Mayor Matthew Robinson and the chairperson and co-chairperson of the Hazelwood Historic Preservation Commission, Dorothy Hitt and Carole Rogers, were on hand to accept the award.
The Knobbe House originally stood on the north side of Interstate 270. It was given by the Knobbe family to the City of Hazelwood and moved across the highway after the original site, which is now Village Square Shopping Center, was sold for development in 1995.
The oldest part of the house was built in 1870 by Bernard Henke, a farmer. Henke later expanded it around 1908. Two years later, Joseph Steven Knobbe, Sr., purchased the home and married Henke’s daughter, Mary Anna. Their son, Joseph Knobbe, Jr., played an active role in the organization of Hazelwood as a municipality in 1949.
Hazelwood was recognized for preserving The Knobbe House, which is one of three historic homes in Brookes Park, and using it for office space, public meetings and social events. The City of Hazelwood restored the home externally and made it handicapped accessible. It also upgraded the interior to reflect the late-1800s era while adapting it for active public use. It is a model of how a historic residential building, even though separated from its original site, can remain a useful asset while still evoking its history.
Since 1982, the St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission has observed National Historic Preservation Week by presenting Adaptive Reuse awards. The Commission thinks that the best way to preserve historic buildings is to keep them in active use. Awards go to projects that exemplify that goal by creatively and sensitively adapting historic buildings to new uses.
The St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission was created by County Executive Luman Matthews in 1957. It is made up of nine distinguished County residents who are appointed by the County Council and provide advice on matters of historic preservation within the County park system and throughout the County.
The Knobbe House in Brookes Park is available for meetings, rentals and social events. For information on how to make reservations, contact Dave Thomasson at (314) 513-5080.