Haskell's Historic Hiawatha Hall Gets New Roof; See It on Our Oct. 1 Walking Tour

Great news from Haskell Indian Nations University: A new roof has been put on Hiawatha Hall, a big step toward saving and reviving this historic building, the oldest on campus. Please join us on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1:30 for a walking tour of Haskell, passing by Hiawatha Hall and many other significant buildings, followed by the LPA annual meeting. Details are here.

LPA Annual Meeting to be held Sunday, Oct. 1

The Lawrence Preservation Alliance is excited to announce a mid-autumn afternoon walking tour of the historic Haskell campus as part of our Annual Meeting of membership.

The Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, Oct. 1, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.

Stephen Prue, Executive Assistant to President Venida Chenault, will be our guide, along with several ambassadors representing student clubs. The tour will include a number of historic buildings, and will also take us inside several of them for special looks at artifacts and works of art. It ends inside the old auditorium, where we will hold a very brief business meeting.

Here are the details:

Arrival: 1:30 pm. Take Barker Avenue south from 23rd Street to the intersection of Indian Avenue. You now know the way to the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum! Please park in their free lot next to the Museum.

Campus Tour: 1:45-2:45 pm. We will gather at the Haskell Arch at the west entrance to Memorial Stadium, and begin the tour from there. The ¾ mile route will allow us to visit twelve historic sites, and end close to where we started, at the old Auditorium just south of the Arch.

Alternative Route: For those not wishing to walk that far, the first seven sites are in very close proximity. Then you can break away from the group; refresh and relax in the Auditorium, one of the most beautiful large rooms in the city. We’ll help you find your way and make you feel at home!

Student Ambassadors: 3:00 pm. Brief remarks from Haskell student leaders who will accompany us on the tour!

Membership Meeting: 3:15 pm. The LPA Board promises fifteen minutes or less…all meetings should be this fast!

LPA Publishes Guide to Owning a Historic Home

The Lawrence Preservation Alliance has published a Guide to Owning a Historic Home in Lawrence. The short guide includes basic information for owners of historic structures in Lawrence. It includes information on historic listings and preservation, information on dealing with Lawrence city officials, and tips for caring for a historic home. The guide is available here and also can be downloaded as a printable PDF.

Study Shows Millennials' Desire to Connect With Historic Places

A new study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation finds that the millennial generation has interests that go far beyond the newest technology, music or clothing. In fact, almost the an overwhelming majority of the millennials have an appreciation for the value of historic preservation. The survey finds millennials tend to value a mix of old and new buildings where they live, dine, shop and travel, and more than a third take a particular interest in activism to preserve historic structures and places. Read more about the survey here.

Karl Gridley, Shelley Hickman Clark, Depot Redux and Diane Stoddard Receive LPA Preservation Achievement Awards

A happy crowd of more than 100 people welcomed 2017 Preservation Achievement Award winners Karl Gridley, Shelley Hickman Clark, and Depot Redux with Diane Stoddard, at the Cider Gallery the evening of May 25. Presentations to the award winners were given by Dr. Dennis Domer, Jody Meyer and Dennis Brown, respectively. Generous in-kind contributions by board members helped LPA to raise $1,000 for our general fund. Is word about to get out that an LPA Awards Event with eats prepared by Jeanette Spencer, David Frayer and friends is the best $30 ticket in town?

Shelley Hickman Clark with her 2017 LPA Preservation Achievement Award.

Shelley Hickman Clark with her 2017 LPA Preservation Achievement Award.

Carey Maynard-Moody of Depot Redux speaks after receiving the lpa preservation award for preserving the lawrence amtrak station..

Carey Maynard-Moody of Depot Redux speaks after receiving the lpa preservation award for preserving the lawrence amtrak station..

2017 LPA Preservation Achievement Award winner Karl Gridley with his broth Mark and mother Marilyn.

2017 LPA Preservation Achievement Award winner Karl Gridley with his broth Mark and mother Marilyn.

LPA President Dennis Brown honors Depot Redux and Lawrence Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard with a 2017 Preservation Achievement Award.

LPA President Dennis Brown honors Depot Redux and Lawrence Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard with a 2017 Preservation Achievement Award.

Assistant city manager diane stoddard accepts the lPa preservation achievement award for her work in helping to preserve the Amtrak depot in Lawrence.

Assistant city manager diane stoddard accepts the lPa preservation achievement award for her work in helping to preserve the Amtrak depot in Lawrence.

Santa Fe Depot Project On Track

Photo by Tom Harper

Photo by Tom Harper

Santa Fe All the Way
The next steps in a $1.7 million rehab of Lawrence's Santa Fe Depot, including funding and construction documents, are in place, and work should begin later this summer. A refurbished Santa Fe station will be perfectly positioned to benefit from either a comeback by personal rail travel, finding its place through some future use as an important civic building, or both.

In a critical step, the City Commission voted on May 2 on a revised plan to take ownership of the depot. That action may have caused everyone who had worked for that day, from volunteers who washed the station’s windows to city officials who worked with huge government and corporate entities, to stop and think “wait, how long did all that take?” In all, it took nine years, but the Santa Fe Depot, an important piece of 1950s-era architecture, is near to the next stop in its history.

Depot Redux has spent those nine years working incrementally to make the building cleaner, safer, and more accommodating to visitors and resident travelers alike. Staging fun and informative events both impromptu and planned, the group shone a light on an important component of our architecture and history that had been allowed to fall into the shadows. Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard was there every step of the way, persevering through complex negotiations among a web of national corporations and government agencies who were stakeholders in the project. The neon "LAWRENCE" signs on both ends of the platform canopy (exact duplicates of the originals), now shine every night.

For their work on the Santa Fe Depot, Depot Redux and Stoddard have been chosen as winners of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance's 2017 Preservation Achievement Award.

The key funding piece was a $1.2 million grant from KDOT. The city match, after the sale of historic tax credits, will be about $160,000. Amtrak will kick in another $200,000 for ADA improvements. Amtrak had previously invested $1.5 million in the loading platform and exterior lighting upgrades several years ago.

Hernly and Associates developed the construction documents, which were also paid for by a grant with the city matching a small percentage of the funds. In fact, every step in this process (certainly one reason it took so long), where the city spent funds to get to this point, a greater amount of funds was leveraged from state or federal sources.




Spring 2017 Preservation in Progress Awards

In its Spring 2017 Preservation in Progress Awards, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance is proud to recognize a wide range of current projects, including two residential rehabs, creation of a new historic district and the relocation of a historic structure. Congratulations, everyone!

Attack of the Attached Garage

When examining building proposals for damaging impacts to historic listed properties, and in particular ones proposed within the urban core, the Lawrence Historic Resources Commission (HRC) is charged with filtering out invasive design species that would be foreign to existing historic patterns if allowed. One invasive critter that requires vigilance is the attached garage.

Core neighborhoods served by an alley system developed a predominant pattern of detached service structures, accessed by the alley, with rear yard space between the service structure and the main house. In the beginning, these structures served as tool sheds and small barns. As motorized vehicles became more affordable, a number of these structures underwent various modifications to become detached garages. Over the years, as infill projects were completed one by one, some but not all recognized and respected this pattern, and built new infill houses with detached one or two car garages.

As newer subdivisions were developed around the urban core, and began to coincide with the phenomenon of most families now being able to afford an automobile, the alley system was scrapped as a planning element, and the attached garage, accessed by a driveway along the side of the front yard and connecting to the street, was born. This distinct change in direction for neighborhood layout could not be more obvious! Have a youngster on a bicycle ride through a driveway-based neighborhood and an alley-based one, and he or she will be able to tell you.

As communities have increasingly documented their core neighborhoods and set up protections like those the HRC is tasked with upholding, positive amenities, based primarily on walkability, have been fostered that some who live in vehicle-based neighborhoods see as desirable. As they, one by one, buy vacant infill lots or properties that are demolished by neglect and propose an infill construction that will allow them to come back, it should be HRC’s mission to stand at the border (using the review process), and say, “ You can come in with this and this, but not that.” There are always exceptions to every rule, but the attached garage is one design element that should face a very steep threshold of approval in core neighborhoods with historic registered properties.

Aside from bringing in an architectural form that is foreign to predominant design patterns in these documented historic areas, the attached garage does create actual damage in at least two distinct ways. Transferring the form from a driveway accessed system to an alley system means the structure, attached to the house and abutting the alley, thereby eliminates the rear yard, a character-defining feature that is a repeated and common pattern in most older neighborhoods. Second, the historic building pattern of a residence with a detached service building breaks the built massing on the property into two separate components. The likelihood of an attached garage proposal exceeding the upper limits of massing found in existing structures in an older neighborhood is great.

Attached garages in older neighborhoods are going to occur, as not all properties in those neighborhoods are listed on historic registers and thus subject to review. It is also possible that some designs using the attached garage concept but with less of a suburban feel could come forward that would provide a rear yard and visually break up the structure’s mass. Those charged with evaluating building proposals that trigger historic review should recognize each opportunity to protect the historic planning patterns of neighborhoods we are making an effort to preserve. If they do not, then little by little, one decision at a time, that invasive species becomes established, and that youngster on the bike begins to assume it was always there.

Remembering Olive Stanford, 1916-2017; UPDATE: Mugan-Olmstead House Placed on National Register

Longtime Lawrence Preservation Alliance supporter Olive Stanford recently passed away at the age of 100.

LPA President Dennis Brown chatted with Olive Stanford during a visit to her home last summer.

LPA President Dennis Brown chatted with Olive Stanford during a visit to her home last summer.

A truly gracious person with a keen appreciation of the power of great architecture—the vernacular and historic in particular—Olive came to us from Toronto, Kan., at the northern edge of the massive and ancient Cross Timbers Forest that stretches south through Oklahoma and into Texas. During her time as a student at the University of Kansas (culminating in 1938 with a degree in entomology), she developed a great affection for particular structures she would pass by during her daily life in Lawrence.

She married Sharon B. Stanford in 1940 and began a wonderful life in Phoenix, Ariz. Together, in Paradise Valley, they constructed a home of adobe brick made on the property—the home literally rising up from the land upon which it was built.

In 1991, 17 years after her husband’s death, Olive moved back to Lawrence to be close to her daughter Mary, who, with husband Tripp Anderson, had rehabbed and repurposed a large stone barn on the 9th Street hill as their home. Olive bought the vacant Mugan-Olmstead House (1866), just down the street, a house now listed on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places and, as of March 2017, the National Register of Historic Places. 

Back in Lawrence, she began to reacquaint herself with those favorite places she had loved. A number of them were failing and threatened. Over the next 25 years of her life, at opportune times and in very quiet ways, she stepped in to save some of these for the benefit of our city and future generations.

First was her own historic home, where she directed a very sensitive rehabilitation of the native stone structure that harkened back to the days of the Old Windmill, which had been located just a few blocks south. Through her membership in LPA, Olive supported the Union Pacific Depot in North Lawrence, and more recently, the Turnhalle at 900 Rhode Island.  Within the last two years, she rejoiced when LPA members worked privately to save and rehabilitate the little two-bedroom Rhody Delahunty House at 1106 Rhode Island, bringing it and the outbuildings there back to a condition as she would have remembered it during her days at KU.

Her most notable preservation achievement, however, was her work at the Old English Lutheran Church, now owned by the family and repurposed as the 1040 New Hampshire Professional Offices. This site was one of two in the past 40 years (the Douglas County Bank property at 9th and Kentucky being the other), where preservation battles were fought that had implications for future preservation law in both Lawrence and the State of Kansas. When the dust from this one had settled, Olive’s family was the new owner of the property, and a friendship with LPA was born.

Olive fully funded the rehabilitation of this property, and just as important, personally planned it, insisting that the reuse which would sustain the structure financially into the future do nothing to physically engage or disrupt the character-defining features which made the John Haskell- designed structure unique and historic. Re-opening in 1993, the building has since been recognized with multiple preservation and architectural awards, all without most in Lawrence even knowing who Olive was, or the great thing she had done.

UPDATE: In March 2017, Olive's home, the Mugan-Olmstead House, was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The home on Avalon Road was built by stonemason Patrick Mugan for his family in 1866 and stayed in his family until 1960. Olivia lived there for the last 25 years of her life. It is an excellent example of a residence that evolved as Lawrence grew. Olivia was so happy that her home was on its way to being listed in the National Register.

Fall 2016 Preservation in Progress Awards

LPA recognizes three older properties where new owners performed whole-house rehabs using a sensitive and sensible touch. Congratulations everyone!