2022 Preservation Award Recipients

Two Preservation Awards were given at the May meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission. Recipient of the Most Outstanding Commercial Project was awarded to Susan and Brittni Blaser, mother and daughter, for the renovation of the stone building on Spring Street. A new award this year, the Most Outstanding Investment Project, was awarded to Gary and Kim Sanson for saving and restoring the cottage on Broadway Avenue. Awards were presented by Betty Bissell, ESHPC Chairwoman. An awards reception followed the presentations.

The City of Excelsior Springs is one of the historic cities in Clay County, Missouri that has been on the forefront of the redevelopment of historic properties within the county. Historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth and sustainable development, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability.

The Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Excelsior Springs has chosen to recognize the efforts of renovation and redevelopment of the historic fabric of our community. The Preservation Award showcases exceptional projects in the preservation, restoration and stewardship of structures within the City’s historic districts.

Susan and Brittni pose for May’s This Place Matters in front of their building at 216 Spring Street. Casa Di Vite Intimate Affairs and Wedding Venue was originally two historic buildings joined around 1933. The Blaser’s used a 353 tax abatement incentive to do much of the work. This property sat vacant for many years and is now an outstanding renovation project that adds a new business to the downtown tourist economy.

When asked about the award, Britti Blaser stated, “We can’t thank the community enough for all their support since starting our renovations at 216 Spring Street. It’s been an incredible journey watching the building go from studs and slabs to this elegant space that captures the essence of the building’s history. We are humbled that the Historic Preservation Commission has recognized all of the love and hard work put into this building to come alive again. Soon, the community will be able to enjoy its beauty and make memories with a delicious glass of wine.”

The Sansons took a multi-family c. 1920 house that was slated for demolition and restore it for single family use, doing a complete exterior and interior renovation. Kim said, “Gary and I find it so rewarding to have the opportunity to restore historic homes in the Historic Boarding House District. It is a neighborhood that is full of charming homes and it is so exciting to see this area of our amazing community come back to life “one house at a time!”

The restoration is part of a larger development project that the husband and wife team have undertaken on East Broadway. The property took advantage of the 353 tax abatement.