and landmarks is a valuable tool in the preservation tool belt. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what this designation means.  

 

First, the government can’t tell you what to do when renovating your building. This designation does not prohibit work from occurring on the interior or exterior of the building and the government will not be able to claim you violated a law. The designation does provide the guidelines for renovations to follow through the Secretary of Interior’s Standards in order to retain the historic significance of the building that qualifies it for designation and what makes it attractive to heritage travelers. Therefore, in following the established guidelines you are able to have a greater return on investment on your renovation through the economic benefits it provides, especially when it comes to heritage tourism.

 

Second, you don’t have to allow public access to your property. If you are listing your residence, for instance, this does not open your property to give visitors free reign to step on your property for a tour. Property rights laws still apply, providing that security.  However, it means that there is formal recognition of the property’s historical and/or architectural significance.  

 

Many heritage travelers look for these designated historic places in which to visit and spend money, so going through the formal designation process is important to attract these kinds of people. Heritage travelers have been shown to spend 2.5 times more than ordinary travelers when visiting communities. In addition, it opens up the property for potential preservation incentives including state and federal grants and tax credits for rehabilitation. This helps drive down the cost of renovation and redevelopment and strengthens the building’s standing in the community. 

 

To learn more about the process of listing a building or historic district on the National Register of Historic places, visit the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office here: https://mostateparks.com/page/85341/national-register-historic-places  

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AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Missouri Main Street Connection Historic Preservation Committee had its first “Doctor Is In” consultation in September with Julie McBride, owner of Wyoming Street Wine Stop in Pleasant Hill, MO. Wyoming Street Wine Stop serves a variety of food and wines from all around the world making it truly a destination business for Pleasant Hill. Julie, along with her husband Robert, look to provide an experience for the residents of Pleasant Hill and draw in bikers from the nearby Katy Trail.


Julie reached out to Missouri Main Street Connection’s Historic Preservation Committee for help with renovating the façade of her building and the funding options for the renovation. The original vision was to tear out the existing storefront in order to try to recreate the original façade from when the building was first constructed in the early 1900s. During the meeting, the committee recommended adding an attractive awning and paint, as well as suggesting preventative upkeep measures for the building as ways to enhance the existing storefront instead of recreating the original storefront. These recommendations came from reviewing the history of the community, district, and building by the committee in preparation for the meeting. The building that currently houses the Wyoming Street Wine Stop gained its existing storefront as part of a major renovation that happened in the 1950s, which is the same period of significance that was part of the National Register nomination for the Pleasant Hill National Register district.


Even though the storefront is not original, it is still historic at over 70 years old and coincides with the historic significance of the district. Making changes to the existing façade is important versus making drastic changes to the look, in order to be eligible for historic tax credits and to keep the building historically significant. These recommendations considered the historic tax credit program and what qualifies as an eligible expense to provide guidance for Julie in where to start with historic tax credits and who she should talk to if historic tax credits are to be potentially used on the project.


The meeting provided direction for her and her husband as they talk with an architect on the next steps following their meeting. Currently, the upper floor and back of the building are the primary focus, with the enhancement of the façade to be completed after these first projects. The upper floor is planned to be activated and turned into residential use. “Thank you and the team so much for taking the time to help Robert and I navigate historic preservation,” said Julie McBride after the consultation was completed and follow-up material was given.


The Historic Preservation Committee is ready to help you with any preservation-related questions that you or a downtown stakeholder may have. “We welcome any and all applicants from Missouri Main Street Connection’s top three Tiers to submit an application to the Historic Preservation Committee. We’re ready to help and be of service to downtown districts in Missouri,” said John Vietmeier, the chair of the Historic Preservation Committee. This meeting serves as the initial consultation and the connector for future steps needed. Historic preservation-related discussions could include but are not limited to: façade renovation assistance, building materials and maintenance issues, historic tax credits, and funding questions.


If you are interested in talking with the team of professionals about a historic preservation-related question, you can fill out a short form outlining the problem here: https://www.momainstreet.org//Programs.aspx?PID=1099.


All submissions should be turned into Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, by email at ben@momainstreet.org. Please attach all applicable pictures to the submission. After receipt, Ben will follow up with any additional materials and information needed and work to set a time to join the virtual meeting. Applicants must be in a community from the top three MMSC Tiers: Accredited, Associate, or Affiliate. 

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AUTHOR
Ben White »

The Historic Preservation Committee of Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) is excited to offer "The Doctor Is In” service to Main Street communities from the MMSC Board of Directors and Advisory Board. This service serves as an initial consultation with a group of professionals about preservation-related questions, including: building material maintenance, funding, tax credits, façade renovation inquiries, and more. The committee will serve as the connector for the next steps with your project and put you in contact with professionals in the field that could be of additional assistance.

 

This service is available to all communities in good standing in the top three tiers: Accredited, Associate, and Affiliate. Community Empowerment Grant and St. Louis Main Streets communities/districts are also eligible as communities in the Affiliate Tier. To see if your community is represented on this list, click here.

 

To find and download the application for this service, click here. All applications are due to our Program Outreach Specialist, Ben White, before the end of the month. Ben will reach out for any additional information the committee may need to get a full scope of the applicant’s needs. The applicant will then be invited to a Zoom meeting to explain and discuss the problem with the "Doctors" at which time they will provide feedback. 


Lastly, Ben will provide any additional feedback and follow-up. The application is simple and serves as the initial communication with Ben. As such, you may be asked to provide more pictures and documentation, depending on what the "Doctors" need.


Please be sure to submit all requested supporting documents as outlined in the application form. 

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Building owners can do regular maintenance right now to lengthen the life of their building investment and to prevent larger, more expensive problems in the future. With summer, comes summer storms and vegetation growth. Here are some steps that building owners can take for these summer months:

  • Remove plants growing on or close to walls and foundation. (30 min)

  • Visually check for moss or lichen, especially around parapets, sills, and downspouts. (30 min)

  • Check grading at foundation to make sure water will drain away from building and not pool next to the building. (15 min)

  • Inspect basement or crawl space for excessive water during wet weather. (30 min)

  • Inspect interior of building for leaks during first heavy rain of season. (30 min)

  • Examine roof slope to make sure water is not pooling at any areas on the roof. (15 min)

  • Make sure water can flow freely through gutters and downspouts and clean them out if they are clogged. (30 min)

  • Sweep debris from flat or low sloping roofs. (30 min)
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A small group of Missourians of all ages gathered in Columbia on Wednesday May 5th to learn about historic cemeteries and proper cleaning techniques before heading to William Jewell Cemetery where they got hands on experience. This group learned how to accurately survey a cemetery, its plots, markers, and monuments.

Cemetery markers through the years have come in all shapes and sizes as attendees found out in the presentation by SHPO representative Amanda Burke. The size, shape, materials, decorative carvings, and iconography tell about the persons status prior to death. For example, the depiction of a lamb represents that the person was a child.

Markers and monuments have been made from several materials over the years based on availability of materials and region. Stones used include granite, marble, slate and concrete; metal includes bronze, iron, and zinc.

This list of materials made up of stone and metal to the average person sound tough and durable and would not require specialized care and cleaning, yet that is not the case for the markers and monuments found in historic cemeteries as their materials are delicate and need to be cared for gently. 
One of the tips for cleaning was to use brushes that you can use on your palm and not scratch up your skin, meaning no metal or abrasive materials.




Cleaning efforts like the one that attendees preformed at Jewell Cemetery offer a variety of protection from the threats that rise against historic cemeteries including: humans, ecological, and environment. Humans through neglect endanger markers via increased erosion and chipping from metal wire brushes and tough weed wacker line or through purposeful vandalism where monuments are defaced with spray-paint or broken by tipping them over, but a well kept cemetery staves off this harm. Ecological and environmental are just how they sound. Plants like vines, moss, and lichen endanger monuments through soiling and stains, while environmental factors like water erode and crack markers during the freeze cycle, yet proper and regular care keeps the compounding damage at bay and preserves these places.

Survey and recordation efforts are essential to preserving the history of those who have come before us, with the hope that when we are long gone and buried in a small cemetery that our graves will be tended for and we won’t be forgotten.

More information regarding basic monument cleaning and other preservation efforts can be found through National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Association of Gravestone Studies, CHICORA Foundation, and Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office.

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Welcome to spring and with it, hopefully spring temperatures! 

The Historic Preservation Committee is excited to bring a lot of resources to our communities, including the one-pager on painting your building and additional one-pager documents in the future. The committee is really dedicated to bringing tangible resources to your community, so be on the lookout in the future for more of these types of resources. Also, the committee has a really exciting announcement at the Missouri Main Street Conference July 28-30, so be on the lookout for that. 

Have you begun preparations for Preservation Month in May? This important time of the year is a big opportunity to celebrate your historic downtown, the unique-to-you part of your community. You can celebrate this in a myriad of ways, ranging from an architectural scavenger hunt to walking tours. As long as you celebrate your community’s history, that’s what’s important! How will you celebrate?

Now is the time to check on those downtown buildings to make sure they withstood the freezing and thawing of the winter. Look for popped our brick, paint that has weathered off and more. In April, we will talk a little more about this, but start walking around your downtown now to make sure the buildings are well-taken care of and don’t need work as we head into warmer weather.

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Painting can be one of the most dramatic improvements you make to your building. However, only paint a building that has been previously painted to maintain the historic look of the building. Measures should be taken to remove old paint from brick to restore the original brick, if applicable. In addition, if repointing must be done to prep the façade, before painting, consult with a mason experienced with using the type of mortar for the age of your building. If the building is metal or has metal components, we recommend consulting with a professional company for cleaning and preparatory work. The following steps will help smooth the way for a successful paint job on your historic building.
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Adding some new paint to a downtown building is one of the easiest and visually appealing things that a building owner can do to enhance the appearance and perception of their building. However, if not done correctly, it can actually harm the building and cause issues down the road. Here are some things to consider when painting a downtown building:


1. Make sure surfaces are prepped correctly before painting. Replace rotten wood and repoint brick if necessary. Remove all peeling and loose paint with a scraper, wire brush, or carefully apply heat to the area.

2. Prime the area, especially on wood surfaces.

3. Talk with the local hardware store on the appropriate paint for the project and that it will provide the desired effect and color. Oil-based paints are generally more durable but harder to apply; latex-based paints are easier to apply but don’t last as long. Use quality paint so that it will last longer and not peel. 

4. Use two or three complementary colors to accent the architectural features on the building. Choose colors that express your likes and/or the business color scheme, but that also complements the historic fabric of your downtown and the other buildings in it. 

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Historic preservation isn’t just about appreciating buildings; it’s about actively preserving our historic buildings assets in our downtown. In order to prolong the life of these buildings and create a visually-appealing downtown, we need to take care of our buildings well before they show major issues. The best care building owners can give to their buildings is taking those preventive and regular care measures before problems become an expensive fix. Here are some maintenance tips that building owners can put into action in the third quarter as they take care of their building:

Remove plants growing on or close to walls and foundation. (30 min)

Visually check for moss or lichen, especially around parapets, sills, and downspouts. (30 min)

Check grading at foundation to make sure water will drain away from building and not pool. (15 min)

Inspect basement or crawl space for excess water during wet weather. (30 min)

Inspect interior of building for leaks during first heavy rain of season. (30 min)

Examine roof slope to make sure water is not pooling at any area on the roof. (15 min)

Make sure water can flow freely through the gutters and downspouts. Clean out if they are clogged. (30 min)

Sweep debris from flat or low sloping roofs. (30 min)

 

Check back in October for fourth quarter building maintenance tips!

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