December 3, 2020

Webster University students invited to take a ‘snapshot in time’

by James Dundon, contributing writer

The Webster Groves Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is seeking volunteers to photograph historic buildings in Webster Groves for the city website.

At its April 17 meeting, the commission expressed interest in recruiting Webster University photographers in particular.

“(Webster students) are local, and, hopefully, it’d be something that would engage them in the community,” HPC Chair Todd Meyer said.

The commission plans to push for a budget of at least $1,500 to cover the cost of hiring a professional photographer. It expects this amount will not be enough to cover the cost of photographing all of the properties.

“We have a professional photographer, but when the budget is exhausted we’d like to extend some of the overflow to volunteer students who can provide professional, quality photographs,” Meyer said. “The properties would be homes of historical figures, century homes — homes that are 100 years or older — homes in historical districts, and properties done by notable architects.”

Secretary Elyse McBride said the photography experience would be good to put on students’ resumes.

Meyer said he plans to contact administration at Webster in hopes of organizing a club dedicated to photographing local landmarks.

“There are several hundred properties in historical districts, and landmarks that are on the national register of historical places and the project would be to photograph those properties for the city website,” Meyer said. “It’ll give us a snapshot in time of what these properties look like in 2013-2014.”

Alternate member Norma Bolin said HPC is in the starting phases, but the commission is “highly optimistic.”

The HPC also discussed designating three or four properties as century homes. Among those under consideration are properties at 517 Theatre Lane, 415 W. Kirkham Ave., 4 S. Maple Ave., 532 Lee Ave., 17 N. Maple Ave., and 440 Selma Ave.

HPC will make its final decision at its next meeting on May 17.

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