Archive for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Varsity House being disassembled to allow for construction of apartment building

Developer will reassemble the structure near its original site at 11th and Indiana streets

December 7, 2011


Workers continue to dismantle the old Varsity House on Wednesday near the northwest corner of 11th and Indiana streets.   The house is being moved closer to the corner to make way for an apartment complex, but the method of moving it — taking it apart — was not expected by historic preservationists.

Workers continue to dismantle the old Varsity House on Wednesday near the northwest corner of 11th and Indiana streets. The house is being moved closer to the corner to make way for an apartment complex, but the method of moving it — taking it apart — was not expected by historic preservationists.

The old Varsity House at 11th and Indiana streets decades ago housed the starters of the Kansas University football team.

Soon, the early 1900s-era home will have more pieces to put back together than the current Jayhawks squad.

The home at 1043 Ind. is being dismantled piece by piece so that it can be moved closer to the corner of 11th and Indiana streets to make way for a 50-plus unit apartment complex being developed by Lawrence businessman Thomas Fritzel.

But historic preservationists and neighbors weren’t expecting the house to be moved in this way.

“When I was told they were going to relocate the house by dismantling it, I was shocked,” said Dennis Brown, president of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance. “But there is nothing we can do about it.”

Fritzel and the Lawrence Preservation Alliance reached a deal this year where the alliance dropped its opposition to Fritzel’s apartment development in exchange for Fritzel agreeing to move the house closer to the corner. Originally, Fritzel had proposed tearing the house down, and then later offered to move the house to the north end of the lot. Preservationists objected to both ideas before reaching the compromise to move the house to the south.

But the compromise didn’t spell out how the house would be moved. Fritzel has decided to dismantle the house — recently the roof and attic were removed — place the pieces on a flatbed trailer, store the pieces off site, and then bring the house back to the site and reassemble it. Brown said he recognizes the compromise reached with Fritzel didn’t spell out how the house would be moved, but he said he is concerned that the dismantling of the structure will ruin the integrity of the house.

“I don’t understand how it will ever be the same house again,” Brown said. “All I can do is hope that they prove me wrong.”

Fritzel had little to say about the project recently. He didn’t offer any details about the process or the decision. Via e-mail, he expressed surprise that people were concerned about the process.

“Why would anyone worry about how we are doing our job,” Fritzel wrote in response to questions from the Journal-World.

Paul Werner, a Lawrence architect who is designing the apartment project, said he thinks the house will be reassembled back on the site in about six months, but he referred other questions to Fritzel.

The house — which is unique in that it was designed by the mother of Edward Tanner, the chief designer for Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza area — couldn’t remain in its original location because it would interfere with plans for the apartment complex.

City officials approved the dismantling method. Scott McCullough, the city’s director of planning and development services, said he could understand why moving the house completely off-site would make for a more efficient construction project at the dense corner of 11th and Indiana streets.

“We had to recognize the construction challenges on the site,” McCullough said.

Once reassembled, the structure will serve as a boarding house next to the new apartment development, which will be unique in itself. It will be the first apartment complex in the Oread neighborhood to provide below-ground parking.


sunny 2 years, 4 months ago

Its too bad the groups that are dictating to others what they can do with their own property do not have any money. They could buy the entire area of the Oread neighborhood and do with it what they please.

Why do you libs hate people who have money and create jobs?


pace 2 years, 4 months ago

I actually knew someone who did a house like this, it was successful. It was interesting, they had a fireplace stolen during storage, turned out someone used the stones as a patio.


SouthSide 2 years, 4 months ago

Not an issue. Fritzel is building the future of Lawrence and KU, just like the developers built Old West 100+ years ago. The building is crumbling, they'll try to save what they can. A fragile foundation that's doomed on a gravitational downward slope anyway. If left untended, it will collapse, untended, in a couple of decades. Why turn it into a soup kitchen?


flyin_squirrel 2 years, 4 months ago

Brilliant move! And I love how they are storing all the pieces and moving them using the big blue construction dumpster. That way none of the pieces will get damaged or lost...


commonsenseanyone 2 years, 4 months ago

Why so much hate? It was all legal....


oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 4 months ago

Travel Warning!

'not_holroyd" beware of travel to Australia as pygmy elephants are attacking tourists.


oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 4 months ago

Fritzel partners with Compton and the new lodge at Sadie's Lake will be constructed with the remnats of the Varsity House. Amyx approved a deal to more the house south, who would have ever suspected how far south.

Again, Mr. Stavros has long been forgotten. Goes to show that even Dennis Brown doesn't have a clue, 'not_holroyd either (by the way bring in the bulldozer for the 1200 block of LA you are so obsessed with" It is in need of "dismantle permits. LPA screwed up the project from the Ohio Street house and no one ever considers the real history behind it, being the home of the developer of West Hills. A KU prof no less.

Did Mr. John Stavros have to deal with the loonies? I bet not.

The 1200 block of LA would be a great place for the homeless. Bring it on. But then there is not enough money in town to buy that block and KU Endowment is still ownership of most of the block. Do they want to sell? Probably not!, They will be too busy later on buying the new apartments on Indiana just as is what happened with Jayhawk Towers. People in Lawrence are so dumb. That's what happens in a fake European Village aka Lawrence when the relatives breed with each other. Brain drain.

Mr. John Stavros had a brain and to think as part of an immigrant family to invest in Lawrence, That is more than the LPA members and the whackos on the Historic Resource Commission are doing. Ms. Lyn Zollner needs to go, she is busy doing not much of anything.

Rumor is that the Varsity House sections will be turned into picnic tables . Order now for Christmas. Only $75.00 each for a 4x8 foot slab.

If the top(flooring) is to be varnished that is $25.00 extra or go to the City Hazardous Waste andget your own varnish.

As for the drawings? No one in their right mind is going to rebuild the interiour of that structure. It's a bunch of cobbled up little rooms and has been for decades.

And in closing: Can used lumber be used in town? duh? John Stavros did not use any used lumber nor bricks!

RIP Mr. Stavros and thank you for your contribution to Downtown Lawrence. Sadly, no one remembers!


Andini 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope the architect made drawings of it so it can be put back together. :-)


gccs14r 2 years, 4 months ago

Is it even legal to reassemble a house demolished in such a way?


consumer1 2 years, 4 months ago

too much power rest with too many idiots = Lawrence Preservation Alliance


irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

where's the outrage about closing the trailer park? it's an important part of lawrences history and yet nobody seems to care about preserving it.


swan_diver 2 years, 4 months ago

Historic preservation is a complete charade here, and across the nation. The Lawrence Preservation Alliance has just been had -- again. Small wonder.

Bring in the clowns.


hujiko 2 years, 4 months ago

“Why would anyone worry about how we are doing our job,” -Fritzel

Because they've seen the Oread.


not_holroyd 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm thinking the city should condemn a house somewhere on the 1200 block of Louisiana and put a new drop-in shelter there. Especially if residents have a second out-of-state residence.

They would have to clean the hard drive on a computer, however.


spiderd 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't you get it Toto? The mentioning of John Stavros is extremely witty and brilliant. Mr. Wilbur has brought him up in about 112 straight posts, just waiting for someone to realize just how witty and brilliant it is. I get it Mr. Wilbur, I get it. You are amazingly witty and your biting commentary is something to behold. Each time I gaze upon one of your posts a new world of clarity and logic is opened.


oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 4 months ago

So where is the proof that Ed Tanner's mother designed the house? By the way, Cub Baer's book is a bit out of whack . Some of his facts are not correct. Nonetheless, he was a friendof JC Nichols and thus the job with the Plaza. What should be noted really though is that Ed Tanner's mother was the banker. A widow who moved to Lawrence and there is more history of the Tanners, the Stephens, the Fitzpatricks, the Postma's and others that even Dennis Brown is not that astute about .

How come the LPA isn't buying all of the historic houses in Oread? Why? They have no money, but only time to meddle. It is a disgrace.

If Fritzel brings back the sections, more power to them as it only shows that money and good taste do not go together.

By the way, how does one get permission to dismantle their own home? That seems to be cheaper and a lot less messy to haul to the landfill.

Merry Christmas to the LPA and Ms. Zollner who is daily wrecking the city with her crew of whackos and obstructionists. The city commission would do well to consider their many appointments coming up for various commissions.

Did John Stavros have these problems?


irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

remember borders preservation of the building


zackattackku 2 years, 4 months ago

I took some pictures of it while they were removing the dormers. If the photographs are done from public property they can't do anything to you.


Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 4 months ago

There will never, ever, be an attempt to put it back together.

It is gone, gone, gone. Much like the historic homes Compton agreed to preserve on Kentucky that mysteriously burned down as the complex was being built.


beaujackson 2 years, 4 months ago

What a waste of time and money.

The preservation "nuts" love to spend (other) peoples' money.


sandrat 2 years, 4 months ago

Could the LJWorld send a photographer down there to get some shots, or has Fritzel requested no documented proof that the house wasn't a pile of rubble before they started to move it. COME ON!


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

“Why would anyone worry about how we are doing our job,” Fritzel wrote in response to questions from the Journal-World.

Anyone having seen Fritzel projects in action would know there is plenty to worry about-- clusterfornication all the way.


Mike Myers 2 years, 4 months ago

Hope Fritzel and his architect don't intend to ever work in the preservation field. Good luck getting the bid for any of those jobs ever again.


MarcoPogo 2 years, 4 months ago

--“Why would anyone worry about how we are doing our job,” Fritzel wrote --

Why the hell would Fritzel start caring now what people are worried about? Talk about the horse being out of the barn...a beautiful and spacious barn found on the serene grounds of Fall Creek Farms.


secrettoalonglife 2 years, 4 months ago

Doug and Tommy sitting sitting in a tree...


scary_manilow 2 years, 4 months ago

I wish someone would "dismantle" Fritzel. He and Compton both need to go.


skinny 2 years, 4 months ago

They just as well torn the house down. They have trahsed it now and it will never be the same. All the plaster work was torn down and thrown away. All the brink on the fireplace was torn down and trashed. Who are they fooling??? What a joke!


KU_cynic 2 years, 4 months ago

I can see it now:

"Hey, when we went to put it back together again, some pieces were missing."


leftylucky 2 years, 4 months ago

Scott McCullough should look for other employment, time for him to go.


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