Back at the Ranch with Paula A Sense of Place
Architectural Historian

Architectral Historian

Mayor Ivanhoe Love, naming street Rock Island Road

Buildings are living history, a wealth of data. They may be razed or recycled, get a little nip/tuck or a whole set of pipes, neglected to age naturally in place. Their families change and their allowance shrinks or grows with the economies of their pastures. If they reach 50, meet criteria, and if so desired, some may be designated a historic structure further protecting their status. Others continue to live on by different means, most often with people.

We are architectural historians when we research family history specific to a place or dwelling, collect old and current photographs and drawings, and keep all this in a safe place for our great grandchildren. We are preservationists when we live in older neighborhoods and maintain our houses. When the wash house becomes the studio or the pantry expands into the kitchen, we are adaptively re-using the building's space. This maintains function, a form of preservation. Preservation and renovation are friends.

An architectural historian researches, documents and analyzes a building at its current stage of life relative to a continuous history. The work can result in such things as grants to provide funding for a historic building, a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, or the re-routing of a highway. A lasting impact is felt from products of this work. Whether traveling by backroads, highways, or train, we traverse these places with stories that make us think about where we were and where we are going. Here are a few of my footprints.

A Place History in the Kansas Flint Hills

Thesis: "Ranching in the Flint Hills: Exploring the Built Forms of a Family Cattle Ranch." University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design.

Barn, I-House, Spring House American Rural I-House Type, German Interpretation People of the Place Site Documentation Henry Grimm Spring House Timeline of Farming & Gov't Policy, Building Analysis

A Definition of Ranching in America for Travelers and Students from Abroad

p. 606 in the Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture, Routledge, London, 2001. This was a bone one of my KU Professors threw me after the pain of writing and defending my thesis. It still holds up and I have the check for $22.50 framed.

Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture

J.K.P.Williams Bank Barn, photo Robert L. Marsh, Barns of Kansas

A Historic Study and Comment Re-Route the King's Highway in Kansas

In 2002, road engineers propose and designed improvements to US-77 from Florence to Marian in Kansas which required a Comprehensive Survey/Historical Significance study for the James K.P. Williams Property in Marian County, Kansas by Paula Adams through Citysearch Preservation. Williams was an early stockman and drover in the 1880s of historical and political significance. The property includes a later home, historic stone outbuildings, a frame bank barn with stone foundation, and adjacent pens. The initial highway of the 60s divided the Williams built structures from pastures, but the 2002 improvements to US-77 further encroached on the barn and functional stockpens. Upon reading the historical significance, an opinion was then requested and given as to the proposed proximity. KDOT re-routed the road and redesigned the slopes, roadbed, and drainage to further protect the property and preserved its functional relationship of barn to holding pens.

A Renovation of the Spanish Mission Style Rock Island Depot and Grier Eating House in Liberal, Kansas

There are various ways to become involved in a historic preservation project. This project holds a special place with the various tasks performed: building documentation and schematic design for Thompson Architects, PA, Historical Significance for ISTEA Phase II Grant, Grant Writer for Heritage Trust Fund Grant, proposal for the Kansas Preservation Alliance Award, and Community Support as a Board Member of Depot Heritage, community architectural education, and fundraiser in the private sector. Many people, project well-done. Stop by the restaurant.

Rock Island Depot, circa 1915 Liberal Rock Island Depot