Don and Harriet Boresow needed space.
With nine kids under the age of 12 and a tenth on the way, they’d outgrown their home.
“I was looking for a farm — a place with acreage,” Don recalls. “I was looking through the real estate ads in the paper and they had this place listed as a farm house. But it was here in Prairie Village.”
Don was already familiar with the property at 4809 W. 68th Street, having delivered mail there as part of his route as a carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. And while the old house hadn’t been what he’d had in mind initially, he and Harriet had a vision for what it could become.
So in 1970, they paid $18,000 to purchase the property from a descendent of Thomas Nall, who built the house back 1890. Don and Harriet would add four more kids to the mix after moving in — a brood of 14 in total — and put on a sizable addition to accommodate the whole crew around 1975.
Now, as the property is set to enter a new phase, the Boresow kids and parents are remembering the vibrant backdrop it provided to the family’s formative years.
The Boresows moved out of the property in 1996, and few months ago, the home’s owners approached Molly and Scott Koenigsdorf, the proprietors of Koenig Building + Restoration, about a possible sale of the property. Molly had grown up on 68th Street and she and Scott currently live just across the street from the property, so they were very familiar with its history. The house had fallen into disrepair, and the current owners were ready to move out.
“We jumped on the opportunity because we didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands,” Molly said. “I’ve always known about the history of the house, and we all knew the Boresow kids growing up.”
After vetting the property, Koenig determined that the structure wasn’t salvageable. But they didn’t want to replace it with just any house. Instead, they’ve engaged their architect to come up with a design the recreates the original farmhouse structure while adding more usable modern space.
“We’re nervous-excited, because we know how important it is to get this project right. Details are key,” Molly said in a post she put on the company’s social media accounts. “We guarantee that the rebuilt structure will appear as if the original 1890’s home was artfully cared for, and added on to with the modern family in mind.”
Last week, several of the Boresow kids and their parents had a chance to tour the property before any of the demolition work was to begin.
Jerry Boresow, who owns Boresow’s Lawn Enforcement, recounted how the family had combined spaces in the downstairs to create a dining room that was big enough to hold the whole family.
“We would kind of eat in shifts,” Jerry said.
During the holidays, as family came to visit and the children would invite their girlfriends or boyfriends to dinner, the crowd could swell to 45 people, Don said. But that press of activity wasn’t limited to the holiday season. As might be expected, there was a constant swirl of activity, with games of wiffle ball, basketball and volleyball populated by the kids and their friends.
“There were always people coming in and out, just this great mix of friends and siblings,” said Amy Boresow Prendiville.