Cape Girardeau downtown historic rehab projects move forward

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The effort to create a first-ever residential historic district in downtown Cape Girardeau takes a big step forward.  In the meantime, you can see a lot of changes on South Middle Street, where work to rehab history is in full swing.

"This house actually was condemned when our current owners purchased the house," said historic preservation expert Melinda Winchester as she pointed to 203 S. Middle Street. "And, they have worked on it since September of last year and we've applied for the state and federal tax credits to do the rehabilitation."

Winchester is excited, not only about what's going on at 203 South Middle, but about the work about to begin at the house next door, and the three other Middle Street homes targeted for rehab work.

"I'd say within two years, you're going to see some huge changes in this whole block," Winchester said.

As the South Middle Street historic rehab continues, Winchester's firm put the final touches on the national register application for Cape's first downtown residential historic district, which covers roughly 13 city blocks.

"Many of the property owners are interested in the tax credits, the state tax credits specifically, to help rehabilitate their homes, fix up their homes," Winchester said.

Winchester says this latest designation won't just preserve historic character of the neighborhood.

"It will also increase the property values for all the property owners, even if they don't do a project down there on their individual (home)," she said. "People will start taking more pride in their properties and I think it will promote more new owners moving into that area, which will be good for our downtown commercial area as well."

A representative from Winchester's firm will present the national register district nomination to the Missouri State Advisory Council May 21.

Call Lafser and Associates at 573-339-4625 for more information.

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