The Cross House
This year I took two road trips to the fabulous WF Norman Company in Missouri. Norman is almost as old as the Cross House, and the company restored its tower finial, recreated the lost finial on the octagon tower, and created a finial for the carriage house turret.
As awed and fascinated as I was by the magical wonders the company created, I was also mesmerized by the company offices. It was as if time had stopped. Mark, the owner, seemed to enjoy my reverence.
Oh, how I yearn to ever-so-gently restore such a space to use. What a thrill to live or work in such an environment.
Across America, in countless small towns, are tens-of-thousands of such lost-in-time treasures as the second floors of most small town main street buildings are abandoned. This seems an extraordinary waste of a valuable resource.
Some cities are trying to do something about this, and have created horizontal easements. whereby the upper floors of a main street building can be sold separately from the first floor. Even Emporia, Kansas, is now doing this.