Jefferson City district a 'place in peril' for third straight year

4 months 13 hours 43 minutes ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:22:47 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
By: Ian Russell, KOMU 8 News Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - For the third straight year, the Capitol Avenue Historic District in Jefferson City is considered a "Place of Peril".

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation compiles the list, putting the district on it as 25 percent of the area is considered derelict property.

Bill Hart, Executive Director for MAHP, said the main reason for the area being on the list is neglect.

"It had been what we had considered a victim of demolition by neglect," said Hart. "There was one particular business owner who had purchased quite a few of the buildings within that historic district without actually ever maintaining or caring for any of the buildings."

Some neighbors agree with the listing. Linda Buettner has lived in the district for the past 33 years. She says that the name especially holds true.

"In this three block area I would say yes, there are quite a few that fall into that. And some of them are absolutely dangerous," she said.

Buettner also said that because of the condition of the houses, she can't even see them being fixed.

"I think the historic district is important, I agree with that," said Buettner. "But some of the historic houses they're calling historic, they're beyond saving."

Other residents echo Buettner's thoughts. Alicia Hombs also lives in the district, and says that the area is an eyesore.

"For us to get anywhere, like to walk downtown to do business or to catch a bus, we have to walk through that area," said Hombs. "I don't like seeing it that way, and they were probably nice at one time, but the property owners have just let it decay."

The Historic District almost wasn't on the list this year. Hart said the main reason the area is still on the list is due to the May tornado.

"We probably would have taken it off had it not been for the tornado," said Hart. "The tornado caused minimum damage to the substandard buildings that we were concerned about before, but really wreaked havoc on the buildings in the district that were in good condition."

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