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Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Massachusetts Street house nominated to historic register

February 22, 2007

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The big three-story, Queen Anne-style house at 1646 Mass. has been nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review selected the 113-year-old house, along with nearly a dozen other houses and buildings throughout Kansas, for nomination to the National Register and the Register of Historic Kansas Places.

"We feel quite privileged to live here," said Matt Veatch, who along with his wife, Judy, has owned the house for 10 years. "I'm a strong believer in historical preservation."

Veatch, who submitted the application forms to the sites board, knows about historical preservation. He is an archivist at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.

The Veatch house at 1646 Mass.

The Veatch house at 1646 Mass.

Local home nominated for historic register

The Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review picks a Lawrence house as a nominee for the national register of historic places. Enlarge video

The family of Edward House was the first to live in the residence built in 1894. Other prominent residents include Carl Friend, a Lawrence lumberman, banker and politician who owned the house from 1903 to 1909. He became a state senator and Kansas lieutenant governor in the 1930s. A 1930s Kansas University football coach, Gwinn Henry (9 wins, 36 losses), lived in the house from 1939 to 1942.

Queen Anne houses were the dominant residential style in the United States from 1880 to 1910. They were defined by large turrets, front porches and decorated gables. Veatch credits Terry Reardon, a more recent former owner, for restoring the house and introducing it to modern heating, air conditioning and plumbing. Third-floor attic space was turned into three bedrooms and a bathroom.

Veatch said he likes the cherry woodwork in the house, two parlors, the pocket doors and the oak staircase.

"It's an old house, so you've always got something you need to work on, but it's been pretty well maintained over the years, and we try to make sure it stays that way," he said. "You can sense that a lot of people have lived here over the years."

If the house is placed on the National Register, the Veatches will be able to use tax credits for maintenance projects. They will be limited, however, in projects they can do that require a building permit. Veatch said it could take as little as a month to find out whether the house is placed on the National Register.

Comments

Linda Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

Judy Veatch works at Black & Veatch. Go figure.

This is a BEAUTIFUL home! I've not been inside, but I've been to the door!

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Eric Beightel 7 years, 7 months ago

It's Riordan, LJW, not Reardon.

Come on, people. It doesn't take that much effort, does it?

That house was fantastic back in the early 90's when I used to frequent it. Nice work. Always good to have houses on the Register in downtown Lawrence.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

Let's rename that block of Mass. to 'Coach Henry Blvd.' We must not forget this noble facet of KU football history.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

& Judy Veatch is not related to the Veatch in 'Black & Veatch'

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stopthenoise 7 years, 7 months ago

Although I support the preservation of historic properties.........everyone must realize the many downsides.

Homes or properties within 500 ft of the historic home are subject to extreme scrutiny when it comes to modifications. The historic board must approve each and every modification. They will tell you what you can and can't do with your property. This is only done once a month at their meeting. You thought getting a building permit was hard before....hold on, cause this is one heck of a ride!

Secondly, the tax credits may be worth 25%, but the cost to restore the home using only materials approved by the historic commission cost 50% more.

There's actually a lot more I would like to say about this.....but I need to be productive. Surely someone else can finish for me.

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Emily Hadley 7 years, 7 months ago

Thanks to all the owners of this house for helping to make the neighborhood such a nice place to live and traverse. There are so many houses in Lawrence that could achieve this historic status with a bit of care and investment by the owners. Hopefully we will see more old Lawrence homes make the historic register in the near future.

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Janet Lowther 7 years, 7 months ago

I've been in this house a few times, and I figure the gorgeous finish woodwork in this house took more hours of labor than is expended building most comparably sized Big Ugly Houses in far west Lawrence from the corn field up.

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Linda Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

I wondered about that, you old goof! Thanks for clarifying!

It is indeed something for which they should be very proud.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

Completely untrue. "Homes or properties within 500 ft of the historic home are subject to extreme scrutiny when it comes to modifications. The historic board must approve each and every modification. They will tell you what you can and can't do with your property. This is only done once a month at their meeting. You thought getting a building permit was hard before....hold on, cause this is one heck of a ride!

Secondly, the tax credits may be worth 25%, but the cost to restore the home using only materials approved by the historic commission cost 50% more."

The historic resources commission only reviews anything requiring a building permit and then only changes that impact the exterior of the building. Many projects can be approved administratively by Lynn Zoellner at City Hall. Changes that do go before the Historic Resources Commission will be approved if they maintain the integrity of the original structure. Don't know where you came up with the idea that "approved" materials cost 50% more.

I own an historic property and I've never had any problems or delays with making repairs or improvements.

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stopthenoise 7 years, 7 months ago

George- If you haven't heard of problems or delays, your not listening. There are many complaints.

Compare the price of cedar lap siding (required by HRB) with other more mainstream and environmental-friendly alternatives. You will find it to be 50% more expensive.

-6" x 10' cedar siding is $12.75 ($1.28 lf) -8" x 16' composite siding is $8.95 (0.56 lf) -56% more expensive

Yes, the board only gets involved when a building permit is required. The question is, when isn't it anymore? It's my understanding that installing siding requires a building permit, installing energy efficient windows requires a building permit, building a deck or porch requires a building permit, etc.. I think you can still choose your own colors and paint, but that's about it (that will change in time).

I appreciate the value of historic properties. However, I am opposed to the restrictions placed on adjacent properties (500 ft environ). I live in one of these environs. I voted against it. Regardless, I am now subject to yet more restrictions and more cost. The restrictions should only apply to the homes being designated as historic. They are the only ones benefitting from the tax credits.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

Just saying that living in an historic property in a national historic district has never caused me or my neighbors a delay. Even before my property was listed I still would have gone with the cedar siding versus the composite siding. I prefer honesty of materials rather than using something that is made to look like something that it isn't.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

Hmmmm. My house is 149 years old. I have $100,000 worth of coverage and it's only about $650 a year. Didn't have a problem getting insurance. Difference is the ranchers built in the 1950s weren't meant to last.

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