Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Most Fun Mid-Century Modern Reuse Ever

Andy's Frozen Custard -- Columbia, MOWe introduced you to the newest neighbor in the historic community in our recent blog, The New Nostalgic. That Mid-Century Modern era. We open our arms, give a warm welcome, and even invite a good old fashioned block party to celebrate its acceptance among the other historic greats — Greek Revivals, Queen Annes, Craftsman, and all the other magnificent examples of architecture of the past. This lovely, newly recognized era has been lingering nearby for over half a century without a second thought to its place in history. It’s now an accepted fact that the brick ranch of the 1950s and early 1960s is hip and relevant to a new generation of homeowners. “Retro” is all the rage.

Who doesn’t love a flaring hoop skirt complete with an ironed on poodle? Ribbon adorned ponytails and rolled white cotton tees? Just imagine June Cleaver in her heels and pearls picking up her black shiny rotary phone to call Ward to ask him to pick up a couple pounds of flour on the way home. Ward hops in his Ford Fairlane and with the biggest 1950-something smile that a well-suited man can muster he heads off towards the A&P. However first he has to stop for gas. Yeah, you can see it. A rounded glass-walled Phillips 66, with a roof on it that resembles a space ship. Some overly mannered young man just waiting to clean the windows while the car fills with gas.

In our last blog, we created a great list of places worth saving. Some of them surprising, it’s the reuse part that really gets fun. Right here in Missouri we have some of the most fantastic examples of Mid Century Modern gas station reuse. Some of them only exist today because of dedicated grass roots movements to keep them from demolition. No, they are no longer a fuel stop, they have become way more fun! Ice cream shops, café’s and BBQ joints, just to name a few.

Next time you’re out and about be sure to stop by one of these former pit stops for a snack stop!

The Filling Station BBQ — Lee’s Summit, MO

Andy’s Frozen Custard — Columbia, MO

Starbucks — St. Louis, MO

We would love to hear from you! What would you do with a blast from the past filling station?

Next…Schools. How learning theories and the political environment affected design and what are we doing with our empty past homes of education.

Audrey Elder

Past to Present Research, LLC

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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Historic Preservation


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Places Do Matter

Napoleon UMCMany of us have heard of the National Trust for Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign that began several years ago. This program gives everyday citizens all over the country an opportunity to save a historic place that holds a special place in a community’s heart, in an individual’s heart. My first personal experience of this love for a place began with a place where I was reared, where friends and family gathered, and a place that I learned the value of stewardship. My hometown church. I remember admiring it and respecting it even more when we celebrated the church’s 100 year anniversary in 1997. I felt the connection grow even stronger as we all shared stories about its history – from its humble beginnings out in the country, visits from circuit riders, our German heritage, even stories of physically moving the building to its present location. It found its place in the history of our community, and to this very day is well cared for because it is dearly loved. The diligent actions of a community can speak louder than any words ever could; those actions tell the world that this place matters.

Historic preservation is about saving those places that mean the most to us. These efforts are certainly not limited to fancy homes and churches. There’s a grand array of places to be saved, not the least of which include:

  • Homes and neighborhoods
  • Barns
  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Bridges
  • Downtowns
  • Trails
  • Theatres and opera houses
  • Diners
  • Parks
  • Public artwork
  • Courthouses

Thousands of places around this nation have been saved because of the efforts of passionate people. Take, for example, the City of Boonville, Missouri, a community that rallied together to rescue the Katy Bridge from being demolished; though the 6-year battle is not yet over, their fighting spirit is something to be admired and stands as a testament to what can be done.

Katy Bridge, Boonville, MO

Katy Bridge, Boonville, MO

What speaks to you? What do you and your community hold dear? The National Trust still proudly and strongly encourages participation in this program by which you can share about these places, and is a great way to start conversations in your community about how to move forward with preserving the places we treasure.

Liana Twente

Past to Present Research, LLC


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