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Historic cabin on Fountain Street to be torn down

Aug 15, 2014 -- 10:22am

Southeast Missourian

Cape Girardeau city officials say no more extensions will be granted for a Fountain Street log cabin and demolition will take place in the next few weeks. On July 7, city leaders set a deadline of Aug. 8 for supporters to raise money and submit plans for restoring the home at 818 N. Fountain St. Among the list of action items the city requested was a detailed schedule for complete restoration, including fundraising; a completed application to place the property on the National Register of Historic Places; and the incorporation of a not-for-profit organization to save the cabin. Molly Hood, director of Development Services, said the city has had issues with the rundown property for many years. It was condemned in 2011. The property was purchased several years ago by sisters Mary Cotner and Marilyn Landewee, who had hoped to renovate it, but found repairs too costly. The pre-Civil-War-era cabin was hidden until 2013, when exterior siding was removed, revealing the logs underneath. Research by those interested in saving the historic cabin showed Franz Schmidt, a local blacksmith, built the cabin as a private home sometime shortly before the war. Annie Criddle, executive director of the Kellerman Foundation for Historic Preservation, submitted a response to the city Aug. 8, which officials evaluated before a decision was announced Wednesday. The building was placed on the list of Most Endangered Places in Missouri and an online fundraising campaign raised more than $5,000 for repairs. But on Wednesday, the city sent a letter to Criddle announcing its intention to continue with the demolition because of unmet requirements.

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