The story of recycling: materials from the old house for new life in the museum project | Local News


For more than a century, the majestic Colonial Revival nestled in the trees of one of Joplin’s busiest hallways anchored what was once a tranquil country estate.

But the Cypress Acres property at 3330 N. Range Line Road can no longer be saved.

The 6,000 square foot home and surrounding 10 acres where the Hoffmeister family lived for 60 years and operated the Cypress Acres Tennis Club will soon give way to a multi-family housing development to be built by Schuber Mitchell Homes of Joplin, which is based across the street from Cypress Acres.

Despite its fate, the friendly three-story house with its prairie-style details that the Hoffmeister family and other advocates have tried to protect will not go away. Just as the house began, the materials from it will be reused in multiple ways.

Some of the wood used in the construction of the house is said to have come from dismantled structures that were used during the 1904 World’s Fair in Saint-Louis.

Recycling materials

From now on, many materials from the house of Hoffmeister will be reused. A construction crew is currently working to harvest the parquet from the Hoffmeister House as part of the restoration of three houses that are part of the Joplin Historical Neighborhoods Inc project.

This project involves the restoration of houses built by Joplin’s early contractors Charles Schifferdecker, Edward Zelleken and AH Rogers in the Fourth Street and Sergeant Avenue neighborhood as museum homes. It is a project carried out by a trust involving David and Debra Humphreys. He is President and CEO of TAMKO Building Products Inc., based in Joplin.

Cast iron radiators and window hardware are also being removed from the Hoffmeister House for the museum project.

Brad Belk, community historian, is the director of preservation and curator of historic homes as part of the museum’s effort. He said the Hoffmeister House could not be saved due to the cost of its rehabilitation, but would provide essential materials needed for the museum project.

In addition, Habitat for Humanity Restore will be collecting a number of other wooden accessories and details from the Hoffmeister House which it will sell to the public at the store, 5201 N. Main Street Road.

“We are an extremely disposable company now,” Belk said. “We only have one planet Earth, and when we make the irreversible decision to demolish a structure, in the essence of preservation, we need to consider whether there are any components or building parts that could be reused. or recycled. We take great pride in this, which is our third company in reusing parts of a collapsing building. “

Other reuse

One of the things obtained for the project are blocks of Carthage limestone from the demolition of the Knights of Columbus meeting room at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, formerly located at 727 Byers Avenue. The hall was dilapidated and the Knights of The Columbus organization did not have the funds to repair the building.

After leveling the room, the limestone blocks used for its construction and which are no longer extracted from a quarry in Carthage were kept in case they were needed for the repair of the Church of St. Peter. Church leaders agreed to provide some of the limestone for the restoration of the Schifferdecker Foundation.

The floor of the old Gahagan Paper Co. building at 1022 Wall Ave. was salvaged for the museum project after the building was acquired for use by neighboring Boyd Metals, 1027 Byers Ave.

Other floors will come from the Hoffmeister house.

Belk said the floors of the three houses involved in the house museum project will be repaired or replaced with the salvaged materials. The replacement in the Schifferdecker house is necessary due to the deterioration caused by a fire and the water used to put out a fire in 1991 that killed the two family members who long owned the house, Gertrude Mary Meredith Freeman, and his son, William B. Free man.

Window locks are also collected from the Hoffmeister House, which Belk says are hardware of a style that cannot be found. The house’s cast iron storm doors and radiators will be reused in the houses of the museum project.

“So many of these things, patents and styles, if they work, you don’t change them,” Belk said. “So over the years there are so many pieces that you can’t say, ‘It’s the 1890s or 1920s.” They just keep doing the same style again. But we’re very concerned to make sure that the objects we put in our homes are representative and authentic of that time. “

All the houses were built between 1890 and 1900. The Hoffmeister House was built between 1909 and 1914.

Material donations

“Without Schuber Mitchell’s gracious generosity, we wouldn’t have access to this,” Belk said of the components he described as vital to the houses in the museum.

“We are really, really excited that there is long term use of all of these essential materials and the story of this house will continue through the Schifferdecker Foundation for the next 100 years,” said Joe Harris, CEO of Schuber Mitchell. “We are delighted to offer this gift and delighted that they can reuse these materials for the community and the future.”

Terry Booth, director of the Habitat ReStore, said the materials from the Hoffmeister house will benefit Habitat for Humanity and the residents of the Joplin area in several ways.

“Anything we’re going to get from the house, we’re going to sell it in the store, and the proceeds will go towards building new Habitat homes,” Booth said. “There are old antique sinks. People are remaking these sinks and installing them in homes today. There are antique windows and doors. We will take the stair railings and the shelves of the house library. … some of those old architectural details are truly unique “and could add a special touch to someone else’s home.

Quality materials

Robert Taylor of Taylor Brothers Construction Co. in Goodman cares for the houses in the museum. He appreciates the materials that will be reused from the Hoffmeister house.

“From a craftsman’s point of view, a lot of the wood you buy today is not of the same quality as old wood,” he said. “It’s a lot of work for the recover, it takes time, but it’s worth it. “

Belk said some of the parquet floors, such as quarter-sawn oak from the second floor of the Hoffmeister House, will be used to construct intricately detailed floors that would have been originally found in the houses in the museum project.

Deciding what to do with the Hoffmeister house was difficult, said Terry Mitchell, of Schuber Mitchell. “We have looked at all the options to try to save this house.”

Belk added: “The cost is astronomical” to restore an old house. “And with all the moving parts that need to be dealt with, you have to make a good decision about what you can do. I think the positive side of this story is this ability to reuse and recycle these great materials.”

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