Memories make way for progress
This is the first in a series of articles about the properties sold to USD 257 to build a new science and technology building at the Iola High School campus on Jackson Avenue.
Holidays are a big deal to Dennis Mangold and his family. It was customary to see Christmas decorations displayed year-round at his home at 432 E. Jackson.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Mangold took down the festive tree for the last time at the house he’s called home for 10 years. Soon, even the house itself will come down.
The Mangold home is one of four recently purchased by the Iola school district to make way on Jackson Avenue for new construction.
The district plans to demolish the houses and build a new science and technology center, with other classrooms and a cafeteria, at the site. Voters approved the new building as part of a $35.3 million bond issue in the April election, along with a new elementary school and new heating, ventilation and cooling systems at the middle school.
Like the other property owners, Mangold agreed to sell his home after brief negotiations with the district. He believes the final purchase price was fair after the district agreed to allow him “stripping rights” to take anything he wants out of the home. He’ll be able to salvage things such as carpets, bathroom fixtures and a vinyl privacy fence.
He’ll also take a decade’s worth of memories. His sons, now 21 and 23, lived in the home through much of their childhoods.
“I’m going to remember the good times we had while my kids were growing up. Especially the holidays.”
After learning the district’s desire to build on the site, the holidays took on extra importance for Mangold. He celebrated one last Easter dinner with friends and family in the house.
Because the city cordons off the block to traffic on Halloween, that evening was extra special. Typically, hundreds of trick-or-treaters flock there.
“We’d have a swarm of kids,” Mangold recalled fondly. “The numbers have dwindled in the last few years, but it was always packed.”
Dennis Mangold shows off one of his favorite features, a telephone stand, of his home at 432 E. Jackson Ave. The house has been sold to USD 257 to be demolished to build a new science and technology building near Iola High School.
MANGOLD, a native of Illinois, purchased the house in the fall of 2009.
Three years earlier, his wife had died after an extensive illness. After her passing, he decided to move away in an effort to make a fresh start.
He first moved to Humboldt and worked for the ANW Cooperative as a paraprofessional for special needs children. He now works for the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center’s school-based counseling program.
The need for a larger home prompted Mangold and his partner at the time to move to Iola.
Mangold doesn’t know much about the house’s history, only that it was built in 1941 in the Dutch Colonial style. He admires many of its unique features, especially a sunroom on the east side that was the perfect setting for a bar to entertain guests. At one point, it featured a gazebo in the backyard and a hot tub.
Numerous windows brighten the four upstairs bedrooms.
Another favorite feature hearkens to the time period of the house’s construction: A wall cutout with a shelf and cupboard to hold a telephone in the foyer, near the stairs.
“It’s a great house. We liked to entertain and it flows nicely for guests and dinner parties,” Mangold said. “It’s in a neighborhood where the homes are unique. No two are alike, not like some of the newer construction homes.”
THIS IS actually Mangold’s second home to be purchased and demolished in the name of progress. A house in Illinois was bought for a highway expansion.
“What are the odds?” Mangold joked.
He had been trying to sell the Iola house, and at one point moved to Fayetteville, Ark., where his youngest son graduated from high school. He and his partner separated, so Mangold was living in the roughly 2,000-square-foot home by himself.
“I didn’t need this big of a house anymore,” he said.
Mangold has since moved back to Humboldt. He isn’t sure yet if he will want to watch the demolition when the time comes.
Though Mangold would have liked to see the house remain to create memories for other families, he supports the district’s plans.
“Hopefully this will help revitalize Iola. If this community wants to be competitive, it has to keep improving the schools,” he said. “I hate to see the house torn down, but education will help more families and last longer.”
Coming Wednesday — Jeff Cook shares family memories and history of a Civil War-era property.