Old Town Cape’s Vasterling Suites Wins Best Large-Scale Project Award


Four communities participating in the Missouri Main Street program have reached or surpassed one million dollar milestones from private improvements in their historic downtown districts.

In the past year, Cape Girardeau exceeded $6 million in private investments, while Liberty, Lee’s Summit and Warrensburg each passed the $1 million mark in private improvements.

As a whole, the 20 communities actively participating in the Missouri Main Street program last year exceed the $18 million mark in both private and public improvements in their downtowns. The Missouri Main Street Program, launched as a non-profit organization in 2005, is designed to help communities preserve their historic buildings and reinvigorate their downtown districts.

A ceremony Thursday night honored those communities along with individuals, businesses, cities and civic organizations that have invested skills and volunteer time to revitalize their downtowns. The Missouri Main Street Connection hosted the Evening of Excellence Awards at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis. Awards were presented in 12 categories. Old Town Cape’s Vasterling Building – now the Vasterling Suites - won the award for Best Large Scale Project, in a tie with Liberty, MO.

Developers researching the long-vacant building as a restoration opportunity hoped to use state and federal historic preservation tax credits for the project, but a false front covering the original 1912 façade made the building ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and without the tax credit resources, most felt it was not a wise investment. Rebecca Ward, the architect involved in the project, did deeper research and found a cornerstone on the building that pre-dated construction. A Missouri Preservation expert also took a close look and suggested that stone used to construct the building was Carthage Stone, a highly crystalline, strong limestone, and it was the only building made of Carthage Stone in Cape Girardeau. In partnership with the historic preservation program at Southeast Missouri State University, Clemco Developers acquired the building and moved quickly to have it added to the National Register.

After stripping off the false façade, the upper floors were converted into apartments which have brought a new demographic of young people and mid-career professionals into the downtown. What was once a building that people would not set foot in, is now a place with a waiting list of tenants.

For more details about the award, contact Marla Mills, 573-334-8085, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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