Rural Missouri - October 2012 - (Page 29)

Historic Hannibal home becomes a school for preservation F to fill one of the positions. Even after a long day of practicing the safe removal of lead paint, he is still enthusiastic about a job he hopes to make his career. “I love it, it’s so much fun,” says Dalton. “It’s or Bob Yapp, the expression, “they just don’t everything I wanted to do.” make them like they used to,” is more than Not all the kids come into the program with an a catchphrase, it’s a way of life. Sitting on his interest in preservation — at first. By the end of the front porch, as the final rays of sun set behind course, however, the group molds together like a a wall of houses and trees, he is surrounded by family, says Bob, each equipped with the expertise the history and architecture of Hannibal, much of that ensures job opportunities after graduation. which he has had a hand in restoring. Since moving “When they start with me, they’re not at risk to town four years ago, Bob has left his mark on the anymore,” he says. “I always tell them, ‘you’re community where he not only refurbishes homes, learning a trade that no one can ever take away but teaches at-risk teens preservation artistry at the from you, whether you use it or not.’” Belvedere School for Historic Preservation. Bob’s passion for restoration and preservation “We don’t teach them a trade, we teach them an could be called a predestined romance. On his artisan trade,” says Bob. “There’s an important difmother’s side, he comes from a long line of archiference.” tects, furniture makers and preservationists, includAfter years of wanting to open a school for hising Robert Adam, a preeminent 18th century architoric preservation, Bob and his wife, Pat, moved to tect from Edinburgh, Scotland. Hannibal and began sifting through historic properHelping his father, a corporate executive and a ties for a house that would become their home as “frustrated old-house rehabber,” install drywall in well as the school’s headquarters. “It the family home was just the beginning of a life had to be big, and it had to be really cool,” says Bob. Hannibal • devoted to preservation. “There’s so much sawdust and plaster in The old Lamb-Munger House promy blood they probably wouldn’t want to vided the perfect location. Built in 1859, use it,” says Bob. the 7,600-square foot mansion — once At 17, he bought his first house to home to Congressman Alfred Lamb restore, and after graduating from and later Lyman P. Munger — had been high school, he began an apprenticedivided into apartments when Bob got his ship with a German furniture maker. hands on it. Fortunately, the original winSince then, he has been involved in the dows and woodwork had been left in place providrefurbishment of more than 160 homes, and the list ing plenty of learning opportunities for his incomcontinues to grow. ing students. The white-washed brick Victorian-style “Some people call us ‘old house archaeologists’ home towering over the other houses on the block cause we’re peeling back things and seeing what would become the program’s first laboratory. was original and what For the course, Bob specifically targets kids in wasn’t,” says Bob. danger of not graduating high school. Over the years, he’s “They get this at-risk tag because they’re at risk of made some impresnever graduating,” he explains. “We get them into sive finds, including a the program and they’re graduating. They’re getting mid-1800s trunk full of good jobs and they’re going on to college. These are unworn children’s clothes the kids that everyone had no hope for.” and a custom-made MarSchool counselors recommend students they feel tin guitar. While restoring would be a good fit for the program. Each morning a house in Des Moines, during the school year, two alternating groups of 15 Iowa, he stumbled upon kids are bussed over to the “project house,” where a box containing vials of Bob teaches them how to restore old homes. cocaine extract from the During the summer, Bob also offers a part-time job 1870s, used as an anesto the top two students with his consulting company, thetic by the dentist that Preservation Resources Inc. once lived there. This summer, Dalton O’Rourke, 16, was selected by Katie Alaimo Indicative of Bob’s paralleling desire to teach, his diverse résumé also includes work as a columnist for the Des Moines Register, host of a syndicated radio show and producer and host of the national PBS series, “About Your House.” Through each experience, he has sought to inform and educate professional contractors and homeowners in the best practices and sustainability of refurbishing old homes. “The only thing in construction that is green is historic restoration,” says Bob. By using the original materials of historic properties, homeowners not only take advantage of higher quality products, but also avoid leaving another carbon footprint. Bob practices this philosophy in the Lamb-Munger House, where he has used all salvaged materials. “What is sustainable for the home is also sustainable for the economy and culture of small towns,” says Bob. Historic preservation tends to hire locally, putting money back into the community promoting the growth and a revival of small-town culture. “Culturally, restoration brings people back together,” says Bob. “There’s a unity in living in old historic neighborhoods.” Bob sees a resurfacing interest in historic properties that is promising for the future of preservation. “There are more national historic districts than ever before, more national register individual nominations and more of what we call certified local governments all over the country,” he says. “People are starting to appreciate quality again.” For more information on taking classes at the school or about Bob’s preservation consulting services, visit or call 573-629-2226. Above: Bob Yapp, founder of the Belvedere School for Historic Preservation, stands in front of the restored Lamb-Munger House in Hannibal. Right: Built in 1859, the Lamb-Munger House was once owned by Congressman Alfred Lamb, but now serves as the training ground for high school students studying the preservation arts. OCTOBER 2012 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2012

Rural Missouri - October 2012
Table of Contents
The future of food
A grotesque spectacle
Out of the Way Eats
Summon your stomach
Soothing suds
Hearth and Home
Out of the woodwork
Around Missouri
A heart to serve

Rural Missouri - October 2012