Niedermeyer building honored as it's up for possible demolition

Feb 6, 2013

The Niedermeyer apartment building was recognized as one of the six Most Notable Properties in Columbia at a Columbia Historic Preservation Commission gala last night as the building faces possible demolition. St. Louis Developer Fred Hinshaw wants to build a student-housing complex in place of this oldest building in downtown Columbia.

At the gala, Preservation Commission Chairman Brian Treece said that the Niedermeyer building has been a staple in Columbia’s history for more than 170 years.

Previous Niedermeyer Owner Sabra Meyer said she is trying to come to terms with the future of the building, but is staying positive about a solution to benefit both sides of this operation.

“I just have more or less accepted it, but hoping that some of the ideas I’ve heard about might work – something that would help Mr. Hinshaw and yet save the building," Meyer said.

However, the Historic Preservation Commission is optimistic about the future of the building. The commission approved an application last week for the Fredrick apartment building, which is a Niedermeyer sister property that will be restored as loft apartments.

“The historic preservation does work,” Treece said. “Properties don’t need to be threatened and we can continue to improve downtown Columbia while embracing our history.”

The gala was the only scheduled event honoring and supporting the Niedermeyer building so far, but Treece said to expect more in the future. Right now, the commission has no power to stop a demolition based on historic interests due to current zoning ordinances.