Cape Girardeau's 2014 Endangered Building List Released

May 5, 2014

The City of Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission released its Endangered Buildings list for this year on Monday.

The list highlights historically valuable buildings in Cape Girardeau that are at risk of being lost through demolition or neglect.


Among the places on the list are the Broadway Theater, the Esquire Theater and the Fort D Blockhouse. Several houses on William, Asher, and North Main Streets are new to this year's list. The old Sturdivant Bank building was removed because it has been repaired and stabilized.


City planner Ryan Shrimplin said if a building is removed, the list is accomplishing its mission, especially if it gives the property owner the opportunity to market the building if they want to sell it to a buyer willing to restore it.


Shrimplin said there are different ways to save those endangered buildings.


“If the property owner takes care of the building, if they start maintaining it and doing the routine maintenance and repairs that are needed to keep the structure from falling under unstable condition,” Shrimplin said.


He added that it is important that historic buildings have a use because it is hard to sustain a vacant structure.


The most endangered buildings on the list are the ones that are in condemnation by the city, and Shrimplin said they are typically very hard to save.


On the cultural level, several buildings represent a specific architectural style that is disappearing in Cape Girardeau.


“The Missouri German Vernacular buildings are of high historic significance to Cape Girardeau,” Shrimplin said.


This year the commission accepted nominations from the public. People were invited to nominate a building, explain its historical significance, and demonstrate what could be done to save the structure. The commission reviewed those submissions and the buildings that were on last year’s list and came up with this year’s list.