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Archive for Sunday, September 29, 1991

LPA SEEKS TO PREVENT CHURCH DEMOLITION

September 29, 1991

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The Lawrence Preservation Alliance is continuing to explore new ways to "get in front of the demolition ball," the non-profit group's president said at its annual meeting Saturday.

Dennis Domer, LPA president, said the group would continue its three-year fight to block the demolition of the 110-year-old Old English Lutheran Church, 1040 N.H.

Domer said Lawrence City commissioners, in response to an LPA letter, had said they would not take up the issue of the church's demolition until a decision came from the Kansas Court of Appeals, which is in the process of reviewing it.

But he said the appeals court decision would be moot because it would be made without recent information submitted by the LPA that the building was not unsafe and that a buyer for it had been found.

Reviewing the events of the past year with the 30 members at the meeting at Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum, Domer said the LPA had given grants to people and groups for the purpose of renovating a house at 1042 Ohio and the Union Pacific Depot.

Discussing the Plymouth Congregational Church's ongoing renovation of its facade, the alliance voted at the meeting to send a letter to the church, 925 Vt., encouraging it to preserve the stenciling inside the building.

The group considered nominating the church for the Register of Kansas Historic Places, a process which does not require the consent of the property's owner. The alliance earlier got the Consolidated Barbed Wire Building on the register with this method and is considering pushing for more such registrations, Domer said.

Also at Saturday's meeting, members received an update on the group's ongoing project to develop a "significant structures list" for the Lawrence area.

Domer said the alliance was compiling the list to help educate and alert Lawrence residents about what the LPA thought was historically important and why.

Paul Caviness, LPA board member, gave a lecture and slide show in which he discussed the problem of what should be considered historically significant.

Besides the more well-known landmarks, perhaps the alliance should consider the value of less obvious pieces of history, he said.

The slide show presented mansions but also displayed local 19th century "shotgun houses" so named because the rooms are lined up so that if you fired a shotgun blast through one it could go out the back without hitting anything.

Caviness also showed examples of old industrial buildings, gas stations, utility buildings, fountains and sculptures that could be considered historically significant.

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