Archive for Thursday, October 15, 1998


October 15, 1998


The S.E.W.S. house, located for years at Ninth and Massachusetts during the Christmas season, has been sold to a Parkville, Mo., group.

A house in which children made visits to Santa Claus in Lawrence has been sold to a community development group in Parkville, Mo.

The Spring Equinox, Winter Solstice, or S.E.W.S. house, which housed Santa in downtown Lawrence for the past 10 years, was sold because local officials were having difficulty storing it.

``When the house offered something new and unusual, it was easier to deal with problems associated with moving it and storing it,'' said David Longhurst, president of the board of directors of Downtown Lawrence Inc., which owned the house.

``We just felt it was time to find something else new and exciting for Santa to do,'' he said in a statement.

The house was constructed by Dan Rockhill, local architect, builder and Kansas University professor of architecture and urban design.

It was located at Ninth and Massachusetts in downtown Lawrence during the Christmas season.

It was sold for $3,000 to the Parkville Community Development Corp., the parent organization of the Main Street Parkville Assn.

The house will be used to house Santa for Parkville's annual Christmas on the River festival, said Diane Marty, co-chair of the event.

``We're going to take very good care of it,'' she said. ``Now that we've got it, it's such a great asset to our community.''

Marty said a Parkville resident who does business in Lawrence inquired about it, which led to its purchase.

The house was sold last summer, but Downtown Lawrence did not announce the sale until Wednesday.

The house on Monday was taken to Parkville, Marty said.

It was originally constructed at a cost of $12,000, she said.

Marty said the house will be stored either at Parkville College or at a private storage area.

Downtown Lawrence said it will announce next month a new location for Santa and other holiday plans.

Marcia McFarlane, administrator for Downtown Lawrence, said the organization planned to use funds from the sale of the house for new, yet-to-be-determined holiday projects and special events.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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