Historic St. Joseph Foundation

Historic St. Joseph Foundation A partnership of stakeholders in Saint Joseph committed to protecting and improving the historic assets of our community.
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Operating as usual

Wonderful exhibit at the courthouse!
09/01/2021

Wonderful exhibit at the courthouse!

The St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau presents “Towers of St. Joseph: The Local Architecture of Harvey Ellis.” on display at the Buchanan County Courthouse from September 1st-September 30th. Stop in and see five two-sided panels telling the history of Harvey Ellis and his contribution to local architecture.

The exhibit highlights his designs of the German-American Bank Building and the Central Police Station, as well as the extravagant designs of the J.B. Moss, McNeely, McAlister, August, Nave, Smith and Tootle homes. In the brief amount of time Mr. Ellis was here in the late 1800’s working for Eckel and Mann, he created some of the most impressive and notable architecture in all of St. Joseph. Come see if you recognize any of his work from around town. Access the driving tour based on the exhibit at https://www.theclio.com/tour/1682.

Photos from Bluebird Custom Carpentry and Restoration's post
08/14/2021

Photos from Bluebird Custom Carpentry and Restoration's post

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
08/13/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
08/13/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

08/12/2021

So who is a preservationist? Well, me of course. But ..... so is Prince Charles. He helped to establish a preservation training academy at Dumfries House in Scotland. He purchased the grand estate in 2007 in order to save and preserve the house. He has since put this grand place to wonderful work -- and you can stay there! https://dumfries-house.org.uk/

07/27/2021

https://sjpl.lib.mo.us/localhistoryweek The 4th Annual Local History Week and Founders Day focuses on Local History, Genealogy, and Preservation. The library will have walking tours, pop-up exhibits, workshops, and more. There will also be kits that can be checked out to help you preserve your family history. Check out our Local History Week page for more details!

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
07/27/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

Heat Wave of 1901
07/15/2021
Heat Wave of 1901

Heat Wave of 1901

In the summer of 1901, a terrible drought spread across the corn belt of the Midwest. Crops withered away across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri due to the lack of rain. By mid-July, the only hope in saving the crops would have been some much-needed rain, but instead, the temperature began to climb.....

Amazing buildings available on Frederick Avenue!
07/07/2021

Amazing buildings available on Frederick Avenue!

So what do you do when you are a successful businessman in 1880s St. Joseph? Well you open a bank next to your business of course! In the 1880s, the McIninch brothers came to St. Joseph and went into the general merchandise business. They developed a reputation for selling "everything" and were successful enough that they built the charming storefronts at 1906 Frederick Avenue. Later they added on to the block, expanding to 1910 and opened the Farmers and Traders Bank. While not in as pristine shape as they were at the turn of the century, these lovely storefronts could be a wonderful home for your business dreams. And you can't beat the price! Learn more at https://historicsaintjosephemporium.com/mcininch-buildings

07/04/2021

Three Reasons to Vacation at Mackinac Island

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
06/28/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

06/24/2021

This picture, at N. 6th & Robidoux looking west was taken to document the cracks in the sidewalk. What year do you think this is from?

06/23/2021

Celebrate Washington Park Library’s 111th Birthday today! Visit the library all week, sign up for Summer Reading, and register to win some awesome prizes! Kids can get some really neat freebies, adopt a Reading Buddy and take home a craft kit this week.

The land for the Washington Park Library was donated by the St. Joseph Extension Company in honor of Washington Jones, a prominent community leader in St. Joseph in the early 1900′s. This friendly Northside library opened on June 23, 1910 and was built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. The building has exterior architectural features such as open books and holly berry decorations. The library boasts many original oak furnishings such as the circulation desk, stack shelving, book display shelves, library tables and interior staircase. A significant interior architectural detail is a quote above the main doorway by Andrew Carnegie “The universal education of its people is the greatest glory of the state.”

Group cheers donor, new Old Town park
06/15/2021
Group cheers donor, new Old Town park

Group cheers donor, new Old Town park

Where once stood an elegant manor in the venerated Millionaires' Row arises now the newest park for St. Joseph, and a revived sense of local progress.

06/11/2021

Some parts of the city have always been a vibrant part of our commercial life. The 500 block of Felix Street is just such a block. In 1883 it housed a millinery, four dry goods establishments, a carpet store, two jewelry stores, two furniture stores, a barber, a bakery, a grocery store, a confectionary, a hardware store and a queensware dealer. Over the decades since then it has remained the home of small commercial establishments. By the 1970s, it was an entertainment corridor, housing some of the best bars in the city. It still retains that feel, with two terrific drinking establishments: The Tiger’s Den and Felix Street Pub! What better time than now to get to our historic downtown and check out the Felix Street corridor!

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
06/10/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

Maxwell Street Blues, Ode To A Dead Community
06/10/2021
Maxwell Street Blues, Ode To A Dead Community

Maxwell Street Blues, Ode To A Dead Community

Maxwell Street Blues is a 2001 documentary that chronicles the since failed struggle to save Chicago's Maxwell Street community, the birthplace of the electr...

06/10/2021

One of the great things about St. Joseph is that there is history everywhere you look. Even the most unassuming placings have a great story to tell. For example, the little cottage at 1403 Charles St. This little house was occupied as early as 1887 by Martin Fitzgerald and his family. Martin, the son of Irish immigrants had moved here from Vermont; his wife Mary, the child of German immigrants, came from Indiana. Martin worked as an expressman for the railroads. To say that he was a colorful figure is an understatement! In 1871 when he was about 19 years old, he got into a fight with his step-father, James O’Grady. According to the St. Joseph Gazette: Martin “was in the act of coming down stairs, when as he alleges, [James] met him with a shot-gun in his hand. He attempted to seize the gun, and failing to do this, drew a derringer and struck at O’Grady with it, when the weapon went off, and the ball struck [James] in the top part of the rear of the head, passing through obliquely a distance of about an inch and fracturing the outer table of the skull.” This was not the last time that Martin was involved in violence – in March 1897 he came to blows with James Whittaker when both had been hired to take the same trunk from the Pacific House hotel to Union Station. Two years later Martin was charged with assault and battery for striking Fred Fowlwell at the Francis Street depot.
The cottage where the Fitzgeralds lived is still standing though it has been badly neglected over the past few decades. It remains an important part of the historic streetscape and we have great hopes that it will see better days soon!

06/10/2021

Things do change! This is the intersection of Elizabeth St. and Sherman St. facing to the south in 1953!

06/10/2021

Historic Preservation is not simply an aesthetic or a cultural amenity, studies clearly show that it makes good economic sense.

The most successful urban and neighborhood revitalization efforts in the nation have utilized historic rehabilitation and preservation as the core of their revival tactics. Throughout the country, successful models of preservation programs demonstrate positive economic impacts that have occurred when historic preservation was used as a tool for planned revitalization Revitalized neighborhoods offer a constant population, a larger tax base, higher job retention, and less drain on city services.

05/28/2021

Apparently in the 1940s the city took photos to document potholes (seriously, St. Joe has always had a thing about potholes!). Some of those photos still exist and tell us quite a bit about the streetscapes of the day. This is 6th St between Edmond and Charles in 1949. The business signs are for Holly’s, Rockford furniture, Herman Drugs, and Empire Trust Co. The color photo is taken from nearly the same place today. The picture is very different.

Historic buildings form St. Joseph's identity
05/28/2021
Historic buildings form St. Joseph's identity

Historic buildings form St. Joseph's identity

Lisa Rock calls herself a lover of preservation. Her 1932 Tudor-style home is part of St. Joseph's historic housing stock — one of the largest in the country.

05/27/2021

Once upon a time, some of St. Joseph’s young ladies attend school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart located at 12th and Messanie. Sadly, the imposing structure was demolished in 1965. Do you know what is on the site today?

05/25/2021

In 1925, the new City Hall, designed by Eckel and Aldrich, was under construction. Photos of the construction process give us a terrific window on to what the site on Frederick Avenue looked like. Fascinating to see what is still there, and what has been lost.

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
05/25/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

05/25/2021

So y’all have done very well in identifying the mystery photos we have in the office. Any ideas on this one?

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post
05/21/2021

Photos from Historic Preservation St. Joseph's post

05/16/2021

Isn’t this an amazing image? This is the view from the roof of the Moss Mansion, 906 Sylvanie (formerly Barbosa’s) looking to the East, most likely taken in the 1890s. The peek into the back yards of the surrounding neighborhood is fascinating! This image is part of an archival collection pertaining to the Moss family kindly shared by the great granddaughter of Josiah Beatie Moss, the builder of this spectacular piece of architectural heritage!

05/11/2021

May is Preservation Month, so this seems like a good time to think about why historic preservation is important for our community. The list of benefits of preservation is long, but it includes: increased tourism, environmental benefits, retaining our community’s heritage and history, increases livability, improves property values. . . And once a building is gone, it’s gone. The Tootle-Lemon Bank on the Northwest corner of N. 6th St. and Francis once stood where there is now just a parking lot. What do you think? Why is it important for St. Joseph to preserve its architectural heritage?

05/10/2021

For many years the Landmark Commission issued “Most Endangered” lists of properties in St. Joseph that were threatened. The last list came out in 2016. One of the properties on the list was the A.K. Pickle Residence at 224 East Missouri St. This charming two-story frame Queen Anne House was built by Abraham K. Pickle in 1900. It remained in the family until 1965 and in the following decades it suffered badly from neglect. The house was ultimately demolished. Learn more about the history of this property and others on the 2016 list at
https://www.stjoemo.info/DocumentCenter/View/13134/2016-Most-Endangered-Buildings-PDF?bidId=

Address

520 Francis St. Suite 300
Saint Joseph, MO
64501

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Comments

I am trying to find someone that knows about a Holiday Home Tour done by the symphony in either 2006 or 2007 where you drove around to homes and viewed their holiday decorations. One of the homes was known as The Frog House, and was written up in the paper, the two men who owned the house loved frogs, there was even a 6 foot tall frog statue dressed as Santa. Does anyone know this house? It was a Craftsman home.
3107 Edmond. My home for the first ten years of my life, and the most incredible house a child could wish for. I have no idea when it was built or its history, but it didn't live long enough, pulled down for a parking lot after the last owners trashed it. For all of you St. Joseph history lovers, thank you for the preservation efforts and helping to see that so many of the city's homes do not meet the same fate.
I am requesting help to see if anyone has any information on a large estate home that use to take up most of the block between 30th and 31st on Felix St. It is now the sight of Brookdale's Youth complex. I was fascinated by this house as a child. It was just a block from my house at 3107 Edmond and was the second biggest house in the area which the church also demolished for parking. I'm now writing a novel about two boys from those two houses, but I can find no pictures of information for reference. I can make things up, but I would rather be accurate.
My husband is going through his dad's slides. His dad did a study of St. JOE architecture. Would you be interested in these once we have sorted them out? They were done in the late 70's, early 80's.
Thought this clipping from Saturday, January 16th 1897 might interest some.
Sigh. 624 Highland by Lafayette HS is breaking my heart.
This was in Pennsylvania, but you never know what you can find when you peel back the layers...
Thank you to “all” of the wonderful docents that gave their time to help make this 4th Annual Jewels Of St Joseph Historic homes tour so much fun and such a success.
I’m wondering what city code is currently on properly “ warehousing “ property . I recall lengthy discussion years ago about retaining the National Historic Guidelines as the standard. Has that changed? Discussion? Did the new register for vacant buildings affect this?
https://www.newspressnow.com/news/local_news/st-joseph-kids-face-dangerous-amounts-of-lead/article_5dc821e6-b856-11e9-a247-a7570562fa0a.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share I believe that no “defiance” was involved in the case of Brownfield? An initial proposal was made with a counter proposal to our Landmark Commission. A CoA was granted. There are Many sources of lead. I am displeased with the Mayor’s knee jerk reaction and the lack of any demographic information.
This does not bode well for our historic school buildings. :(
I have my eye on a very doable project. I’ve watched this house for twelve years. I sure would like be to make sure this scary low priced treasure isn’t bought by some one who won’t honor her. I need a small cash investment for the purchase and have already had it checked out by very qualified preservation friend.