Schultz Senior Apartments II

Yesterday we showed the outside of the recently renovated Louis J. Schultz School, Cape Girardeau’s first public high school. Today we’ll go inside Schultz Senior Apartments.

Developer Chad Hartle is sitting in the main lobby area. The walls are covered with murals depicting the history of the school. They are rich with illustrations and photos from the school paper, yearbook and local papers.

Reading through the names gives you a great feel for the continuity in a small town. I recognized the names of grandfathers, fathers and my generation of students. We, of course, have become fathers and grandfathers ourselves. We all are part of an unbroken chain.

Informal meeting areas scattered around

It’s easy to find a place to sit and talk with visitors or other residents. Small, informal seating areas are all over the public areas.

Locker space turned into displays

In order to preserve the original look of the school, the width of the hallways was preserved, along with original doors, transoms and flooring. Chad tried to collect vintage items that reflected the after-school clubs and activities through the years and display them in the spaces where lockers had been located.

Some of the trophies came from a safe that school had acquired from the Sturdivant Bank after it failed.

Shuffleboard court preserved

The original shuffleboard court is as shiny as the day it was installed.

Well-equipped exercise room

There’s a good-sized exercise room with modern equipment. The room also has comfortable seating for residents who would rather relax and visit instead of working out.

Family room for visiting children

There’s a room set aside with small chairs, toys and electronic games for residents who have small children visiting them.

Apartments are bright, energy efficient

On a day when I brought my mother by to check the place out, we struck up a conversation with two women in the parking lot. Evelyn Seabaugh was kind enough to give a couple of strangers a tour of her apartment.

We were knocked out by how bright and cheerful the place was. Chad replaced the windows from the 1960s with energy efficient ones that more closely resemble the ones from the 1915-era.

Each apartment has a washer, dryer and full kitchen. Ceiling fans circulate the air. The 13-foot ceilings make the apartments easy to cool in the summer. Chad said utility bills were running around $50 a month on average for the coldest months of last winter.

Apartments are unique

Bill Mansel is a model train enthusiast. Almost every square inch of his one-bedroom apartment on the ground floor is occupied by train memorabilia.Bill said he was the third resident to move into the complex.

There are 45 apartments in the building, split fairly evenly between one and two-bedroom units.

Cameras and alarms provide security

All of the doors are kept locked and are equipped with keypads for security. There are cameras monitoring all of the hallways and public areas. There was some discussion about allowing residents to monitor the security cameras, turning the apartment building into a virtual “Crime Watch Neighborhood.”

I heard some talk, also, about letting residents start a community garden on what used to be the school’s playgrounds. I don’t know if either of those plans will ever come to pass.

The cool fire escape is gone

Several readers reminisced, some more fondly than others, about the curving tube-like fire escapes on the old school. They no longer exist.

The top floor with the old lobby going to the balcony of the auditorium has been cleaned up, but is unfinished at this point.

Floors have rich color

The floors leading to the old balcony lobby have been refinished.

Safe from Sturdivant bank

When Chad bought the school, there was an old bank vault from the Sturdivant Bank in a storage room on the ground floor. After he drilled the lock, something that convinced him that he didn’t have a future in bank robbery, he found old school plans and sports trophies that are now on display in the hallways.

Rampant vandalism

The walls in the room were covered with the names of many of my classmates. I ran a piece earlier where I posted the photos of all the names and asked if anyone could identify where they were taken.

Most of my former classmates must not have been sure how long the statute of limitations ran on junior high school vandalism, so my query was met with deafening silence. Follow this link to see if YOUR name is on the Wall of Shame. Or, more interestingly, which boy’s or girl’s name is linked to yours.

A real asset to the community

The Schultz Senior apartments are a real boost to the neighborhood and to the community at large. In a time when so many of Cape’s landmarks are being bulldozed, it’s good to see this one saved. It could have gone the way of these schools:

Louis J Schultz Photo Gallery

Here is a collection of inside photos, plus the exteriors that ran yesterday. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

33 Replies to “Schultz Senior Apartments II”

  1. This is so impressive. I commend Mr. Hartle on his commitment to preservation….as well as his taste.
    Harriett Smith

  2. My grandmother was Valedictorian back in 1928(?). I am young enough that I attended 7th grade in that building. And then later spent a few years in the building as a Community Police Officer. Its a great project that I was proud to approve of when I was serving on the city council.

    Ken: I can barely see the roof of my house in the lower left corner of the aerial. You’ll need to reshoot that one!

  3. it is great to see how the building was saved and put to good use. i like a lot of 7th graders went to schultz.i thought is was a launch pad for us to make the transition from gade school to junior high. i have fond memories of the place.they allowed the kids once a year to go down that fire escape. it was at the end of the school year.i had ms golden flegge as a music teacher..thatis one of the teacher’s names i remember..and a mr overall for math.i bought a 1938 girardot form a antique place in cape..schultz was the old central high then.keep up the good work ken,this agreat site.

    1. Linda,

      I can’t find my notes, but I think the average apartment rental was in the $400 range, and pretty sure it was sub-$500 when I shot the photos this spring. Prices vary by size and location.

      The place filled up very quickly, so I suspect there’s a waiting list for any openings.

      I have a brochure that lists the phone number as 573-243-1463. If you call, mention seeing the story here.

      [Note: I originally posted the number with a 561 – S FL – area code by mistake. Kid Matt pointed out my error. The number above is correct.]

        1. Good catch, Kid.

          I edited the original comment to include the correct phone number, 573-243-1463.

          That’s what happens when you keep bouncing back and forth between area codes.

  4. I was one of the last classes to attend Schultz School. Coming from sheltered Alma Schrader, I was quickly made aware that there was more out there than I had ever known. While attending Schultz I had money stolen from my locker, I was threatened to be beat up, but instead she used the gym dodge ball class to take out her frustrations. One of my classmates already had a child and was pregnant with her second.

    It was also the year that the Ivan Browning earthquake prediction actually came true,just not on the proposed day. I was on the third floor of Mr. Richardet’s class when it hit and I clearly remember the confusion that followed.

    They also had cheerleading try outs in front of the entire school. Even though, there were a lot of crazy things that happened, I always had fond memories of that year of my life, because it opened my eyes to a world that existed beyond my sheltered life.

  5. What a wonderful way to preserve the building and the history of our local high school/hometown.

    Carol Morrow Maynard 1953

  6. I’m so glad this building was preserved. So much of our history gets demolished in the name of progress. I was one of the thousands who went to Schultz for 7th grade. I met 2 friends in classes there (from other elementary schools in Cape) who have remained good friends 40 plus years later. That was worth it, right there!

    When we moved to Cape in the fall of 1965, I was to attend Hawthorn but apparently it was not ready yet. They sent us to Schultz that year. I was in 4th grade. I don’t remember if we were there all year or if Hawthorn was finished before the school year was out. I guess us grade schoolers interacted with the 7th graders at Schultz but I don’t really remember the day to day routine.

    Maybe some of your other readers will remember that situation and can fill in blanks.

  7. Ken, this is a wonderful blog! Thanks for the tour! I wish there were more developers like Chad Hartle. Our world would be so much more beautiful, if those with the knowledge and the power to do these projects had the courage to follow through!
    I followed your link to see how many teachers I knew, and Mary Z. Reed was the only one you mention who was there when I taught English at Cape Central in 1966-69. The lumberjack story was legendary. She also loved Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells,” as I recall. The teacher I loved the most was Inez Smith – such a kind, elegant lady – and so helpful to a new teacher! Alta Muegge was absolutely wonderful to me, as well! I’ll never forget their kindness.

  8. mary z reed..OMG! such a gentle soul..from a different time..she was a neighor of our’s when we lived on north ellis street..she lived on bellvue…inez smith? lived next door to us on westend blvd…i didn’t have her as a teacher i did have ms reed and ms saddler such ladies and my clas being the class of 1972 were hell raisers and dumbasses..LOL if we were planning on going to college we needed to take..”honors english” which was the term i think the school used…and try they did you expose us to the saddler had us read beowulf..and she liked shakespeare

  9. Louis Shultz was good fishing buddy of my grandfather’s. I met him many times and always found him to be a kind an wonderful person. I remember the day he died of a sudden heart attack. My grandfather was very sad that his buddy was taken. I’m glad the school (where we spent 7 & 8th grade) has been remodeled and turned into something useful.

    Linda Folsom Hatch

  10. I still have my Mom’s (Valene Helton-Hengst) yearbooks from her 1935 graduating class and a few from the years before. In fact, she typed one of those yearbooks for publication. She had Ms Reed and Ms Gockel for English, shorthand and typing. When I went to the old Central on Caruthers, they taught me also.

    I’m so glad Mr Hartle renovated the building. It sure held a lot of memories. Sure not sorry the old fire escapes are gone. I have claustrophobia and I really didn’t care much for them. It was required that you went down them for a drill each year when I went there.

  11. My dad, Robert Cook, went to HS there before WWII, and then was the general contractor that remodeled the building turning it into Schultz school. During the remodel I got to go to the top floor that wasn’t remodeled or opened for use by us 7th graders. I have a coffee table that my dad made from an old marble window sill that was removed in the remodel. I, too, fondly remember going down the fire escape! And how about our first experience with PE locker rooms with showers! Didn’t have that at Alma Schrader.

  12. Ken,
    This coverage is fabulous! I, too, could move there in a NY Minute. It was my Jr. High School also where I have happy memories of new found joys in band, a cheerleader and head majorette. Also loved singing in Mrs. Flentge’s chorus. Did you know that she sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? She had me sing “Autumn Leaves” to try out for her choir. First time I had ever heard that song.
    I remember coming home from a basketball game in Mrs. Sander’s station wagon with the other cheerleaders and hearing “Silver Bells” for the first time. That fire escape was a blast! It was such a fabulous time in my young life.
    Chad did a fabulous job, didn’t he? I used to work at First Federal S&L with his wife and Chad was in banking for a while also. So glad he changed his occupation. If he could just do the same thing with Franklin School . . . .
    Thank you for all you do with the CHS 60’s Newsletter. I look forward to each new week to see where your next adventure will take us!

  13. I am looking for photos of the Schulz Senior. Can you please email them to me.

    They are for a non-profit effort in Kansas City to show ideas for our closed shcools.

    I’m on a tight schedule.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Kathy, maybe I’m just in a cranky mood because I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 a.m. and because I’m working on a project that had me shooting all day, but your request hit me a little bit the wrong way.

      I’ll continue the discussion in direct email, but you’re asking me to care about YOUR deadline because you’re on a tight schedule.

      You didn’t tell me how you’re going to use the photos or anything about your project.

      You might be working on a non-profit project, but I note that your email address is from, which sounds like a business to me.

      I don’t have a problem with providing photos to individuals for personal use or for a cause I care about, but if someone is going to make money off my work, I expect to see a piece of it or I expect that person to tell me enough about the project to make me feel warm and fuzzy about it.

      OK, now that I have that rant off my chest, we can continue the rest of the dialog offline.

      P.S. At least you used the word “please.” I had someone else send me a message the other day that mentioned neither “please” nor money.

      For what it’s worth, I’m a big fan of recycling community landmarks like Chad Hartle did. He took a white elephant that could have become an eyesore and made it an asset to the neighborhood.

      1. To set the record straight, Kathy and I have had a productive exchange of email.

        She’s donating her time to help a volunteer committee try to make effective use of 26 closed schools in Kansas City.

        That’s a project I can get behind. It’s a shame more of Cape’s buildings haven’t been saved for productive use.

        I’m sure I’ll enjoy working with her now that I know what she’s doing.

  14. Ken,
    Just finished reading about the Schultz Senior Apts.
    Am writing column on “the survivors” (bldgs that have
    so far escaped the wrecking ball) need your o.k. to
    include info from your blog in my next TBY article,
    crediting you with fine coverage, of course. By the
    way, what years did you work as photogrpher on Tiger
    and Girardot publications???? Jo Ann Bock

  15. Really ENJOY your blog Ken! Thanks for your thoughtfulness and blessing us far and wide with info and pictures!!
    I never attended Shultz (I was a St. Vincent’s student until 9th grade) but my mom moved in to Shultz last year, and I got to see the inside–so cool!
    Also, you mentioned a community garden–my mom started a personal garden in the backyard of the school, but someone came and cut her large sunflowers right when they bloomed. Other than that, it brought her a lot of joy.
    Thanks again for what you do. I hope people shop at Amazon from your site!!! Doesn’t cost them a thing and it helps keep the site going!
    Bless ya!

  16. I went to Shultz in the early 80’s (1982 I believe) and knew about a top floor that wasn’t used. We were never allowed up there. I understand there was also an auditorium in the middle of the building that wasn’t used. I would love to see pics of that.

    1. I, too, found myself here from googling after talking with a friend about this subject of the middle of the building and that top floor! I would love so see any pictures of that area before construction started if you do have any. I would very much appreciate it and have loved looking through your entire blog/site!

        1. Thanks for the reply. Do you know who you could point me to who may have pictures of the inside of the building pre 1960s (when they remodeled it the first time after the “new” high school was built). Thanks!

  17. I love the concept of revitalizing an historical bldg.for such a wonderful cause!
    I live in Florida, near Daytona and will be relocating next summer in 2017. I really want to put in an application but need some questions answered first. I know there is an income limit to qualify but I own my home and will be selling it next year. If an apt becomes avail and I haven’t sold it will that be a problem? would it prevent me from being accepted? Also I could not find any floor plans on line for the 5 different apts mentioned in the article. Can you direct me to where I might find that information?
    thank you in advance for your help with this.
    Susan M.

    1. I don’t know any details about how the rental situation works, but I know my first reaction was that the apartments are great.

      A Google search turned up a phone number for the place: (573) 651-4044

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