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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

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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.

Comments

leftylucky 3 years ago

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

KU_cynic 3 years ago

I can see it now:

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

Lenette Hamm 3 years ago

You hit the proverbial nail on the head... I said long ago that the house would never survive the move, either by fire or some kind of moving "mishap". Just too bad that the LPA overlooked making the conditions of the move specific, as in "intact". Damn...

Michael Sizemore 3 years ago

NAH - hey...does anyone smell smoke?

skinny 3 years 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!

scary_manilow 3 years ago

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

mhenders 3 years ago

Well, there are always different views to a story. We should be thankful we have persons in this community that have the vision, resources, and willingness to move development projects forward.

secrettoalonglife 3 years ago

Doug and Tommy sitting sitting in a tree...

MarcoPogo 3 years 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.

ljwhirled 3 years ago

Didn't that barn burn down? Funny that.

Mike Myers 3 years 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years 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.

Jack Hope III 3 years 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!

Jack Hope III 3 years ago

Thank you for adding the photo... better late (after everyone has already read the article) than never.

Jack Hope III 3 years ago

Okay, now you put the article on the front page of the site. It think the editors set this up just to make me look foolish. Touché, LJWorld. Touché.

beaujackson 3 years ago

What a waste of time and money.

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

Bob_Keeshan 3 years 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.

zackattackku 3 years 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.

irvan moore 3 years ago

remember borders preservation of the building

Mike Myers 3 years ago

Isn't it about time for you to move to Celebration Florida? They are celebrating "15 years of community" this year and they would be really glad to have you. Ok then.... super!

spiderd 3 years 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.

hujiko 3 years ago

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

Because they've seen the Oread.

hujiko 3 years ago

Oh, you mean the long standing student hangouts of the Crossing and Yello Sub? Yeah, I saw them. At least they fit the environs typically found on the fringe of a university, unlike that behemoth now standing composed of faux limestone glued on a concrete shell.

Nothing stinks of falsity more than that monstrosity and its clientele.

irvan moore 3 years 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.

gccs14r 3 years ago

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

flyin_squirrel 3 years 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...

pace 3 years 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.

zackattackku 3 years ago

It will be successful if they put it back together the way it was before. They demolished a third of the structure yesterday. That is a part they won't ever get back. Good thing they didn't apply for tax credits. They wouldn't have gotten any.

Sunny Parker 3 years 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?

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