947 Louisiana Street

The Birthplace of LPA

947 Louisiana St. (Courtesy of the City of Lawrence Planning department)

947 Louisiana St. (Courtesy of the City of Lawrence Planning department)

The Michael Greenlee House, built in 1902 at the top of the hill at Tenth and Louisiana, is the place where founding members of LPA said “enough” to widespread old house demolitions in the Oread neighborhood for replacement with cheap, out-of-character four-plexes.  Duane Schwada was the Lawrence builder behind much of this work in the 1970s and 80s. 

After 80-plus years of service to owners and renters, including several KU faculty members, the old home at 947 Louisiana with Queen Anne characteristics had entered into a period of neglect.  Schwada had bought the place and was preparing to demolish it when he was approached by the newly-formed LPA.

Those LPA members pooled their own money to buy the property from Schwada.  Group members volunteered weekends to clean up the house and yard, and they put the word out that 947 Louisiana was a rehab project waiting to happen.  Todd and Colleen Pederson soon bought the property from LPA.  Todd was a partner in a small custom cabinet shop that still exists today.  They were successful in completing the rehab, and the fledgling LPA began calling it their “Louisiana Purchase.”

Today the property is listed on the State, National and Lawrence Registers of Historic Places.  Current owner Candy Davis has done a great job of continuing the maintenance and upkeep of the property, and is a big supporter of LPA.