Ten pages of notes later, I finally got all the material I could possibly get for my first story as a Columbia Missourian reporter.
Dan Hagan, a local real-estate developer, has decided to open a college-preparatory academy in Columbia. He bought a couple of buildings from Stephens College last year so that he can demolish said buildings and have the campus for his academy built in that space.
In Columbia, before buildings can be demolished, the Historic Preservation Commission takes a look at them to see if anything can be salvaged for reuse. That was supposed to be the angle for my story: materials salvaged from old buildings -> what is done with them -> who buys the materials -> what kind of materials -> signficance -> all that fun stuff.
But that did not work out. Why? Because none of the contacts from the commission got back to me. I was disappointed.
So I decided to check out the buildings myself and see if anyone on the Stephens campus could help me out. The spokeswoman of the campus said she would send me an email with what little history she could find on the buildings in question (Hillcrest Hall and Stephens College Auditorium/Natatorium complex).
The only thing I wish I could have put in my story (that I could not) was this house.
Could I get details? No.
Could I go inside the house? No.
Could I get more information on the house from other history buffs? No.
Believe me, I asked.
But all in all, I think I did a fair job on the story. My editor said I did a good job, so I don’t have too many complaints.