Crow & Associates
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
  History of the Building
   
  This history is written by Mike Crow.  Mike Crow and Marti Crow have been the owner of the premises at 300-302 Shawnee since 1979. 

According to the Abstract and various plats of the City of Leavenworth, Kansas, the building was built in the late 1800s probably in the 1870s.  It appears that 300 Shawnee was built first and then 302 Shawnee and possibly the upstairs were added later.    On the upstairs exterior, at the corner of Third and Shawnee Streets, there is a statement written on the building indicating 1870-F.P.-1906.  We are unsure of the meaning but presume that the original building was built in the 1870s and then an addition in 1906.

At some point the one story area on the North or rear area of the building was used as some type of school, apparently for the teaching of French.  300 Shawnee was a drug store.

In the 1940s, Bert Lord, d/b/a Lord Electric purchased the property and used the property as an electrical supply store.  The front part (the South part fronting on Shawnee) was used as the retail part of the electrical shop and the rear part as the electrical shop area for repairs and storage.  The black and white photograph is of the old Bert Lord Electrical shop and “Grandma Lord” is seen in the photograph.  In the late 1950s, the 300 Shawnee area was converted to a dental office and was used continually as a dental office until 2006.

The upstairs of 300 and 302 Shawnee were apartments during the 1940s and 1950s.

Mac Greenamyre renovated the downstairs of the 302 Shawnee side for law offices in 1979.

In the late 1880s, according to Leavenworth lore, the upstairs of several downtown buildings were rumored to have been brothels, but that piece of lore is nothing more than rumor or "urban legend" handed down over the years.

The parking lot and area to the West was formally occupied by Tholen's Plumbing & Supply Company.  In 1993 there was a horrible fire. The photograph by the stairway in the Reception Area is a reproduction of a Leavenworth Times photo of the fire. 

The Tholen's building was totally destroyed and that area is now a parking lot.  Fortunately, through the excellent efforts of the Leavenworth Fire Department, 300 and 302 Shawnee were saved but there was extensive smoke damage and water damage to 300 and 302 Shawnee.  After the fire, there was some repair, which was complicated because 302 Shawnee adjoined the Tholen's building. The Tholen's property was tied up in litigation for a number of years prohibiting repairs on the West side of 302 Shawnee. 

The General Manager and part-owner of Tholen 's was wrongfully accused of arson and was convicted in federal court of arson.  However, on appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver found that there was no basis whatsoever for the General Manager and part-owner, Terry Yoakum, to be found guilty of arson.  In an unusual move, the 10th Circuit determined him to be innocent and prohibited him from being re-tried for arson.  The 10th Circuit found that there was no basis to have ever charged him. 

Commencing in about 1997 Bryan DePriest was retained for major renovation of the building. Bryan worked on the building for a number of years, renovating and restoring it.  Bill Johnson was the architect for the renovation.  The basement had a dirt floor, but during the renovation Bryan DePriest poured a cement floor.   The front mansard awning was torn off.  Restoration was made to the old drug store exterior (see photos).  The mansard awning protected the colored (coke bottle) glass at the top and the glass above the door.

We have received a number of compliments on the renovation of the building and those compliments belong to Bryan DePriest and Bill Johnson deserve the credit    Kathy Huskey did a great job with the interior decorating of the reception area.  All of the furnishings in the Reception Area were purchased in Leavenworth. 

The staircase in the Reception Area was designed by Bill Johnson.  Prior to the renovation, there was no stairway in the Reception Area.  The only stairs to the upstairs were the back stairs off of Third Street.  Bryan DePriest purchased the old tin ceiling from property at 412 Delaware, now Sally’s Choice.   Bryan restored some of the tin, which is now part of the ceiling in the reception area.  Bryan DePriest came up with many creative ideas.  The framed brick wall in the upstairs library was restored by Bryan.  He painstakingly stained all of the woodwork.  He is a true renaissance person. 


Click here to view more photos of the Crow building at 3rd and Shawnee.

 

 
 
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