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Historic Preservation Commission discusses demolition of buildings in North Central neighborhood

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 11:42 p.m. CDT; updated 7:51 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Heibel-March Building is located at the corner of Range Line Street and Wilkes Boulevard.

COLUMBIA — The Historic Preservation Commission requested that three buildings in the North Central neighborhood remain standing until further discussions can take place.

At its Tuesday evening meeting, the commission suggested pausing the demolition of two houses on St. Joseph Street. The commission would also like input on the future of the Heibel-March Building. 

Boone County Family Resources bought the properties at 302 and 308 St. Joseph St. and has submitted an application for demolition.

Simon Associates Inc., a contractor hired by Boone County Family Resources to assess the St. Joseph Street buildings, found a number of problems with them. These included a lack of plumbing and peeling lead paint. There might also be mold and asbestos in the buildings as well, John Simon of Simon Associates said.

"We can't leave these houses vacant in their current condition," Simon said at the meeting. "Something very bad could happen."  

Both houses were assessed for historical value by Simon Associates.

The house at 302 St. Joseph St. contained nothing of historic value, while the house at 308 St. Joseph St. contained a fireplace and a couple of doors that would be preserved for historic value.

Boone County Family Resources has no plans for the houses or the land that they stand on.

Residents of the North Central neighborhood expressed concerns about the buildings being demolished and what it will do to their neighborhood. 

"The significance of the houses are not that it has a beautiful fire place. It's the historical community and the frontage line of the neighborhood," Adam Saunders, a resident of the neighborhood, said at the meeting.

Saunders would like to see the houses go back on the market and into private ownership. He would also like to see Boone County Family Resources come up with an official plan for the properties.

The commission is requesting that Boone County Family Resources pause the  demolition of the houses until the Historic Preservation Commission can meet with the organization to discuss the value of the houses. It also requested that Boone County Family Resources come up with a plan for the properties and would like an opportunity to walk through the houses.  

The commission also discussed the demolition of the Heibel-March Building. This was in response to a City Council meeting Monday night in which Columbia Parks and Recreation was asked to request proposals from potential occupants of the Heibel-March Building.

The commission wants to have input on the proposals for the building.

Dan Cullimore, a resident of the North Central neighborhood, said he and his neighbors have a vital interest in the building. 

Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.


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Comments

Tracy Greever-Rice June 6, 2012 | 9:08 a.m.

There are definitely buyers out there willing to invest in 308 and 218 to restore these structures and return them to the residential market.

If BCFR were truly interested in being "good neighbors", they would allow 208 to be inspected by a disinterested 3rd inspector with a specialty in historic restoration.

(Report Comment)
Michael Davis June 6, 2012 | 3:46 p.m.

Hello,

We received an email from a reader today that contained Columbia Housing Authority inspection records for 308 St. Joseph St. The reader had requested those records from the housing authority.

The records show that the property passed inspection in June 2011. The house was sold to Boone County Family Resources later that summer.

According to the records, the property was inspected 16 times from June 8, 2006 to June 14, 2011.

In response to this new information, we contacted BCFR’s contractor, John Simon, for clarification. He said that his firm, Simon Associates Inc., did not inspect the house for the same kinds of issues that the city and Section 8 housing did and that there was a different process involved.

This raises some interesting questions about housing inspections, and I have started reporting a story about that. If you have suggestions or wish to speak with me, you can email me at midavis61@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Michael Davis, reporter
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Tracy Greever-Rice June 6, 2012 | 5:39 p.m.

Interestingly, BCFR cancelled its board meeting tonight.

I'm sure it's unrelated to this issue and the plans of the neighborhood to attend tonight's meeting to make a plea for saving a historic home.

(Report Comment)

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