Joplin Historical Neighborhoods (JHN) officially announced the start of this historic preservation project on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the Charles Schifferdecker home, 422. S. Sergeant, Joplin.
Brad Belk, JHN Preservation Director and Curator, shared with the media and special guests the overall restoration plan for The Schifferdecker Home and Carriage House and The Zelleken Home and Garage (scroll down for full remarks). The group was then invited to see the masonry work that had begun on the exterior of the homes and take a guided “behind-the-fence” tour of the site.
Links to media coverage:
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Brad Belk’s complete remarks:
It is an exciting day for our preservation community. One of my jobs as the Community Historian for Missouri Southern State University is to assist in historic preservation and direct local historic preservation development projects. At this time, I am proud to announce the launching of the façade restoration of the Charles Schifferdecker home, his carriage house and the Edward Zelleken Home and his garage. As the Preservation Director of Joplin Historical Neighborhoods, Inc., our plans are to restore, preserve, and memorialize the former residences of Charles Schifferdecker, Edward Zelleken, and at a later date, the Alfred Harrison Rogers home and to operate them as educational historical museums. Joplin Historical Neighborhoods will restore, maintain, interpret, and promote the homes into history museums by educating and encouraging an appreciation of the 1890s and their role in the development of Joplin, Missouri.
The three homes are historically significant nineteenth century buildings in Joplin. They are located as part of the Muprhysburg Historic District. This district became one of the first organized neighborhood developments west of Main Street. The homes represent a variety of popular architectural styles that shaped residential construction in cities across the United States during this time. The period of specific significance is the 1890s Victorian Era and early 1900s. These two decades transformed the Joplin community into a thriving regional urban center.
In 2015 the Murphysburg Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Getting the district on the national register was a monumental effort. We thank everyone who was involved in this lengthy, but extremely important, designation. We also greatly appreciate our nearby residents for your understanding during this restoration process and we echo your pride of living in historic Murphysburg.
Our historic home preservation movement begins here at 4th & Sergeant. We will utilize these buildings to tell the fascinating story of Joplin’s early days before and after the turn of the century. The homes, both inside and out, will reflect the late 1890s Era when Joplin was developing into the zinc mining capitol of the world. Our restoration efforts will reflect the best practices from the Department of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. We will keep the visual authenticity of each structure.
Restoring and preserving these three homes will be a positive model and a visual aid to the historic preservation community. With their close-proximity to downtown, they will also add a complimentary balance to Joplin’s downtown revitalization efforts.
We want to promote cultural and architectural tourism, by showcasing the late 1800s styles of Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Neoclassical architecture. It is interesting to note how local builders adopted these styles of façade ornamentation.
We are developing an interpretative plan that will communicate the importance of the architectural styles of these homes, the families who built them, and the period of history in which they were built. Additional topics to explore include immigration, German heritage, local breweries, the lead and zinc mining business, the Joplin Globe, and the interurban trolley system. We will delve into everyday life utilizing newspapers, magazines, period clothing, games, wages, consumer prices, and culinary and entertainment habits of the day.
Our restoration efforts require us to secure the construction area. This we refer to as the “hard hat” working zone. Only authorized workers will be allowed on the construction site.
We have been extremely fortunate to have an outstanding project team. We are so blessed to have Michael Griffin as our Preservation Architect. Michael’s experience, knowledge, and ingenuity will enhance our building program. And we would not be standing here today without David and Debra Humphreys’ generosity. We greatly appreciate their vision and passion for this historical site and its importance to the Joplin community.
The rest of the year will be devoted to the façade work of the Charles Schifferdecker home and carriage house and the Edward Zelleken home and garage. We will be zeroing in on the roof, the masonry walls, and the windows. All three will be completely restored. The work schedule will move from site to site. As one structure has been completed the workers will then move to the next structure.
Currently we have Mid-Continental Restoration Company working on the brick and limestone. For over 60 years this award-winning company has excelled in masonry cleaning, re-pointing (also referred as tuckpointing), brick replacement and stabilization, limestone and terra-cotta repair and replacement.
The restoration of these homes is only the beginning. Obviously, we have much work ahead. We will keep everyone abreast of our progress on our website — www.joplin-hn.org — and look forward to the day when we open the doors of these three grand treasures to the public.
We want these historic homes to be valued and appreciated as they were intended. We are saving history. We are preserving history. We are restoring history by allowing these historic structures to thrive and live on for future generations to enjoy.”