The LaRoche Buildings Restoration Begins

Mid-Continental Restoration Inc. employees work on the exterior of the LaRoche buildings, formerly the old Tribune buildings on Wall Street at National Avenue, on Nov. 7. From left on the ground is Pat Shelton, equipment maintenance with MCR and Chris Fountain, foreman.

Work began on two historic side-by-side downtown buildings owned by Jennifer LaRoche on Nov. 5.

Stones on the facade of the buildings on Wall Street at National Avenue are being removed and examined to get structural issues repaired, according to Pat Shelton, Mid-Contenintal Restoration Inc., Fort Scott.

“We are doing restoration on the north side of the exterior,” Chase Halsey,  MCR  project manager, said. “We are taking down the stone, then rebuilding the wall and relaying the existing stones if they are in good shape.”

Some of the stones on the century-old buildings are missing or have deteriorated, he said.

“I don’t know the exact date the building was built, over one-hundred years ago, I would guess,” Halsey said.

Beau Casper is shoring up the roof trusses,  Halsey said. Casper is a separately contracted with LaRoche, he said.

“That is so that when we reattach the stone veneer, it will be more stable than right now,” he said.

New stones will be made by Phoenix Marble Stone, Springfield, Mo., Halsey said.

“We are going to try to have it done by the end of the year,” Halsey said. “We are at the mercy of when the new stones are on site….and we are at the mercy of the weather as well.”

“The snow on the scaffolding makes us unable to work,” he said.

No interior work is being done at this time, Halsey said.



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