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Preservation Iowa At Its Best Award to Kendall Bldg.

Preservation at its Best 2018, Small Commercial: Kendall Building (Jefferson)

The Kendall Building at 111 E Lincoln Way was built in 1916 after the preceding framed building burned. The current structure is a two-story Prairie/Craftsman style with 1,122 sq ft.  in the original build. Kendall’s Pool Room featured a front smoking room and seven billiard tables which open until 1955.  It is in the Jefferson Square Historic District and sits on the corner of a mid-block alley that has also been renovated.   

Kendall Building interior rehabilitation, 2018 Preservation at Its Best award

In 2015, the Kendall Building was run-down and abandoned.  The City of Jefferson purchased the building for $50 and made a commitment of $150,000 to renovate the building.  Rosie & Ray Tucker moved back to Jefferson and were interested in opening their business from Arkansas, Sensibly Chic, in the Kendall building .  Rosie is the granddaughter of the original Kendall family.  A Challenge Grant was awarded in 2016 for the total restoration with retail in the first level and the Tucker’s apartment in the 2nd story.  This took collaboration of the Tuckers, City, and Jefferson Matters: Main Street with assistance from the school’s athletic dept. for debris removal from the basement.    

From demolition and stripping down of the entire building, asbestos removal, a new roof and stabilization of the basement by the City to refinishing the original billiard hall floors, brick-pointing, restoring the original metal ceiling, building new stairs to the 2nd floor.  The new storefront windows showcased home décor and upper story windows were inserted into the plywood openings. Local contractors were used throughout the project.    

Restoration began in the fall of 2016 and Sensibly Chic opened in Sept. of 2017.  The Tuckers moved into their apartment within another month.  

The impact has been huge.  Sensibly Chic opened in the middle of the CDBG façade rehabilitation project with 13 other buildings.  The residents and visitors were so impressed with how this building was rehabilitated that they watched intensely to see how the other facades were uncovered and rebuilt so a steady stream of cars followed the rehabilitation with interest.  

The success has been undeniable and the City of Jefferson is working to buy and stabilize more buildings with hopes of attracting more businesses to downtown Jefferson. 

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