The Cross House
Before buying the house, I learned of the Heritage Fund, and hoped that the house could receive funding, as the restoration would exceed my financial abilities. So, I crossed by fingers (and toes) and took a leap of faith. I would not have purchased the house but for the possibility of this help.
The Heritage Fund is an extraordinary program. It is run by the state, and is funded by a small tax on every mortgage filed in Kansas. These monies are then dispersed to historic properties in dire need across the state. Pretty amazing, right? Do any other states have such a program?
The work funded by the 2015 grant is soon to be fully completed:
- The relining of all the built-in gutters (completed).
- The restoration of 38 of the 42 stained-glass windows in the house (almost completed).
- The restoration of numerous clear-glass windows (almost completed).
- New shingles on all the secondary roofs (completed).
- Repairs to damaged siding on the east facade (underway).
- Replacing much of the rotted water table and sill (underway).
There is no way any of this work would have been possible without the grant.
I am now finishing a second grant request, due on Monday. Monday! EEK!
This request, if funded, will:
- Restore the south facade of the Cross House. This work includes restoring and recreating damaged/lost columns on the south porch and porte-cochère, replacing areas of missing siding, and painting all.
- Restore the final 14 stained-glass windows, and recreating the only missing window. The windows are in perilous condition, as exlempified by the one sucked out by a wind storm and cruelly tossed to the ground.
- Restore the remaining 42 clear-glass windows.
- Re-point the towering north chimney, which is missing large areas of mortar. The chimney terrifies me. Will it come crashing to the ground in a strong wind?
The grant is HIGHLY competitive. The state also has to disburse the funds evenly across the 105 counties in Kansas. Lyon county received a Heritage Grant in 2015 (Cross House) and 2016 (the fabulous Granada Theater). So, will they do a grant in Lyon County a third year in a row?
If not, I will reapply again in 2018. My fear is how much damage will happen in the meantime? How much plaster/trim/flooring will be damaged by leaking walls and windows? Will the north chimney collapse, causing catastrophic damage? Will a wind storm knock over the fragile columns on the south porch and porte-cochère, destroying these significant architectural features?
As part of the grant, Letters Of Support are required. I was deeply touched by the letters received for the first grant, and the letters received so far for this second application.
But I had an idea!
What if readers of this blog also wrote letters of support? Are you inspired by the restoration of the Cross House? Do you think the house is deserving of support? Have you learned from this blog? If you live in Emporia, or have visited the house, how do you feel about its rebirth? Would you consider visiting Emporia because of what you have learned about the city and Cross House from this blog?
Well, if you are so inclined, just click here: [email protected]
Make sure to include your full name, state, and country.
And, in advance, I thank you!