Hermit Cave Restoration
Council Grove, Kansas
National Register Historic District
National Park Service Santa Fe Trail Site
Contractor - Hartman Masonry
Historic Consultant - Spencer Preservation
Structural Engineer - VMT Engineering
Ben Moore Studio provided a master plan concept and provided structural design services for the historic Hermit’s Cave in Council Grove, Kansas. Located on a walking trail, the existing terrain is difficult to walk on and the cave can easily be missed. In addition, a non-historic masonry wall was added at the opening of the cave. Our team provided structural design services to ensure that the cave would not collapse with the removal of this historically inaccurate wall. The master plan then proposed a small park at the cave’s location on the trail to better celebrate the historic site. Our proposal included a flagstone paved walking surface and open court at the cave, elegant metal benches and trash receptacles, native flowers and a gravel walking trail rather than the existing dirt trail. The first phase of the project was complete with the removal of the non-historic masonry wall and the remainder of the project is currently in fundraising. Its completion will enhance the Hermit’s Cave a beloved spot for residents of Council Grove. The Master Plan also includes connecting the Hermit Cave site to Sunrise rock via a trail system. As part of the project, Spencer Preservation completed the National Register Nomination. It is now listed n a National Register as Hermit's Cave on Belfry Hill.