2022 in Review

Projects that Owen & Eastlake completed in 2022 included historic contexts, historic districts, and architectural surveys. Through our projects we explored mid-century modern development trends, architectural styles, and community development. We also expanded the community narrative and the concept of historic integrity in neighborhoods that suffered from historic disinvestment.

Historic Context for Jefferson City, Missouri

The Central Motorist Bank, a 1962 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design in downtown Jefferson City.

Owen & Eastlake researched and wrote a historic context for Jefferson City, Missouri, to assist the city in planning with historic preservation in mind. The context explored historic moments in the city and how the resulting changes were evidenced in the built environment. It also explored race relations throughout Jefferson City’s history, including the city’s relationship with its HCBU, Lincoln University; segregation and its effects on neighborhoods; and the city’s efforts at revitalization through urban renewal.

The project was funded by a National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund grant and the City of Jefferson.

Joplin East Town Historic District Nomination, Joplin, Missouri

Placing historic integrity in context allowed this 1870s commercial building to become a contributing property in the historic district.

Owen & Eastlake prepared a National Register nomination for East Town, the first commercial district in the zinc-mining town of Joplin, Missouri. Joplin also wanted to recognize African American contributions to the city’s early history and the history of southwestern Missouri, and the historic district’s role in the city’s Black history. These were often difficult subjects—they were known, but had not been readily discussed. In 1903, a lynching led to the expulsion of some African American residents, but the Black community responded: the 1904 Emancipation Day festivities drew more than 5,000 African American residents and visitors to celebrate their heritage. The nomination also explored Joplin’s racial segregation and reactions to it.

The Joplin Globe, in a 2022 editorial, welcomed the state’s decision to advance the nomination, noting, “East Town’s is both a sad story, recalling as it does Joplin’s tragic history with racial violence and segregation, and an inspirational one, recalling triumphs of Joplin’s Black community.” It went on to state, “Both the suffering and the resilience of East Town are important parts of Joplin’s story that we hope are not ‘forgotten’ any longer.”

The project was funded by a National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund grant and the City of Joplin.

Evanston Historic District, Cincinnati, Ohio

A neighborhood business district in the Evanston neighborhood is primed for revitalization.

Owen & Eastlake prepared a National Register nomination for the Evanston neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. The district nomination explored demographic change in Cincinnati with a focus on Evanston. Founded at the turn of the nineteenth century, Evanston was a German-flavored suburb that by the 1960s had a predominantly African American population. The nomination explored how this change played out in a neighborhood business district. A strip of commercial and residential buildings that originally housed white professionals and businesses gradually came to house African American businesses and professionals, a microcosm of Cincinnati’s demographic changes as a city. The district was nominated in pursuit of state and federal historic tax credits to advance economic revitalization.

The Memorial Park and Old Town North and East Neighborhoods, Kirksville, Missouri

A bungalow in the East Town neighborhood.

Owen & Eastlake conducted a reconnaissance architectural survey of in Kirksville, Missouri, that inventoried 298 properties in the East Town residential neighborhood and placed it in context through a short history of its beginnings in the late nineteenth century and changes through the twentieth century. The survey recommended a historic district and several individual National Register nominations. The project was funded by a National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund grant and the City of Kirksville.