Constructed in 1949, this was intended to be an Artistís Cottage where visiting poets, painters, craftsmen would stay while holding classes and educational programs. It was designed by architects at Marshall Fields to compliment the Main House. The outside was completed but the inside was only roughed in.
In 1991, temporary interior work was done to provide housing for a caretaker. As restoration work on the other buildings was completed, the caretaker's quarters were moved to another small house previously used as a tenant farmer quarters. Work began in the winter of 2009 to restore this building for use as a Learning Center.
First things first - a new sewer was necessary and the plumbing to the kitchen and existing bathroom were repaired. A wall was removed from a storage area and a second, new, handicapped accessible bathroom was added.
The unfinished rooms over the old garage area were insulated and sheet rocked and windows added to provide a storage area for program materials.
A new entrance to upstairs was made in the old garage area. The garage was then converted into a classroom. One of the garage doors was removed and a regular door installed. The other door was left to allow access of large items into the building and to provide extra light and airflow during spring and fall events. The room was insulated, sheet rocked, wiring was upgraded and heating and air conditioning was extended to this room.
The original and small kitchen area has been upgraded and expanded to include the old bedroom area so that a full catering kitchen is available for events. The wall in the left part of the picture was partially removed. Additional cabinets and 3 basin sink was added to the adjacent room along with dishwashing facilities, restaurant style stove and refrigeration units. Click here for a flyer describing the new kitchen and dining options.
The original dining area and living room have become a Visitor' Center and Maude's Mercantile, providing informational brochures on area attractions, history displays and a gift shop featuring the handicrafts by Missouri and Kansas artisans with all proceeds going to children's programs.
Handicapped access is provided into the building both through the Classroom and through the Visitor's Center.