This iconic building is immediately recognizable as the work of renowned architect Harvey Ellis. Built in 1890, the 3-story brick structure features limestone ornamentation, slate roof and signature round tower. Additional buildings and grounds are included. Bidding opens at reserve of $25,000.
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1 - 701 Messanie Street, St. Joseph MO 64501 This iconic building is immediately recognizable as the work of renowned architect Harvey Ellis. Built in 1890, the 3-story brick structure features limestone ornamentation, slate roof and signature round tower. Additional buildings and grounds are included. Bidding opens at reserve of $25,000.
ABOUT THE ARCHITECT, HARVEY ELLIS
Famous for his Richardson Romanesque designs and his beautiful concept renderings, artist and architect Harvey Ellis spent most of his career in New York and Minnesota where he influenced structures from homes to skyscrapers. In 1889 he moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, to join the firm of Eckel and Mann. His design for the St. Louis City Hall won first place and was built in 1904. His well-known Compton Hill Water Tower in St. Louis (1898) is on the National Register of Historic Places. While with Eckel and Mann, Ellis also designed several homes for prominent St. Joseph citizens along with the new Central Police Station commissioned by the City and completed in 1891. Most recently home to the National Military Heritage Museum, the iconic building will begin its next chapter with this sale.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
After its founding in 1843, growth in St. Joseph was slow until the California Gold Rush. An official police department was created in 1858 as the population grew. The addition of a railroad spurred additional growth and by 1890 the police force had grown to 40 patrolmen in 10 districts. On July 17, 1890 the mayor signed an ordinance appropriating $10,000 to build a new Central Police Station on the site of the hay and livestock market. An additional $10,000 was later appropriated to complete the interior in time for occupancy on November 25, 1891. Continued city growth and expansion of police service necessitated an addition to the building in 1909.
In 1939 the Police Department moved to a new headquarters building and the original Central Police Station saw varied subsequent uses including housing a U.S. Marine Corps howitzer unit after World War II, a taxi cab company, and a bag factory. Since 1989 the building has been the proud home of the National Military Heritage Society and museum. As the museum moves to a new location, the stage is set for new owners and new uses of this stalwart building. In recognition of its historic and architectural significance, it was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 2009.
(For additional details on the history of the building, please see the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form at www.CatesAuction.com.)
ARCHITECTURAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BUILDING
As excerpted from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
The building is three stories with a two-story addition (1909) connected to the eastern portion of the original structure (1890-91). The structure has a modified L-shaped plan with a round tower. The building is built in the Richardson Romanesque style with heavy brick masonry bearing walls that rise from a brick foundation. Fenestration heavily pervades the bays of the south, east, and west elevations, but is more subtle on the north elevation. The structures entryways are cavernous, there are deeply recessed windows that show the thickness of the walls, and there are bands of windows. The building has a hipped roof with slate shingles, a masonry chimney, three parapeted gables, and four dormers. The addition has a flat roof. Limestone ornamentation and details, along with decorative brick work, such as pilasters, shields, and projecting string courses give the station a strong castle-like appearance. The walls of each façade are recessed above a stone stringcourse just below the guttering. Limestone details have been painted white. The use of different textured brick also provides decorative appeal to the exterior of the structure. A tower with a conical slate roof protrudes from the building at the southwest corner. The corners of the building are accentuated by quoins.
(Detailed architectural descriptions of each elevation can be found in the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, available at www.CatesAuction.com.)
FAST FACTS about the Central Police Station Building (701 Messanie):
Designed by Harvey Ellis
Style: Richardson Romanesque
Original building: Built in 1890 - 3 floors
Addition: Built in 1909 - 2 floors
Current owner: National Military Heritage Society
Exterior: Red brick (locally produced) w/limestone details
Roof: Wood frame with slate on main building; low-slope membrane on addition
Flooring: Concrete & Wood
Heating: First and second floors
Air conditioning: None
Fire protection: Wet sprinklers on main three floors; dry sprinkler in attic. (Installed 1947)
Sellers disclosure list included in Property Information Package
A QUICK TOUR
While the iconic Central Police Station building has been adapted for multiple uses over the years, it retains its historic and architectural significance. Many alterations made for work flow and energy efficiencies are easily reversible. The design, materials, and workmanship remain. The structure needs modernization and maintenance relative to intended future use. Note: While original plans were lost, a comprehensive floor plan from 1948 (and still essentially current) is available in the auction Property Information Package and at www.CatesAuction.com.
MAIN FLOOR (7167 sf): Grade level with primary entrance on Messanie and service entrance on 7th. Multiple offices, storage rooms, and large open areas. Large transomed windows on south and west elevations. Rectangular room on north end with overhead door (originally storage for the patrol wagon). Two stairwells and access to basement. Mostly brick walls, some with original lathe & plaster finish. Steel pillars and beams (installed with addition). Wood ceiling with visible sprinkler system. Concrete floor.
SECOND FLOOR (7167 sf): Originally served as offices, storage, and a courtroom. Center hall anchored by triple window configuration above main entrance. Concrete vault room. Access via two stairwells. Most walls are brick with lathe & plaster finish. Wood ceiling with visible sprinkler system. The glass skylight installed with the 1909 addition has been covered. Finished wood floors plus some concrete/linoleum.
THIRD FLOOR (4830 sf): Access via south stairs. One large open area with lowered floor in tower portion. Ceiling is sloped roof framing with painted wood. Sealed wood floors.
BASEMENT (823 sf): Located under the western portion of the main building. Originally served as the boiler room but now houses the fire protection system. Coal bin and exterior access were eliminated for a public works sidewalk improvement project. Water must be pumped out periodically. Masonry walls and concrete floor.
PROPERTIES INCLUDED IN THIS SALE:
701 Messanie Street, St. Joseph, MO
Parcel ID: 06-3.0-08-004-003-062.000
Lot Size: 120 x 120
Approx. Building Size: 19,987 sf
Basement = 823 sf
1st Floor = 7167 sf
2nd Floor = 7167 sf
3rd Floor = 4830 sf
613 Messanie Street, St. Joseph, MO
Parcel ID: 06-3.0-08-004-003-082.000
Lot Size: 120 x 83.38 IRR
This parcel includes two tracts of vacant land fronting Messanie (613/615 - structures removed) and five adjoining distressed commercial buildings (617/619, 621/623 & 520 S. 7th). The primary/south façade of 623 faces Messanie and the secondary/east façade faces 7th.
516 South 7th Street, St. Joseph, MO
Parcel ID: 06-3.0-08-004-003-081.000
Lot Size: 54.61 x 120
This parcel is a tract of vacant land fronting 7th Street.
(Structure demolished in 2005)
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