Colorful pillars, siding, and doors give a neighborhood character that’s been around a while. “Some of the oldest houses in Springfield are right here in Enos Park,” Douglas Holt said. Realities of the present are starting to rot away at a piece of the past. “It looks like a garage and somebody just threw on a roof to make it look like a house,” Holt said of one building.
Boarded-up abandoned homes can be found along streets in this historic district. But what looks like a loss, is becoming a piece of found treasure. “There’s a lot of detail,” Chris Becker with the Enos Park Neighborhood Association said. “That’s the thing in some of these houses. You don’t even see it because it’s been painted over for years and years and years.” Becker shows us architectural items well over a hundred years old, recovered over the last four months, that are being stored at the old library branch off North Grand Avenue. “Here’s some old doors, you have columns from an old front porches, here are some old stair cases brought out,” Becker said.
Some of the items were brought out of the historic home on 821 N. 4th St. that will soon be brought down. It’s one of several that the Enos Park Neighborhood Association purchased. “Before we had the home demolished we were like, ‘Let’s take out everything that’s worth something and bring it here,'” Becker said. The plan is to do the same thing at two additional homes, deconstructing 80 percent of the building material that can then be sold and used again. “These are some of the first studs you see that they’re a lot beefier,” Becker said.
The idea is to eventually create a store to keep parts and pieces of history, when some of it comes down. “Besides things like this, it’s a pretty decent neighborhood,” Blakmore said. The goal is to open the store up by spring. The hope is to use the facility that used to be the library branch off North Grant.
The Enos Park Neighborhood Association has acquired seven abandoned properties. They plan to either tear down or rehabilitate each of them.