LaRoche Buildings: A New Beginning

Editors note: Due to technical difficulties the feature did not include part of the written story. Here is the complete story.

The LaRoche buildings located at 10 and 12 E. Wall. Jennifer LaRoche is the owner and contractor for the renovation of the two historic buildings in downtown Fort Scott. The two copper signs on the Wall Street side, one of the Tribune Monitor Newspaper and one of the Kansas Gas and Electric will be restored and lighted when all is complete, LaRoche said.

Business owner Jennifer LaRoche opened her buildings that are in the process of renovation, to the public for what was called a “Sneak Peek” on Dec. 18.

The buildings are located at 10 and 12 E. Wall St.

This was in celebration of  Fort Scott’s downtown district’s historic designation 10th anniversary. Kate Sweetser, one of the original workers on the designation spoke to the attendees of the history of the designation.
12 E. Wall: Coffee Shop

The building which most recently housed the Fort Scott Tribune newspaper office,  has been empty for a few years.

In January, the easternmost, one-story building at 12 E. Wall is slated to become the new location of Common Ground Coffee Company. The dimensions of the building are approximately 30 foot by 100 feet, LaRoche said

The coffee shop has two restrooms and a conference room along with an open space for drinking coffee and having a meal.

In addition, there is an outdoor seating area with a stage that is in the back of the adjacent building that will be a part of the coffee shop. The outdoor seating will be accessed through an opening in the coffee shop.

Vicki Waldron will remain the manager of Common Ground.

Kate Sweetser, center left, looks at the transom windows in the building at 12 E. Wall, as building owner, Jennifer LaRoche tells of the renovation of the original windows. Some glass was replaced by Gammon Glass, Nevada, MO. she said.


Kate Sweetser visits with Kirk Sharp during the LaRoche Buildings Sneak Peak on Dec. 18.
Though nearing completion, the LaRoche building at 10 E. Wall, still has much to do, Jennifer LaRoche said during the “Sneak Peek” on Dec. 18. The public was invited to the event.
The ceiling at 10 E. Wall is 80 percent original, LaRoche said. It was formerly covered by a drop-down ceiling prior to the renovation. LaRoche purchased the needed replacements from W.F. Norman Corp., Nevada, MO who still produces the same tile.
Pictured is the future stage and outdoor seating space at the rear of 12 E. Wall, which will be accessed through the coffee shop at 10 E. Wall.
Pictured is the significantly larger kitchen that will be available to the Common Ground Coffee Shop staff when completed.


10 E. Wall

At 10 E. Wall which is next on the list for completion, there will be an office on the first floor for LaRoche, upstairs there will be two apartments and E 3 Ranch Offices. On the National Avenue side of the building will be three storefronts, she said.

“I don’t know what is going in there yet,” LaRoche said.

Casper Enterprise, Stoughton Inc., Allen Electric, Extrusions Inc. and Mid-Continental Restoration Co. have all done work for LaRoche on the project.


LaRoche: Not Done Renovating

LaRoche said she will take a break following the completion of the renovation project.

But she is not done renovating.

“I really love uncovering all the things people have covered up,” LaRoche said. “I love making it look like it did in the pictures 100 years ago.

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