Historic Fulton house nears end of renovation

The home at Wood Street and St. Louis Drive nears the end of its 20-year renovation process. Two decades is only a fraction of the time it has been in the countryside that became Fulton, and has housed prominent members of the community over the years.

The home at Wood Street and St. Louis Drive nears the end of its 20-year renovation process. Two decades is only a fraction of the time it has been in the countryside that became Fulton, and has housed prominent members of the community over the years. Photo by Dean Asher.

A house from a time when the part of town near the country club was just the country, and that has been home for several important figures in the Fulton community over the past century, will soon be completely renovated.

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Classic and modern tastes live in harmony at the 1820s home at Wood Street and St. Louis Drive in Fulton, which is nearing the end of an extensive renovation process. Current owner Kay Neudecker said that the objective of the process was "preservation" of the historic home, rather than "restoration."

John and Kay Neudecker, current owners of the American Foursquare home at Wood Street and St. Louis Drive, purchased the home from former Fulton mayor Bob Fisher and his wife Carolyn in July 1991 and have been gradually renovating it ever since.

“Our goal has been to respect this home and continue the tradition and feeling of a family home,” said Kay Neudecker.

Even the best-kept records aren’t sure exactly when the home was built, but the earliest surviving maps show that an L-shaped home stood on the property as early as 1824, which belonged to Robert Dunlap. The home was built onto and changed hands since then, and eventually wound up in the possession of Henry Gross — a prominent graduate and teacher at the Missouri School for the Deaf, and Bob Fisher’s grandfather — in 1890.

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Contributed photo

A twisted chimney rose up through the attic and into the rafters of the 1820s home at Wood Street and St. Louis Drive. The historic chimneys had to be removed to reinforce the foundation during the renovation process.

Gross met his wife at the school and eventually had three boys and a daughter, Bessie, who was Bob Fisher’s mother. The family added to the home and continued to live there until the death of Bessie’s mother in the early 1930’s. From that point on, the building was rented out as apartments.

While the first floor of the home had renovation work done in the ‘60s, the house in general had fallen into disrepair.

Carolyn Fisher said her late husband then decided it was time to sell the home, which they themselves had lived in for a short period of time, but he wanted to make sure it came into the right hands.

“It had been up for sale for a while, but he kept it quiet,” she said. “He didn’t want to show it to just anybody. He wanted somebody who would fix it up, and show it respect.”

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