1. Hi

    This is an interesting letter in regard to the old houses in Ste. Genevieve. When I was in Ste. Genevieve Two years ago. I was amazed that there were so many historic homes and business that were in such bad repair and in need of rescuing. You know er don’t need to be like Williamsburg. Tourisim is big business and if these places could be restored and rented to people for crafts and things for people to buy. I would be to the benifet of the community. I live in Liberty, Missouri just north of Kansas City but have a great family history in Ste. Genevieve County. A lot of my ancestors settled there. Is there no Historical Society there to look into this. I was amazed how rude some of the people were that were in charge of the buildings that you could go through when we were there to see the old part of town.

    I know renovation costs money but the city fathers should be interested in the revenue that would come in from the tourest trade, I would be interested to know what happeneds. Keep me posted
    Audrey Steffee

  2. Thank you Gretchen for saying what so many of us believe! We citizens of Ste. Genevieve care about the O’Neille House and the others pictured above! We wish to see these buildings restored to their origins both inside and out. SAVING our town’s true history, which all of these buildings represent, should be the PRIORITY here! Let’s not confuse profit for any individual and/or any other sort of ill-intended ‘angle’ with what is really valuable, including those which remain private property in Ste. Genevieve. What a shame!

  3. What a treasure Ste Genevieve is. We always enjoy our trips there. I am discovering much of my family history there and one of the houses, the Jean Birk house, is part of my history. It seems to be in very bad repair. Is this house privately owned or does an organization own the house.

    1. Rita, are you referring to the vertical log house on Ziegler street? If so, this house has recently been sold to a preservationist who intends to restore the house to its original creole state.

  4. Gretchen,

    You are my hero!

    It should also be noted that Tim Conely tried to sell the Landmarks Commission on moving the Beauchamp House because according to him it was in danger of flooding when in reality he wanted it moved to the Lions Park so he could sell the land to the school for a profit.

    He also led people to believe that he donated part of his land to the Lions Club when in reality he sold it to them, And then held a house tour where all the proceeds went to the Lions Club when in reality it was to pay him for the land.

    1. Author

      Sam, I have been meaning to reply to your comment, but just have not had the time.
      Thank you for the info about Conley, as I believe everyone should know just what he is up to.
      I would also like to just say thank you to you personally, as I admire you and your work in Sainte Genevieve greatly!

  5. Gretchen,
    I would like to give an update on the some of the buildings which you identified in your editorial above. The city has been working behind the scenes with property owners to bring their buildings into compliance with the minimum property code and the city’s historic preservation ordinance. This can be a slow process – especially when so many property owners have been financially effected by the poor economy and when so many of these property owners live out of town. In some of these cases, the owners have died and the properties have been held up in probate. In the majority of these cases, the owners have a sincere desire to rehabilitate the property but lack the money or the manpower or simply don’t know how to go about it. This is when the city can be of assistance to property owners by connecting them with the right resources, providing technical assistance and helping them establish a plan of action. I hope that the community has noticed the many maintenance and repair projects that have been taking place this summer: The failing stone foundation walls on Jefferson Street are being – or have been – beautifully repaired; the Florentine Schirman building, the Dufour House, the Linn House, the Anton Klemmer House, the Joseph Seraphin house, and several more are being – or have been- repaired and the city is actively working to bring several other historically significant properties into compliance. As I said, this is a slow process and a process that is performed behind the scenes and not on the front page of the paper (preferably!). The city staff prefers to work in a spirit of cooperation with property owners in order to achieve the positive outcome that we desire. This positive outcome is, of course, to save these historic buildings from neglect and from their eventual destruction, thereby maintaining the historic fabric of Ste. Genevieve. BS

    1. Brenda, the whole point of this letter was not the other houses. The point is that the Commission was on a blitzkrieg against the Presbyterian church with no real cause or reason other than being egged on by a third party and treating them quite unfairly. No one was working with the church “in a spirit of cooperation.” That was the point.

      1. Author

        I would like to address Ms Schloss’ remarks regarding some of the properties becoming dilapidated due to being in probate.
        According to MO law, probate runs no more than 18 months, and then the estate is closed.
        Some of the properties listed in our letter have been neglected for DECADES, so the premise that said properties arrived at their current sad state during probate is rather nonsensical, to say the least.
        I would also like to add that I am not trying to lambast anyone on the front page of the paper, but when attention needs to be drawn to unfairness regarding Landmarks Commission practices, I have no compunction in drawing attention to that unfairness.
        Perhaps the folks that are loathe to have attention called to them would be better off serving Sainte Genevieve in another capacity.

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