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Editorial: Reynolds House on endangered list

Saturday, May 17, 2003

There are so many important and interesting historic sites in Cape Girardeau that one hardly knows which one to preserve first.

There's Marquette Hotel's success story, of course. The condemned downtown hotel was headed for destruction before the state stepped in with a contract to turn it into office space for government employees.

And then there's the popular Glenn House, which figures prominently in local tourism and thus gets a lot of attention. Even this historic home needs more money to get back to top condition.

So perhaps it isn't surprising that the little-known Reynolds House landed on Missouri Preservation's Ten Most Endangered Properties List for 2003.

The Reynolds House sits at 623 N. Main St. Historians say it is one of the least altered early dwellings in the city.

Built in 1857, it is in the style of earlier French colonial architecture. Joseph Lansmon, a brick mason who built the Common Pleas Courthouse and other structures in Cape Girardeau, constructed the house according to plans drawn by Edwin Branch Deane, the architect of the Glenn House.

Certainly, with such an engaging history, the Reynolds House is worth saving. But it sits with boarded-up windows and loose bricks. The Historical Association of Greater Cape Girardeau, which owns the house, doesn't have the funds to fix it.

Some history buffs hope exposure from being on the endangered list will bring the plight of the Reynolds House to the attention of individuals or groups that might be willing to help.

Let's hope so. Without an infusion of financial assistance, the Reynolds House will continue to deteriorate.


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