Hutson’s Christmas Display

I was whining to Brother Mark this evening that I was sleepy and didn’t have any idea what I was going to post in the morning. He suggested I go looking for Christmas lights and decorations. Mother and I needed to make a quick run to the grocery store, so we headed out. I figured Hutson’s traditional display would be a sure bet. We pulled up just as Town Crier Darryl Morgan and his escort, Betty Morgan, made an appearance in front of the store. Bingo! Early bedtime.

Sky cooperates

When I made my first frame, it was yellow like the world had been eating carrots. Recognizing that most the light was coming from incandescent light bulbs, I went into the Nikon D40’s menu and switched Color Balance from Automatic to Incandescent and dialed in the maximum amount of color correction. I could have done the same thing in PhotoShop, but it’s better if the quality is at least close before you start playing around.

The sky had a natural blue cast at sunset, but the menu correction I did boosted the blues even more. (That’s the last of the photo geek-speak.)

One of those Cape coincidences

Here are some of the folks I ran into (you can see them in the gallery):

  • Abby Meyers, 5, and her grandmother, Melody Hutson;
  • Simon, 7, and Ben, 5, Edmunds along with their dad and grandmother.
  • Montgomery Bank bell ringer Becka Hollis

I was ready to call it a night. I looked around one last time and saw a toddler in a stroller who looked just a little older than my 8-month-old Grandson Graham. I grabbed a couple of frames under some miserable light at a super low shutter speed. He was grooving to the music, so I was afraid they’d be blurry. Since I had gone to that much trouble, I asked his mother his name and gave her a business card.

Terra Hendrickson looked at the card, then she looked at me, said, “You sat next to us on an airplane.” Indeed, she was right. Tarra and Roscoe – now a year old – were seatmates on Cape Air at the end of July. They were on the way to see hubby Karl’s parents in Alaska. I was en route to St. Louis, West Palm Beach and Seattle. She had lost the card I had given her on the plane, so she had never seen the photo of her and Roscoe that ran then.

Old Town Cape Christmas ornament

Old Town Cape chose Hutson’s Christmas Window as the 2011 ornament. The ornament looks pretty much like my photo (but my sky’s prettier).

Hutson’s Christmas Display photo gallery

Click any photo to maker it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

Hutson’s Christmas Window

Old Town Cape’s 2011 Christmas window ornament has arrived. This year recognizes a Cape holiday tradition, Hutson’s Fine Furniture Christmas Window display. (Click on the photo to make it larger so you can see more detail.)

Old Town Cape is so old they aren’t set up to handle online ordering, so here’s the  Old Town Cape 2011 ornament order form that you can download, print and snail mail to them. (Put a little note on it that you get it here or mention that when you place your order.)

See old ornaments

The form lists all the ornaments still available from previous years. You can see photos of all of the old ornaments in the post I did last year.

If you’re in Cape, you can also get the ornaments at the Old Town Cape Office, Lang Jewelers, Jayson Jewelers, CVB, Zickfield Jewelers, Knaup Floral, C.P. McGinty Jewelers, Bob’s Shoe Service, Shivelbines Music, Pastimes Antiques, Renaissance and Hutson’s Fine Furniture. The cost is $30 with a stand and $25 without. Shipping is $5.30.


Schultz Senior Apartments I

Marla Mills, Executive Director of Old Town Cape, wrote, “One of the most difficult challenges a community can face is the dilemma posed by a white elephant – a big, empty, deteriorating building that no knows what to do with.  It was not so long ago that Cape Girardeau was faced with a building that could have easily become a white elephant.

Central High School, located in Cape Girardeau’s downtown area, was used as the public high school from its construction in 1915 until 1953 when the new Central High School was built on Caruthers Ave. The original high school building continued to be used as a public school, initially as a junior high.  In 1964 it became a seventh grade center and was renamed in honor of Louis J. Schultz, an educator who served the public school system for 36 years working in the building as a teacher, a principal, and superintendent. Most recently portions of the building were used for alternative education until its closure in 2008 when the building showed evidence of deferred maintenance.”

A true neighborhood school

You can see from this aerial photo taken in November that Central High School was truly a neighborhood school where a substantial number of its students were within walking distance. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

Schultz School saw many changes

Marla explained that “the 1915 Central High School had undergone many changes to meet growing school needs.  A 1919 arts wing and a 1942 shop wing were added.

“In 1964, major alterations updated the facility, replacing the original sash windows with banks of aluminum awning windows and reworked doorways with commercial aluminum framing. The original hallway wainscoting with its simple wood cap was replaced with simple 4×4 off-white glazed tiles, the doorways to the upper level of the gymnasium from the main hallway were blocked up, numerous additional lockers added, and the stairways reworked, replacing the original wood wainscoting and railings with a modern small tile mosaic half wall and aluminum railings. Some of the stairways were enclosed with complete walls.

An additional stairway was built between the 1915 and 1919 wings, and in 1991, an elevator was added, making the building handicap accessible. [That addition covered up half of the original 1914 cornerstone.]

School District sold Schultz School in 2008

By 2007, the school district had determined that the building had outlived its usefulness and would cost too much to rehabilitate and renovate.

That’s where local developer Chad Hartle stepped in. He worked to get the school listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once that happened, it allowed him to seek state and federal rehabilitation tax credits and housing tax credits.

He bought the building in August 2008 for just under two million dollars. To make the project work, he had to figure out how to provide affordable senior housing, preserve the original character of the building through historic preservation and to do it in a way that made economic sense.

Hartle preserved Cape’s heritage

From Marla: “But Chad did more than just save a building… he helped preserve Cape Girardeau’s heritage.  With the project completed, the building still illustrates its original use – a school—even as it successfully accommodates its new use—senior housing.

“The current historic rehab project removed most of the 1964 alterations.  The 4×4 tile was removed, the wood wainscot cap reconstructed in the hallways and stairways and the openings to the upper level of the gymnasium were reopened.  The staircases were reopened and the wood cap railings reinstalled.

“The 1964 staircase was eliminated to create a larger elevator lobby. Classrooms were converted into individual apartment units.  The original width of the hallways has been retained, along with original doors, transoms and flooring.

“And to help achieve an “old school” feeling and association, the 1960s windows were removed and replaced with windows similar to the original 1915-era windows. Even the space where the lockers were in the hallway has been retained to preserve the look and feel of the old high school.

“In addition to the rehab work, Chad made an effort to incorporate the history of the school and the community in the interior design.  He incorporated murals depicting a time line and other memorabilia that gives visitors and occupants a true sense of what happened within the walls of the old school.  All this is incorporated into completely modern, up-to-date and energy efficient apartments.

Preservation of Heritage Award

Old Town Cape awarded Chad the Preservation of Heritage Award for his work on Schultz Senior Apartments. In making the award, Marla noted that this isn’t an annual award. “In fact, it has only been presented three times before: in 2004 for the Marquette Towers project, in 2006 for The Southeast Missourian project and in 2008 for the River Campus Project.”

The building is also featured as the 2010 Old Town Cape collectible ornament.

Interior photos tomorrow

We’ll go inside the Schultz Senior Apartments tomorrow. Be prepared to be impressed. The apartments are first-rate and the public areas make you feel like you’re in a museum. It’s one of the nicest apartment buildings I’ve been in.

Schultz School Christmas Ornament

The Downtown Merchants Association decided to celebrate DOWNTOWN Cape Girardeau’s historic structures and DESTINATIONS through a series of collectible ornaments starting in 1997. When the DMA merged with Old Town Cape, Old Town Cape continued the tradition, Toni Eftink, project manager, said. [Toni’s the one who wanted me to capitalize DOWNTOWN and DESTINATIONS, so I guess there’s something special about that phrasing.]

This year’s ornament depicts Schultz School, the old high school on Pacific that has been turned into Schultz Senior Apartments.

How to order

The ornament sells for $30 with a display stand like the one pictured or for $25 without the stand (not including shipping). This link will take you to an order form.

If you have any questions, you can call Old Town Cape at 573-334-8085 or email them at . Here is the Old Town Cape website.

If you decide to buy an ornament, let my OTC friends know you heard about them here.

2009 was The Glenn House

Toni said that each ornament is hand-crafted and painted by Hestia Creations in Massachusetts, so no two ornaments are exactly alike. About 400 to 500 ornaments a year are ordered. It’s turned into one of the most popular and largest fundraisers for the organization.

It’s a good fit. The ornaments recognize and promote landmark buildings in Cape; Old Town Cape’s goal is to revitalize the downtown area.

Some ornaments are sold out

Some of the ornaments in the photo gallery have been sold out, so don’t wait too long to place your order. The ornaments that aren’t available as of this writing are 1997 Clock and Courthouse, 1998 Academic Hall, 1999 Old Mississippi River Bridge, 2003 Emerson Bridge and 2005 Southeast Missourian Building.

Photo gallery of Old Town Cape ornaments

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.