Southeast Students Collaborate to Preserve 100-Year-Old Cape Girardeau Building

Southeast Students Collaborate to Preserve 100-Year-Old Cape Girardeau Building

In spring 2020, Southeast students collaborated to help preserve and determine the future of a 100-year-old building in Cape Girardeau. The students worked to preserve a one-story, brick building, located at 101 William St. in downtown Cape Girardeau, which was built in 1916 and served as a warehouse. It is listed as a contributing building in the Courthouse Seminary Neighborhood Historic District National Register nomination.

Nineteen historic preservation and 25 construction management students were divided into teams to create a feasibility assessment of the building’s future. Bringing students from different disciplines together to work on a project was also an important real-world experience.

The teams came up with several revitalizing ideas such as an event venue, brewery and a teen hangout. The teams also interviewed the property owner, then they examined real estate, community and preservation, rules and regulations, and design.

The students continued to work on their project when Southeast transitioned to full-online learning for the second half of the spring semester due to COVID-19. Despite the new challenges, the student teams stayed connected through email, Zoom, online chat applications, and Google Docs.

The property owner will review the proposals and make decisions about its potential in the near future.

Art and history students at Southeast Missouri State University went back in time by helping select items for the medieval teaching collection in Kent Library’s Rare Book Room. The University’s teaching collection consists of full medieval manuscripts as well as fragments and leaves from various medieval texts. These materials are used in history and art classes at Southeast, so students can learn from and experience primary sources.

A medieval artifacts dealer from Chicago, Illinois, was on campus in February 2020 to exhibit a variety of rare artifacts for students to learn about, some dating from 1100 AD or older. The collection featured a book of Persian poetry, document seals, a Roman writing stylus, and many other items. Now, the students must help decide which pieces Kent Library’s Special Collections and Archives should acquire for the library’s Rare Book Room.

Professor Dr. Vicky McAlister says these items put Southeast on a level equal to research universities. Each student chose one item they were interested in and focused on researching it.

This research project was an outstanding opportunity for the University and is a historical learning experience for Southeast students. The project was made possible thanks to Kent Library funds allotted to Special Collections and Archives for the acquisition of new materials.

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