COLUMBIA — Based on the results of a historical and architectural survey, Columbia houses could go down in history.

Structures in the North-Central neighborhood, including St. Paul A.M.E. Church, will be undergoing the survey to create information sheets about houses in the area. The city's Historic Preservation Commission is in the process of hiring a surveyor to gather details, which will include photos, architectural data and notable residents. 

"This helps us determine which structures are historically significant and if the neighborhood itself is historically significant," said Rusty Palmer, staff liaison for the Historic Preservation Commission.

The neighborhood will be split up into three sections, each surveyed in different phases of the project. The first phase of the survey will begin by Oct. 3 and will be completed by May 2017. 

The first phase will include 220 structures in the area bordered by Rogers Street, College Avenue, Ash Street, Walnut Street and Park Avenue. While some of the buildings in the area could date back to the late 19th century, Palmer said, most were built during the 1920s and 1930s.

Facts from the survey will be used by the commission to recognize notable properties in Columbia, provide nominations to the National Register for Historic Places and create overlay districts. 

Overlay districts aim to conserve the historic character, Palmer said, and require stricter zoning regulations that don't allow modern structures in older neighborhoods. The North-Central neighborhood association has expressed interest in becoming an overlay district in the past. 

The survey is being funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the city of Columbia. The project cannot exceed $20,000, with the state grant funding $12,000 and the city paying $8,000. 

Palmer said the commission hopes to survey as many neighborhoods in Columbia as possible and has started with downtown areas. Other areas of Columbia that have undergone surveys include the East Campus area and the Benton-Stephens neighborhood. He said this survey will also help in making "better decisions" regarding demolitions in the downtown area. 

Supervising editor is Jared Kaufman.

Samantha Brown is a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.

  • Samantha Brown is a student at the University of Missouri majoring in English and Journalism.

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