PITTSBURG, Kan. — Some of the oldest buildings in a Southeast Kansas community have been given a new lease on life, thanks largely to the efforts of one man, and he’s up to it again, to the benefit of area families.

The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to” describes many of the old brick buildings in Pittsburg.

And Larry Fields has made it his mission to not only keep them upright but make sure they continue to serve their community.

He’s done so with two structures in the downtown area already and has set his sights and expertise on a third, the old Washington school, which will become a community daycare facility.

“And so many times they just get tore down, if you tear them down you’ll never replace anything like them, if you build the steel frames and set up the concrete panels and you build them quick and easy and they’re efficient, I understand that, but if we lose our history, we lose we lose the memories of a lot of these things,” said Larry Fields, Salvages Historic Building.

Fields is a member of both nonprofits getting ready to restore and then operate the future facility, but he did the other two repo projects himself.

The Frisco event center on Fourth Street is now an entertainment venue for celebrations and wedding receptions to name a few, and if you look closely, you’ll see the outline of an actual caboose that’s been built into the facility.

Just a few blocks away is the Pitt Craft building now known as the “Fun Zone Depot”, complete with a rock wall, bounce houses, and kiddy rides.

Both were constructed by the same railroad company.

An industry he’s retired from but has never really left.

“And I was in the rail industry about over 40 years and I’ve been honestly hundreds and hundreds and probably a thousand old depots, and old warehouses, they have a uniqueness of their own, a beauty of their own and they’ll last, this building down here is a 140 years old and it will last another100 years,” said Fields.