The efforts of local historic preservationists have helped to save from demolition such buildings as the Old English Lutheran Church, 1040 N.H., and the Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second St.
Those efforts and others were highlighted Sunday at "20 Years and Counting: A Celebration of the City of Lawrence's Commitment to Conservation of Historic Resources," a panel discussion conducted at the Union Pacific Depot.
The talk covered the efforts to create the Lawrence Preservation Alliance in 1984 and the 1988 adoption of a city ordinance aimed at conserving local historic resources.
"I think overall, with the chapter and LPA and just the city at large, they've come to value historic resources," said Dennis Enslinger, the city's former historic resources administrator and current assistant city manager of Prairie Village.
The LPA first came together with an ultimately successful grassroots effort to save a Louisiana Street residence. The alliance has since focused on numerous sites and has made a difference, said Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, who was involved in the founding of the LPA.
"Certainly, the Oread neighborhood would be mostly new construction and apartment houses," Francisco said of how Lawrence might have developed. "East Lawrence has benefited from interest and positive response to their neighborhood."
The 1988 adoption of city ordinance 5950, chapter 22, established the Historic Resources Commission - a significant step, Francisco said.
"The LPA really supported the creation of a Historic Resources Commission, and that has made a difference," she said. "Now, all of a sudden, it's not individuals who have to rally around so much, but it's a public discussion about those resources."