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Archive for Monday, June 3, 2013

25 years ago: Church demolition blocked by state historical society

June 3, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 3, 1988:

The proposed demolition of the second-oldest church in Lawrence had been blocked by the Kansas State Historical Society. In a letter this week, Ramon Powers, the state's historic preservation officer, informed the city that he was removing clearance to demolish the old stone church at 1040 New Hampshire. "The City of Lawrence should take no action on the request for a demolition permit until our study has been completed and our comments made to the city," Powers wrote. The Society's decision to block the demolition apparently had been based on the fact that the building had been designed by noted Lawrence architect John G. Haskell, who had designed several other early Lawrence buildings such as the county courthouse, the Castle Tea Room, the First United Methodist Church, and the United Presbyterian Church. Although the Lawrence City Commission was responsible for the ultimate decision regarding the church's fate, commissioners were required to allow the state historical society time to study and comment on the proposal. "We're not going to issue a demolition permit until they have cleared it," said assistant city manager Mike Wildgen. "I'm not going to defy the state law as I understand it at this point."

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