Historic Preservation Commission to celebrate five notable properties

Monday, February 14, 2011 | 8:48 p.m. CST; updated 11:36 p.m. CST, Monday, February 14, 2011
This content requires JavaScript and Adobe Flash version 9 or later. Please ensure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser. The latest version of Flash can be downloaded from Adobe's website.

COLUMBIA — Although modern construction equipment surrounds the residence at 610 W. Broadway, some of the home's features come from the era of the Model T.

The almost 90-year-old brick home is one of the historic properties the Historic Preservation Commission plans to recognize at its gala Wednesday. The event is open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. in the Columbia Public Library Friends Room.

The recognized properties

1602 Hinkson Ave., Joseph and Mary Duncan House, circa 1906

This is one of the most intact houses in one of Columbia's oldest residential neighborhoods. The recent restoration of original elements such as diamond-paned wood windows, wood siding and patterned shingles makes it particularly notable.

The house was built around 1906 for retired farmer Joseph W. Duncan and his wife, Mary. It is in one of Columbia's original residential subdivisions. Now known as Benton-Stephens, much of this area was added to Columbia as Stephens First and Second additions before 1875, and by the time this house was built, it was an established neighborhood.

The refined styling and unusual combination of architectural styles on this relatively small house invite speculation that it was built from mail-order plans. Gambrel roofs were particularly popular with plan companies, starting in the late 1890s and continuing into the 1930s.  Although the presence of a gambrel roof generally categorizes a house of this period as Dutch Colonial, this one also utilizes an assortment of embellishments more often associated with Queen Anne-style houses.  The large pent ends of the gambrel roof are filled with the type of patterned shingles that typify Queen Anne houses of the late 1800s and early 1900s.  The house also retains an impressive set of original window sashes.  The upper sashes of most windows have diamond muntin patterns, and the large bay window in the front has lozenge-shaped lights, both of which are more typical of Queen Anne than Colonial Revival houses. 

This house is also notable in that it has early or original wood siding that has not been covered with vinyl or otherwise altered. Recent restoration work by the present owners greatly improved the condition of the house and set a high neighborhood standard for historic preservation.

901 E. Broadway, Haden Building, 1921

The Haden building is one of the most highly styled historic buildings in downtown Columbia.

The building is distinguished by finely detailed, white terra cotta wall cladding.  A relatively new building material when the bank was built, architectural terra cotta offered a new way to embellish buildings and was often used to emulate cut stone.  The Haden Building features an impressive collection of Classical Revival ornament that includes monumental Corinthian pilasters, a classical entablature and paneled parapet walls.

This is the third Haden Building to occupy this lot.  The first Haden Opera House was built here in 1884. It served as a center for entertainment and public meetings until it burned in 1900.  Work on a replacement began immediately, and a new Haden Building was completed in 1901. The second building served a more commercial function, with the Boone County Trust as the primary tenant. Another fire in 1920 destroyed the second building, prompting construction of the third and current Haden Building, which was completed in 1921. 

The present building has housed banks since it was put into service. It housed a mix of retail and banking when new, but banking gradually took a larger role, and the building has been used exclusively as a bank for decades. The banking tradition was continued when Commerce Bank purchased the building in the early 21st century.  In 2009, Commerce began a major historic rehabilitation project that involved restoration of the distinctive terra cotta exterior and a dramatic interior upgrade.  Although no historic interior finishes had survived, the distinctive two-story banking space was intact; it was retained and upgraded as part of the project.  The rehabilitated bank continues its long role as an anchor of the downtown business district.

610 W. Broadway, A. Fredendahl House

 This is one of the largest and most intact houses in the West Broadway Historic District. It is also notable for an elegant setting; the tree-filled lot covers half of a large city block.     

The house was built by A. Fredendahl, the owner of Columbia’s first department store. Fredendahl's store was located in a large 2½-story building on Ninth Street in the early 1900s. The first floor of that building is still in place at 19-25 S. Ninth St.; the upper floors were removed in the 1950s. 

H.R. Mueller and his family lived in this house from around 1946 into the late 1970s.  Mueller was apparently fond of the West Broadway neighborhood.  He lived at 901 W. Broadway for close to 20 years before buying this house, which is nearly twice the size of his first Broadway home. The neighborhood was especially convenient for him, as it was between two of his businesses. He owned Mueller’s Florist, a longtime floral shop in downtown Columbia, as well as a greenhouse located just a few blocks away, at Ash Street and West Boulevard. The greenhouse was still there in 1951, and the downtown florist shop operated into the late 1970s or early 1980s. Mueller has been credited with being one of the 15 founders of the now-famous FTD floral exchange service.

The house is highly intact, inside and out, and thanks to recent work by owners Mike and Jewell Keevins, is also in very good condition. Intact historical features include five imported stained-glass windows, an original central vacuum and an early servants' intercom/buzzer system. During the 2010-2011 rehabilitation project, modern infill was removed from the spacious entry porch, and the original wood windows were restored. Inside the house, floors were refinished, and most of the mill work on the ground floor was stripped and stained. 

1615 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia Municipal Airport/Cosmo Park

Cosmo Park was developed on the site of Columbia's first airport, which operated at this location for four decades. What began as an exotic novelty with the success of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903 grew into a reliable form of transportation by the late 1910s. Boone County was no exception to the air-travel trend; by the early 1920s several area farms had fields that doubled as landing strips. 

In 1926, brothers John and James Allton incorporated what appears to be the first commercial aviation business in Columbia, the Allton Flying Service. Two years later, they purchased a 110-acre farm that had one of those early landing strips from Moss Jones and set about expanding the new business.  That property is now part of Cosmo Park. The Alltons sold the airport to the city of Columbia around 1932, and it was renamed the Columbia Municipal Airport. 

The city added improved runways, new hangars and other buildings, and expanded the property to include nearly 500 acres.  The city operated the airport at this location until the 1960s. Famous visitors to the airport included Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt and then-President Harry Truman. 

In 1967, commercial aviation was moved to the recently completed Columbia Regional Airport south of town, and in 1969 the municipal airport was officially closed. Almost as soon as the airport closed, the Columbia Cosmopolitan Club began working to develop the property into what is now Cosmo Park, Columbia's largest city park. The modern park still reflects its roots as an airport; two of the hangars now house maintenance facilities, and the former runways have become park roads and parking areas.   

310 N. Providence Road, Douglass High School

Douglass High School was built in 1917 to serve as the town’s high school for African-American students, a role it played until desegregation in 1954.

By the time this building was erected, African-American schools had been operating in Columbia for nearly half a century. The first African-American school in Columbia, the Cummings Academy, opened in 1868. That school occupied a building constructed specifically for that purpose, which was funded largely by donations from the local black community. The Cummings Academy was replaced with a larger new school, the Excelsior Academy, in 1885. That school was renamed the Frederick Douglass School in 1898, in response to a petition submitted by the black community. The name proved to be popular and was retained when this building was placed in service in 1917. 

The current building was expanded twice within 20 years of opening. The central section is the original school. It is a simple but solid building, with dark brick walls, a symmetrical facade and a high stone foundation. Brick quoins mark the edges of the original facade, as well as the sides of the projecting entrance bay. The broad stone steps that lead up to the front doors give the facade an air of formality that is reinforced by the Classical Revival limestone doorway. Between 1925 and 1931, a new wing was added to the south end of the building to provide an auditorium and additional classrooms. Enrollment was rising rapidly, and another wing was added to the north side of the original building in 1934. The 1934 addition mirrors the front portion of the south end, and the resulting wide symmetrical façade has survived to modern times.  


Source: Deb Sheals

Related Media

Each year, the Historic Preservation Commission celebrates properties that are within the city limits and are at least 50 years old, Commission Chairman Brian Treece said. This year's selections are a mix of commercial and residential properties and are dispersed throughout the city.

Mike Keevins, owner of the almost century-old property at 610 W. Broadway, and his wife, Jewel, started renovating the home when they bought it five or six years ago. The owner of Columbia's first department store, A. Fredendahl, built the house.

Keevins believes his property is notable because the home has had no additions, and none of the original 1.3-acre lot has been sold off. The nearly 5,000-square-foot home sits on tree-filled property, and many original features still remain, including five imported stained-glass windows.

Although he strives to restore the home to its original state, Keevins wants to make the home feasible for modern living. A new deck replaced the old, rotting one, and much of the inside was repainted, sanded and stained. A sump pump was installed in the formerly wet basement; drain tile and waterproofing were added to keep the basement dry, Keevins said.

The home differs from more modern homes because the rooms were designed to be more isolated.  That way, children and servants were not a distraction, Keevins said.

Owner of The Finding Frog realty company and his own construction company, Keevins Enterprises, Keevins has renovated homes for more than 25 years.

“I’m more of an artist than a businessman or a construction worker. I do it because it feels good and I enjoy doing it,” Keevins said.  “I could make a lot more money if I didn’t want these properties to be perfect.” 

Keevins said he was undecided about the property's future.

“We might move into it. I’m not sure,” he said.

Keevins' property is one of five being honored this year by the commission.

Treece hopes the event will encourage Columbia residents to pay attention to the history around them.

“That’s one of the main reasons the commission celebrates the historic properties,” he added.

The other 2011 notable properties:

  • Cosmo Park

Cosmo Park was chosen for its melding of history and modern-day recreation facilities. Part of the 533-acre park was the site of Columbia’s Municipal Airport before it closed in 1970.

“A lot of people don’t realize when they’re driving to their child’s soccer game or a picnic at Cosmo Park, they are driving on a runway of the old airport," Treece said. "History is all around us, and sometimes we forget that.”

  • The Haden Building (Commerce Bank)

The commission wanted to recognize Commerce Bank for its renovation and restoration of the historic Haden Building.  Commerce could have picked anywhere for its local headquarters, and it proved that one can make the inside of a historic building current and viable for business, Treece said.

  • Frederick Douglass High School

According to a document put together by Deb Sheals, consultant for the Historic Preservation Commission, the solid-brick Frederick Douglass High School was built in 1917 to serve as the city’s African-American high school until desegregation in 1954.

  • 1602 Hinkson Ave.

Part of the Benton-Stephens neighborhood, the private residence is “one of the most intact houses in one of Columbia’s oldest residential neighborhoods,” Sheals stated.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.