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Cape River Heritage Museum Building Receives Much Needed Repairs After 40 Years

Cape River Heritage Museum

The Cape River Heritage Museum recently received city funding to conduct repairs to the historic landmark.

Throughout its life as a former police station and firehouse, the structure has had many different jobs in its existence. However, the building was starting to show its age.

The structure received funding to add new lights, a new HVAC system, and new flooring were also added.

On the exterior of the building, the brick walls were repointed and the roof and windows were replaced. The updates ensure that the current job of the structure housing the Cape River Heritage Museum can continue for many generations to come.

The building has great historical significance to Cape Girardeau, according to Dr. Steven Hoffman, Professor of History and Anthropology at Southeast Missouri State University. He's also an advisor to the Historic Preservation Commission of Cape Girardeau.

He spoke briefly about the structure's past and why it's important to preserve "in terms of sort of community, and community quality of life, to being an environment that has these touchstones, you know, to our past [sic]".

Dr. Hoffman also stated that the building helps contribute to a 'sense of place' and "really allow[s] for the distinctive character of communities to come through kind of in that broader context—you have a building like the Cape River Heritage Museum, which is a listed local landmark, and it is significant both for its architecture. And for its history as a police station and a firehouse”. The multipurpose city building was originally built in 1908.

The landmark building at the corner of Independence and South Frederick Street has served as the home of the Cape River Heritage Museum since 1981.

Renovations were officially announced as 'complete' on August 8th, 2022 on the site's Facebook page, and the building is once again open to visitors. Through the month of August, the Cape River Heritage Museum is showing the watercolor works of Gordonville, Missouri artist, Abby Williams.

Senior, Historic Preservation Major and the Vice President of Historic Preservation Association