Letters of Support. HELP!


In 2015, the Cross House was approved for a $90,000 grant by the Kansas Heritage Trust Fund. The house was eligible because it is on the National Register of Historic Places.


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?



While the main, West facade is now almost fully restored, the…



…South facade is…terrifying. It is, by far, in the worse condition of the four facades. the result of the brutal south-facing sun. Much of its paint was removed 15 years ago, and…



…the sun has brutalized the shingles and trim. Bare wood and sun should NEVER be mixed together. There are also large areas with just no siding. This is bad. Very bad.



The columns. The poor dears. My heart goes out to them.


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!




  1. RaeJean Lepird on October 27, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Happy to help, Ross! I love your blog sooooooooooooooooo much!

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      I look forward to your letter! And thank you!

      To send, just click on the blue link in the post.

  2. Lisa Phillips on October 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Your renovation is pretty darn inspirational! I’ll have to think about what to write. I’m not in Kansas and I’m not renovating anything. I’ll think of something! If I can help I’d like to. 🙂

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Lisa! You don’t need to live in Kansas, or be a serial restorer.

      But it would be wonderful to read your thoughts about the Cross House, and what you may learn on this blog.

      What do you enjoy reading about the restoration of the Cross House?

      • Lisa Phillips on November 1, 2016 at 9:21 pm

        I wrote the letter today. I really am so inspired by your work on this house. Your enthusiasm and attention to the smallest detail is so uplifting that it makes me want to take on some projects! LOL!

  3. Elin Noller on October 28, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I’d love to help! But would a support letter from Sweden do you any good? Let me know if so.

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Elin! Yes! I would love to get a support letter from Sweden! It help show how far the Cross House reaches!

      • Elin Noller on October 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

        I sent you a letter, let me know if it needs improving.

        • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

          PERFECT!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!

  4. Andi on October 28, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I sent a letter to the email address! I do hope that the Heritage Grant is given to the Cross House again this year. Best of luck! (Crossing all fingers and toes.)

    • john feuchtenberger on October 28, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Me too!

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      I received your letter! And what a letter!!!!!!!! Zounds! Thanks so much!

      • Andi on October 28, 2016 at 1:34 pm

        Any time! And anything to help out! Your work is breathtaking. 🙂

  5. Californianinkansas on October 28, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I am more than happy to write a letter. I live in Kansas, if that helps. Is there a template or a format that you any me to use? Certain wording?
    I’ll send you an email today.

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      No format or template.

      Just your thoughts are invited!

      The letter need not be addressed to anybody. You can click on the blue link in post above. I will print out each Letter of Support and attach to the grant application. Which needs to be mailed Monday! Eek!

      • californianinkansas on October 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        Mr. Ross,
        I will have the letter emailed to you no later than 2300 hours tomorrow (Saturday) night. You are doing important work that benefits all of us Kansans.

  6. Californianinkansas on October 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Please let me know if you didn’t get the email that I sent. It might have gone to your junk or spam folder.

  7. Lea on October 28, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Letter of
    Support sent. All the best to you, Ross.

    • Ross on October 28, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Thank YOU!

      • Lea on October 29, 2016 at 3:33 am

        You are most welcome, Ross. A heartfelt thanks to you as well. You made me appreciate the beauty of houses built before I was born.

  8. Julie Sauder Clinton on October 29, 2016 at 12:06 am

    I put several of my “to do’s” today aside the minute I read your email. Called my mom to let her know and forwarded it to my sister. Wrote my letter and sent it to you. Eagerly waited for a reply- nada. Pls let me know if you got it. Thought my spin on the Cottonwood scenario might be a great argument in your (Cross House) favor.

    • Ross on October 29, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Letter received! Thank you!

      • Julie C. on October 29, 2016 at 9:29 am

        Ok, great! Glad you got it – will keep my fingers crossed!

  9. Californianinkansas on October 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I just emailed you the signed letter of support. Please let me know if it doesn’t show up in your inbox.

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