(File photo) [Order this photo]
Although Sunflower Development Group no longer plans to purchase the property, its involvement spurred something exciting for history buffs.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources notified building owner Pat O'Hanlon and local officials that the old Fitzgibbon Hospital has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of Oct. 17.
"It took an interesting path to get there," Eric Crump, chairman of Saline County Historic Preservation Commission, said in a meeting Thursday, Dec. 6.
The property was actually nominated by Sunflower Development Group, which planned to renovate the building for affordable senior housing.
Sunflower ran into a roadblock as the local housing authority didn't support the project, but the nomination was already submitted, Crump noted. The preservation commission, as well as Saline County commissioners, supported the nomination.
The property now joins more than 30 locations within the county on the national register. A list of locations can be found on the preservation commission's website.
The building has been used in recent years as PahloArt Gallery and Kazoos!, a children's hands-on art center. Commission members agreed to notify Sunflower of the listing as a courtesy.
During their meeting, members once again discussed the idea of defining a historic district -- first in Marshall where surveys have been completed, followed by other interested areas throughout the county.
Jo Ann Radetic, a certified local government coordinator with the state historic preservation commission, is tentatively scheduled to visit the county for the group's January meeting. Commission members hope to give her a tour of the eastern portion of Marshall where they'd like to determine a national historic district.
The district can grow or be added onto in the future.
Another starting point for members may include a 1-mile square that borders Mitchell Street to the south, Brunswick Avenue to the east, Miami Avenue to the west and Lacy Street to the north.
"Would this tie into the scenic byways trail that's coming through the county," Southern Commissioner Monte Fenner asked.
Fenner referred to a proposed scenic byway that's spearheaded by Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership. Crump seemed to think it could be added to the byway's list of attractions, but wouldn't physically connect.
Board member Jim Steinmetz questioned if businesses within that mile square could then apply for grant funding. Qualifications most likely include businesses within buildings that were part of the original historic district, but newer buildings would not.
Board members hope to get feedback on the Pisgah Church during Radetic's visit, which is located near Elmwood. According to researchers, the church was formed in 1854 and the present building was built in 1883. Additionally, the church has saved the sessions book, which they say survived the Civil War.
The first step to have the Pisgah Church listed on the national register is filling out an eligibility assessment. State officials would review that information from that point.
During the meeting, advisory board member Bill Sleeper gave a presentation on the history of Saline County Courthouse and surrounding buildings. Additionally, new members Amy Arndt and Jessica Goodman were introduced.
The next regular meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. The meeting will take place in the Wood & Huston Bank Community Room, located on the north side of Marshall's downtown square.