Dyche Hall Grotesques, 1345 Jayhawk Boulevard

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Dyche Hall is among the most historic and architecturally significant buildings on the KU campus. It was built between 1901 and 1903 to serve as KU's Natural History Museum, primarily to house the Panorama of North American Mammals, which had been created by Lewis Lindsey Dyche as one of the state’s exhibitions in the Kansas Pavilion at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The Panorama took the world by storm, attracting 2.4 million visitors during the six months of the fair.

Kansas City architects Walter C. Root and George W. Siemens, in a 1902 Lawrence Daily Journal-World article, declared that for the hall’s exterior facade they intended to "carve beautifully all manner of birds, beasts and reptiles … We wish to build a building which will be unique in itself, yet not inharmonious with the other buildings, and which will be a beautiful crown to this unusual site, and a source of pride to the citizens of the state always." This included sculpting and mounting grotesques along the roofline.

The Dyche Hall grotesques were carved by master mason and sculptor Joseph Roblado Frazee and his son Vitruvius. After 113 years, as part of a major renovation of the exterior and interior of the seventh floor of Dyche Hall, the eight grotesques were taken down to save them from further destructive erosion by the elements. Karl Ramberg & Associates, working with KU School of Architecture Prof. Keith Van de Riet, was selected to carve replacements of the eight grotesques that are to be as faithful as possible to the originals. Ramberg currently is roughing out the basic shapes by mallet and chisel in a workspace in front of the museum. In addition, related educational and public outreach activities are ongoing.

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643 Indiana Street

Sidewalk repair is a hot topic in Lawrence these days as the city attempts to work with property owners to bring all sidewalks into compliance with city code. Equity issues such as corner lots and damage caused by tree roots from plantings in city right-of-ways are being addressed. Those who live in older neighborhoods, however, know that there are material issues the city has not yet addressed.

Bluestone sidewalks reconstructed at 643 Indiana

Bluestone sidewalks reconstructed at 643 Indiana

Brick sidewalks are an obvious one. When this initiative is finished, how many sidewalks that are currently constructed of brick will remain brick? There is another historic material out there that no one is talking about: panels of sedimentary rock known as bluestone.

Bluestone panels still are available from quarries today, but the cost is prohibitive for many. When bluestone panels fail, they crack. But unless a tree root is the culprit, the cracks generally don’t deflect. Many cracked bluestone surfaces instead remain flat, and don’t cross into the half-inch vertical deflection that city code constitutes as a trip hazard.

Dan Watkins, the longtime owner of the Wilder-Clark House at 643 Indiana Street, knew his bluestone sidewalk needed repair, but he didn’t want to tear it out and replace it with concrete. “I wanted to stay as close as I could to the original construction,” Watkins said.

Watkins hired a stonemason to bring in new panels where necessary, and in some cases to level existing unbroken panels that had sunk because of shifting soils underneath. For the rest, the mason worked to fit broken pieces together in ways that would allow bicycles, wheelchairs and baby strollers to easily traverse the sidewalk.

If city code inspectors hold bluestone panels to the same standards they do concrete, Lawrence is likely to lose this historic material from our neighborhood landscapes. If non-deflected horizontal cracks in bluestone are allowed, however, residents and visitors to our historic neighborhoods may be able to enjoy this historic material for many years to come. LPA applauds Dan Watkins for his attempt to balance a one-size-fits-all code with the preservation of a historic material that, due to material cost, is virtually irreplaceable. Hey city government: If you can easily run a wheel over it, give non-deflected bluestone panel sidewalks a break!

945 Kentucky Street


The A.K. Allen house, an 1862 two-story brick house that survived Quantrill’s Raid, is receiving some much-needed attention from a small out-of-town development group led by a KU grad. Classical Developments LLC, with Mike Heitmann as managing member, is well underway with a rehab of 945 Kentucky, after recently completing a project on another threatened property at 1208 Mississippi Street. Mike is an architectural engineer, and the company has been formed as a side project to positively impact the older architecture that he loves.

The house was in foreclosure and had sat vacant for many years. The gable-front National Folk nine-room house was designed by architect Ferdinand Fuller, one of the leaders of the New England Emigrant Aid Society, and built for Asaph King Allen, a free-state settler to Lawrence in the 1850s.

Preservation consultant Dale Nimz was hired to research the history of the house and to help the ownership group identify qualified craftspeople to work on the project. A big first step involved full restoration of the wood windows in the original portion of the house. The windows were in horrible shape. Wood Window Rescue Inc., based in Oklahoma, took the windows to its Kansas City shop, where each was masterfully restored. New wooden storm windows also were fabricated and installed.


Neal Isaacs currently is repointing the exterior brick using mortar mixed to historic specifications. An appropriately sized addition is framed in back, and additional work, including a reconstruction of the original front porch, is now beginning under the direction of General Contractor Mark Engleman. Once this project is completed, the structure will be rented as a duplex.

945 Kentucky is a contributing property in the Oread Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, and historic tax credits are being used to help finance the work. Saving a pre-Quantrill house near downtown is an extraordinary thing. LPA applauds this effort and is so glad that a KU grad is coming back to make such positive improvements to our city’s historic housing stock.


Haskell Bandstand, Haskell Indian Nations University

Members of the Haskell Indian Nations University Student Senate are in the house!

Members of the Haskell Indian Nations University Student Senate are in the house!

Students returning for spring semester at Haskell Indian Nations University received a pleasant campus surprise: the historic Bandstand, which had been closed to the public and awaiting repair since the fall of 2017, is completely repaired and looking wonderful!

The bandstand, built in 1908 to replace an earlier structure that had been destroyed in a storm, had begun to show significant signs of rot and water damage to its columns and handrails. During the repair project, which began in the fall of 2018, workers for BKM Construction replaced the damaged elements, installed a new wood shingle roof and uncovered additional repairs that were needed. Early 20thcentury bare-bulb lighting mounted on the ceiling was replaced with recessed, modern, energy-efficient lighting. With a brand-new paint coating in white, the bandstand will absolutely gleam in the sun if the sun ever comes out this winter.

The Haskell baseball team, circa 1917, courtesy of    Haskell Cultural Center & Museum   .

The Haskell baseball team, circa 1917, courtesy of Haskell Cultural Center & Museum.

The Bandstand and 11 other structures on campus are listed as significant structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Haskell Indian Nations University itself is listed as a National Historic Landmark, an honor the school has held since 1966.

JE Stubbs Building, 1101 Massachusetts Street

One of the most architecturally significant corners in downtown Lawrence is in the finishing stages of a major rehabilitation. 1101 Massachusetts, which shares a corner with the Douglas County Courthouse and the Watkins Bank building, is benefitting from a new ownership group: 1101 Mass LLC.

 After purchase, the group’s initial evaluation revealed a second floor so cobbled together with retrofitted small office and bath spaces that the resulting weight was straining what the building’s original structure could safely support. Worse, some framing components of the original structure were compromised during installation of these offending elements. Outside, original architectural detail in both stone and wood had been removed to allow for historically inappropriate façade coverings.

Now, with the help of project architect Chris Cunningham of TreanorHL and general contractor Mar Lan Construction, interior structural repairs are complete, and the façade has been rebuilt to bring back the original detail. Two first-floor interior spaces await tenants (Mass. St. Soda is moving back into the third one it previously occupied), and the upstairs soon will be ready for office use.

No original wood windows were harmed during the production of this rehab, and the project team chose to confine their work to the original footprint of this historic space. These are things that get the attention of the LPA Board! Congratulations to everyone involved in this important downtown project.



Old English Lutheran Church, 1040 New Hampshire Street


Ashlar LC, the owners of this historic property designed by John G. Haskell, had known for a few years that the stone foundation under the original structure built in 1870 (addition in 1905), had been shifting due to seasonal changes in subsoil moisture, and that some perimeter interior plaster walls were being damaged by moisture penetrating the foundation below ground level and wicking up. What Mary Anderson and her adult sons John and Alex saw last summer, however, after a particularly prolonged dry period, was significantly worse. There was a large crack at the northwest corner, and some of the window glass in that area had actually separated from the frames. The building that Mary’s mother, Olive Stanford, and Mary’s husband, Tripp Anderson, had worked so hard in the early 1990s to save and adapt to a new use as legal offices needed a major foundation repair.

 After consulting with family friend Craig Patterson, Mary hired Integrity Building Group (Roger Halverstadt) as general contractor for a project that also included Powerlift Foundation, a Texas firm, and Creative Sculpture & Restoration for stone repair.

Photo courtesy Hernly Associates

Photo courtesy Hernly Associates

 Extensive excavation last fall allowed workers to install a new concrete footing poured in alternating three-foot sections. Next to the foundation, about 45 helical piles were driven to a depth at or near bedrock. A hydraulic system was installed to transfer vertical building loads from the old foundation to the new piers and bedrock. A waterproofing membrane was installed on the outside face of the foundation and a drainage system was constructed. New subgrade collection basins and drain pipes were installed, and interior repairs to all moisture-damaged areas were completed. This expensive project was helped by the use of both federal and state tax credits for repair of historic structures.

Photo courtesy Hernly Associates

Photo courtesy Hernly Associates

 Lawrence is so fortunate that members of the Stanford and Anderson families have stepped up, twice now, to save the old English Lutheran Church as a cultural landmark in our city. Mary, John and Alex know that they, like Tripp before them, have gone above and beyond to protect one of Olive’s favorite historic buildings and the legacy she established in part by saving it.

1501 Learnard Avenue


David and Susan Millstein are no strangers to preservation — over many decades, their efforts have led to the successful preservation of multiple downtown Lawrence buildings and businesses, including 803 and 804 Massachusetts Street. Indeed, in 2015, Lawrence Preservation Alliance awarded David and Susan the biennial Lawrence Preservation Achievement Award for their efforts.

1501 Learnard, however, is a little different from the downtown buildings the Millsteins have preserved over the years. Spread out over 2.9 acres straddling the Barker and East Lawrence neighborhoods, 1501 Learnard served as a garden center from the 1920s through the end of 2013. When the last garden center owner put the property up for sale, Sunrise Green LLC, led by the Millsteins and the Sunrise Project, purchased the property with the intent to keep not only the historic 1920s buildings and greenhouses but also to use the property as a space to promote social justice, gardening and community.

Today, 1501 Learnard houses the nonprofit Sunrise Project, One Heart Farm, Lawrence Organics and Seeds from Italy. The Sunrise Project, whose stated mission is to “provide space and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to build an equitable community through good food and social connection.” hosts regular events, workshops and plant sales. It also maintains a community orchard in East Lawrence. It uses the original 1927 buildings and the hoop houses that have served many plants, people and communities over the decades. 

As a result, 1501 Learnard is an example of literal historic preservation in the sense that the property is being maintained for future use and its current use preserves the history of the space. Additionally, 1501 Learnard’s role as a hub in the community paired with the social-justice-oriented work that the Sunrise Project focuses on effectively preserves and seeks to strengthen another key component of preservation — the community it serves. The fact that it is doing so in a modern way is an essential plus.

524 Ohio Street

524 Ohio Today

524 Ohio Today

This small house was a hidden gem for years before it was purchased in early 2017 by former Lawrence residents Michele Eodice and Kami Day. Architect David Sain of Rockhill and Associates determined that under the asbestos siding was a 2-up, 2-down brick house. Research revealed that it was built in 1871 and that an addition was added in 1905. The owner of record in 1871 was J. Whiteside, a plasterer. 

In an almost year-long renovation, the house was stabilized and a small addition was minimally attached to the existing house with a hyphen (bridge) located where a window had been. Evidence uncovered during the removal of the shingle siding revealed the “shadow” of a former wraparound front porch that connected the front door of the brick house to the door that entered the 1905 addition. The porch was shown on a 1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance map, and its existence was further confirmed in the course of researching the house’s history. A new wraparound porch became part of the plan. 

524 Ohio prior to rehabilitaiton

524 Ohio prior to rehabilitaiton

Many of the interior walls and ceilings are now simply repaired original plaster, and the rest is a new finish plaster coat on drywall. All the steel work is custom. The floors are the original wood, with the exception of the addition, which uses salvaged oak flooring. The house is now a contributing structure to the Nationally Registered Pinckney Historic District #2 and eligible for state tax credits.

916 Kentucky Street


Preservation in Progress (PIP) is rarely fast; sometimes it can be really slow! LPA has been watching the whole-house rehabilitation at 916 Kentucky for several years, and we are delighted to now recognize this deserving project on the western edge of downtown. 

Longtime LPA member and local landlord James Dunn, who lives just a few doors down at 936 Kentucky, has owned this property since 1978. He was in the initial phases of an exterior rehab when a fire started by a tenant’s cigarette damaged the distinctive stacked front porches facing Kentucky Street. There was no damage to the interior of the structure, but it did put into perspective just how much James wanted to accomplish with the rehab.

James began working with Ryan Cecil of Cecil Construction, a business relationship that is still ongoing. Cecil has employed a steady, small crew and has used mechanical lifts and scaffolding to access this large rental property. As Cecil has moved from task to task, he has increased his knowledge and capabilities with particular aspects of the job, such as window restoration.

The slow pace of the work has been due to the logistics of building occupancy (when tenants have left, the contractor has rehabbed the vacated area before new tenants move in), and the fact that Cecil has other clients with projects to complete as well.

Foundation waterproofing, front porch rebuild, chimney rebuilds, stain glass repair, window restoration and copper guttering are all evident in this rehab. It’s not done yet but LPA has seen enough to know it’s a PIP winner.

726 Louisiana Street


Susan and Mitchell Chaney have been involved in several rehabilitation projects, including the Eldridge Hotel and 742 Indiana St. In 2015, they were walking their dogs by 726 Louisiana while an open house was in progress. As they toured the house, they decided that it should be their next project.

The front of the house, facing Louisiana, was not significantly changed on the inside. On the exterior, the front door and damaged trim were replaced, and storm windows were added.Walls and floor were restored and repaired and the entire interior was repainted. All but a few of the original doors and hardware were used. The entire outside of the house was stripped of all its old paint and repainted.

The Chaneys hired Mark Engleman as their contractor and began the renovation project while continuing to live at 742 Indiana. Paul Van Saun was the major restorer/painter.

The Chaneys told us they love their new home and the Old West Lawrence neighborhood. 

2115 Learnard Avenue

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Mike and Rechelle Malin purchased 2115 Learnard in June 2016 and recently complete a major rehabilitation on the house, which is believed to have been built in 1865. Mike and Rechelle did most of the demolition themselves. Along the way they uncovered an old well, an old cased entry with a transom window that was completely hidden inside of a closet and a large beam in the subfloor that looked, due to a variety of peculiar notches, as if it had been salvaged from another project. 

When the couple tore out the ceiling in the foyer, a time capsule fell out. The Higbe family, who owned the house prior to the Malins, had placed several photos, a to-do list and a few other items inside a plastic bag in the floor of the upstairs bathroom when they remodeled it about 20 years ago. The Malins returned the items to the Higbes.

During the rehabilitation, the entire house was gutted, and the back of the house, which housed the kitchen, a utility room and an enclosed porch, was deemed structurally unsound and had to be pulled off. The house retains the same footprint of the old house, but the interior has been reconfigured to reflect modern family life. What was once a warren of smaller rooms on the main floor is now one large living space with an open connection to the kitchen. The four large bedrooms on the second floor were made slightly smaller to accommodate two new bathrooms and a laundry. The Malins were able to save some of the old wood floors on both levels of the house.  

Eric Wagner was the general contractor for the project, and Steve Malin of Treanor architects helped the Malins with some of the details of the plan. The house turned out beautifully and the family is very happy with the results. They enjoy the Barker neighborhood and the rural quality of life on Learnard. 

2017 Preservation Achievement Awards, May 25, 2017

Please join us for another special evening as we honor this year’s winners: Shelley Hickman Clark, Karl Gridley, Depot Redux and Diane Stoddard. The Preservation Achievement Award, created in 2009, honors individuals or groups who have contributed in extraordinary ways to help preserve buildings or natural sites significant to the history of Lawrence and Douglas County.

Shelley Hickman Clark is a retired Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Kansas. Specializing in preservation law, she has both taught preservation in the classroom and argued it in the courtroom. She has a keen interest in preserving territorial sites and significant cultural resources in the unincorporated areas of Douglas County, and it shows in all the great preservation groups (including LPA!), she has either served on or chaired. She is the current chair of the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council.

Karl Gridley is a Lawrence native who has a deep appreciation of territorial history, trails, cemeteries and any structures of native stone. This has led him to important work at Barber School (just north of Clinton Lake), Black Jack Battlefield, Pioneer Cemetery and many off-the-beaten-path stone fences, family plots and foundation ruins his many friends in the county wish to stabilize or preserve. For a number of years he has lived in and cared for the Larson House, the last remaining stone house associated with the Wilder & Palm Windmill Agricultural Works, which operated until 1885.

Depot Redux is a volunteer group formed by Carey Maynard-Moody in 2008 to bring attention to the Amtrak stop at our midcentury modern Santa Fe Station at 413 E 7th Street. This dedicated group took it upon themselves to clean up the dilapidated facility and keep it that way, improve safety there for passengers, and educate the public about this local architectural gem both misunderstood and forgotten. When the first of three different City Commissions voted to begin negotiations for the city to become owner of the building, assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard began one of the most difficult negotiations of her career. Nine years later, when the current City Commission voted to officially take ownership, and with a funded rehab project ready to roll this summer, Carey, Diane and all those Redux volunteers were still standing. Good things come to those who work!

Reserve your space! It’s easy—buy tickets here.

St. John Parish, 1228 Vermont Street

While other congregations have left the core of Lawrence over the years for greenfield campus developments on the outskirts of town, St. John the Evangelist Parish long ago decided to retain its historic footprint on the western edge of downtown. With a decision such as that comes problems that must be solved when church and school expansion are planned. As part of a $3.3 million project that will include a new gymnasium and conversion of the old gym into a visual and performing arts center, an old house at the corner of 12th and Kentucky that had once been the Convent for the Sisters of Charity was in the way.

Architect and parishioner Dan Sabatini and his wife Nicole saw the structure’s historic value and continued utility to the parish if a new location could be found. Sure enough, the building would fit nicely between the school on the Vermont street side and the parish center, which is also located in a well-kept older house. The plan was enthusiastically supported by parishioners, who cherish their long Lawrence history.

When the day of the big move came, the children of St. John School all came outside in early February to watch the Convent roll on a trailer to its new location just a block away. This is a preservation lesson those children will never forget, and St. John can attest that sometimes the greenest field is the one closest to home.

726 Ohio Street

Unlike some who buy an older property and feather the nest before moving in, Ernie Eck and Patricia Karlin have lived at 726 Ohio Street for several decades, completing numerous improvement projects over time. The more they fell in love with their house, the more they realized they wanted to undertake a major exterior rehabilitation. Beginning in spring 2016, the asbestos shingle siding came off and new cedar lap siding was installed. Custom wood storm windows were fabricated to fit each window opening and new French gutters were installed. The project was topped off with a striking four-color paint job. Their work took the property from non-contributing to contributing to the Old West Lawrence Historic District.



534 Ohio Street

Todd and Kelly Foos are completing their rehab work before moving in, but because Todd has done much of the work himself, and the house was in such horrible shape when they bought it, it’s taken them years to get to the point where this total interior/exterior project is close to completion. The property had been cut up into apartments by previous owners and had suffered from abuse and neglect. Now this great older home is a credit to the Pinckney neighborhood Todd and Kelly soon will call home. The couple even saved and rehabilitated all their old windows, a preservation act that is a surefire way to get LPA representatives bearing awards to show up at the door!

The Johnson Block

Michael Arp bought his house a number of years ago from a couple that had once shared the LPA presidency, so the house was already in good shape. He did worry about the stability of the surrounding neighborhood, though. As he researched the area, he discovered that the west side of the 800 block of Missouri and the east side of Arkansas, with a shared alley between them, were developed by Victor Johnson as a model block subdivision in 1909. Michael continued his research and began talking with his neighbors about nominating the Johnson Block as a Historic District in the Lawrence Register of Historic Places. Working with Historic Resources Administrator Lynne Zollner, and with the help of LPA, which provided grant funding to hire an architectural historian to finish required documentation and write the nomination, Michael was able to achieve near-unanimous support from his neighbors in the proposed district. The City Commission approved the Johnson Block historic listing late last year. Great job Michael!

545 Ohio Street

Mike Randolph, of Free State Properties, has rehabbed a number of core neighborhood properties over the years, and this one certainly caught our eye. He purchased this house and began a careful rehab after years of neglect. The project included a rebuilt porch, new roof, HVAC, insulation, kitchen and bath areas, landscape and paint. The original windows, siding, flooring and trim were restored.

Because the property is in the Pinckney I Historic District, the work plan required approval by the Lawrence Historic Resources Commission (HRC), and Mike was able to use the state Historic Tax Credit program to offset some of his costs. He has since sold the property, so the Pinckney neighborhood now has one more rehabbed house and one more happy homeowner.

821 Indiana Street

Trey and Rae Toman purchased this large Old West Lawrence home that had also fallen victim to years of deferred maintenance. Taking most of the summer, their project included a long list of general updates and repairs, painting, landscaping and renovation of interior spaces. They also are doing some foundation repair. This is how older neighborhoods become enviable to others: diligent and dedicated homeowners working carefully, one house at a time.

739 Alabama Street

The Learned House recently changed hands after many years of occupancy by one owner. Mark Kramer, who has lived in Old West Lawrence for a number of years, purchased the property and began taking on the years of deferred maintenance, and we’re sure glad he did. General cleanup, structural repairs, new paint and wall surfaces, trim restoration and landscaping were all part of the program. Updated kitchen and bath areas are next.