Monday, February 4, 2008
For anyone interested in the history of Cape Girardeau, there is good news about the Reynolds House in the 600 block of North Main Street. The house is one of the oldest structures still standing in the city. At one time there was a commanding view of the Mississippi River from the house, which was built for a prominent businessman.
The Historical Association of Greater Cape Girardeau has owned the house since 1982, when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. But little has been done with the house or its outbuilding, except for enough maintenance to keep the buildings upright.
Time has taken its toll on the structures, and members of the historical association became concerned recently that, without immediate attention, the house might deteriorate beyond repair. It is thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor that up to $50,000 has been made available for repairs. Work has already started on cleaning out debris, repairing floor joists, replacing flooring, tuck-pointing the foundation and repairing a chimney. The roofs on both structures also will be replaced.
As critical as the repairs is a meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 that will decide the future use of the Reynolds House. The historical association also owns the Glenn House, another historical structure on South Spanish Street that is operated as a museum. Representatives from the city and the Convention and Visitors Bureau are expected to participate in that discussion.
If you have any ideas for the Reynolds House, now is the time to speak up. Cape Girardeau's history is an important asset in many ways, and making the best use of those assets could have a significant impact.