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Archive for Friday, February 18, 2005

Douglas County house hits the market with a Home-court advantage

First story sports old floorboards from Allen Fieldhouse

February 18, 2005

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If floors could talk.

Then Gary and Dorothy Kempf's floor could tell stories of Bud Stallworth's 50-point game or Wilt the Stilt's unbelievable debut as a Jayhawk.

The first-story floor in the Kempfs' home and much of the floor on the second story are made from the original floorboards of Allen Fieldhouse.

"We used to have a backboard in the living room, but I took it down after a couple of things were broken," Dorothy Kempf said.

The home, south of Lawrence near Pleasant Grove, is an 1870s Pennsylvania Dutch barn that the original owners, Bob and Marilyn Brown, converted into a Craftsman-style home. After 15 years of living in the home, the Kempfs are leaving Lawrence. Gary, a former KU swim coach and current assistant athletic director, took a job as athletics director at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky.

"It's going to be hard to leave the house. Hard to leave Lawrence," Dorothy Kempf said.

Now the Kempfs hope the fieldhouse's home-court advantage will help sell their house. They've enlisted a player who also has a stake in the home.

Pieces of an old basketball court from Allen Fieldhouse make up the
first floor of a rural Douglas County home. The house, an 1870s
Pennsylvania Dutch barn, is now for sale, and Craig Brown, a
Realtor with Realty Executives, above, shows the house, and also
helped install the floor with his father, Bob Brown, a 1951 KU
engineering graduate, who used to live in the house.

Pieces of an old basketball court from Allen Fieldhouse make up the first floor of a rural Douglas County home. The house, an 1870s Pennsylvania Dutch barn, is now for sale, and Craig Brown, a Realtor with Realty Executives, above, shows the house, and also helped install the floor with his father, Bob Brown, a 1951 KU engineering graduate, who used to live in the house.

Craig Brown, son of the original owners and a Realtor with Realty Executives, helped his parents renovate the barn in the late 1970s and is now a real estate agent looking for the perfect buyers.

"I had a couple who were MU fans," Brown said. "We told them it wasn't for sale to them."

Brown's father, Bob, purchased much of the court after it was removed from the fieldhouse in 1974 to make way for a new court.

Brown said his father took his Rock Chalk loyalty to a new level when he installed the floor at the home.

"That'd be a die-hard fan for sure," he said.

D.W. Acker, who has worked with the fieldhouse court designs since 1977, said the Kempfs' floor was originally in Hoch Auditorium, before it moved to Allen Fieldhouse.

"They had to build special risers for it," Acker said. "I think it was like 18 inches off the dirt."

The floor was removed from the fieldhouse after a synthetic surface called tartan was laid around the court. Acker said he helped move pieces of the floor.

"The floor just reeks of KU basketball," Acker said. "Think of all the great people who played on this thing. Sweated on it. Cried over it ... and all the victories."

Pieces of an old basketball court from Allen Fieldhouse make up the
first floor of a rural Douglas County home, which is now for sale.

Pieces of an old basketball court from Allen Fieldhouse make up the first floor of a rural Douglas County home, which is now for sale.

Allen Fieldhouse managed to hold on to one piece of its original court. The "K" from the middle of the court now resides between the trophy cases on the east side of the fieldhouse.

"We have everything but the K," Kempf said.

The Kempfs said the home had been perfect for the family, noting the floor's durability. After all, the floor was constructed for decades of wear and tear.

"You can't hurt it," Kempf said.

















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