20 Janssen Place was build by William Pickering of the Pickering Lumber Company in 1910. This Italiante Revival style house has approximately 7700 square feet of living space and 2500 square feet of unfinished basement and Carriage House. The house sits on 0.82 acres with an Italian style garden complete with fountain, pool and pergola. Behind the garden was a rose garden with over 600 varieties, most of them hybrid tea roses.
In 1914 The Kansas City Star reported that the Pickering family’s side yard was the largest rose garden in the state of Missouri. In 1948 the single family land restrictions expired and three dupleses were build and are there today.
In the mid 1950’s #20 Janssen Place was turned into eighteen apartments. There were many changes that were made to accommodate the eighteen apartments inside the once beautiful home. The interior staircases were removed and the solarium and side porch were enclosed along with the back of the house.
In 2000 the house was purchased by Todd Bower. He and his partner Scott Kendall started the restoration by tearing down the staircase that was build on the north side of the house and the exterior walls that were added on the south and west sides of the house.
After ten years of demolition work and living in the cramped quarters of the carriage house, Todd and Scott sold the house to Eric and Jane Piper. Over the next couple weeks Eric Piper will explain why he bought 20 Janssen Place and talk about the extensive restoration currently going on to restore this historic home.