11 Sites Nominated for National Register of Historic Places

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

TOPEKA (WIBW) — At its regular quarterly meeting held at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka last Saturday, May 3, the Historic Sites Board of Review voted to forward 11 nominations to the office of the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C., to be evaluated by its professional staff. If staff members concur with the board’s findings, the properties will be included in the National Register. The board also voted to amend the Historic Resources of Lawrence, Douglas County National Register multiple property nomination. In other action, the board voted to list one property in the Register of Historic Kansas Places.

The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Eligible properties must be significant for one or more of the four criteria for evaluation. Properties can be eligible if they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history. They can be eligible if they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. Distinctive construction can qualify properties for the National Register if they embody the characteristic of a type, period, or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic values, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction. Lastly, properties may be eligible for the National Register if they have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history. The National Register recognizes properties of local, statewide, and national significance.

The Register of Historic Kansas Places is our state’s official list of historically significant properties. Properties included in the National Register are automatically listed in the State Register. However, not all properties listed in the State Register are included in the National Register. The same general criteria are used to assess the eligibility of a property for inclusion in the state register, but more flexibility is allowed in the interpretation of the criteria for eligibility.

Below are summaries of the nominations:

National Register of Historic Places

Baxter Springs High School – 1520 Cleveland Avenue, Baxter Springs, Cherokee County
Baxter Springs High School was constructed in three separate building campaigns from 1918 to 1964, and it documents the evolving educational and design philosophies that characterized Kansas public schools during each period of construction. The original block is an example of a Progressive Era city high school that was augmented with the addition of a New Deal-era auditorium/gymnasium in 1939 and construction of a support structure for industrial arts education in 1964. The nominated resource was the first purpose-built secondary school in Baxter Springs. It continued to serve an educational function until 2013. It was nominated as part of the Historic Public Schools of Kansas multiple property nomination for its significance in the areas of education and architecture.

Town House Hotel – 1021 N. 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City, Wyandotte County
Constructed in 1951 in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Kansas, the Town House Hotel illustrates the community’s intense desire for a convention hotel, which was believed to be a key component of a thriving metropolis. City officials, businessmen, and local citizens were involved in the decades-long pursuit of this hotel that was finally realized with the building’s completion in August 1951. Architect Eugene John Stern began designing the hotel in 1929 with a wide array of amenities and luxurious decorative materials, modifying the drawings when construction actually began more than a decade later. It reflects the Modern Movement design aesthetic popular at the time of construction, particularly the use of corner windows, although the massing, streamlined façade and interior ornament evoke the grand high-rise hotels of the 1920s and 1930s. The fifteen-story building was designed with all of the amenities commonly provided in a city hotel of this status, including a grand lobby, numerous ballrooms and gathering spaces, and double-loaded corridors lined with guest rooms (now apartment units). The building operated as Kansas City’s largest downtown hotel from 1951 until it was converted to residential apartments in 1978. It was nominated for its local significance in the areas of commerce and architecture.

First Presbyterian Church of De Graff – 1145 N.W. 108th Street, De Graff, Butler County
Constructed circa 1903, the former First Presbyterian Church of De Graff was built during the community’s heyday as an agricultural and livestock shipping point along the Florence, El Dorado and Walnut Valley Railway, a spur of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The church is one of the few remaining buildings that made up this once-thriving community. It reflects a vernacular interpretation of the Gothic Revival style executed in wood materials, commonly referred to as Carpenter Gothic. The building features a cross-gable plan with a corner tower entrance and decorative window and gable ornament somewhat common in rural church architecture of this period. These features also are reflective of the Queen Anne architectural style that was popular in the late 19th century romantic movement. An addition was added to the east side of the building in 1956. The church closed in 2006 and reopened as De Graff Community Church in 2009. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of architecture.

Lincoln School, District 2 – 410 N. 9th Street, Elwood, Doniphan County
Elwood’s Lincoln School was the last building in Doniphan County to be used for racially segregated education. It replaced McKinley School, which burned in 1934. The school served African American students in the Elwood area from 1935 until it closed in 1955 as a result of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlawed racially segregated educational facilities. The building is one of the community’s few older buildings, as this area is prone to major floods associated with the nearby Missouri River. In the years after its closure, it served as a community building and library. It was nominated as part of the Historic Public Schools of Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of education and African American heritage.

Victor Court Apartments – 140 N. Hydraulic Avenue, Wichita, Sedgwick County
The Victor Court Apartments, built in 1935, are located approximately one mile east of downtown Wichita along North Hydraulic Avenue. The property originally included 12 apartments in three buildings – a two-story central building and two one-story buildings extended at an angle from either corner. The buildings reflect the Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture, which was popular throughout the United States in the early and mid-20th century. Wichita oilman John Ellsworth Thorp developed the property in 1935, hiring Oliver J. Mourning to design and erect the buildings constructed of Dunbrick, an unpainted brick masonry coated with a water-resistant finish. The property was nominated as part of the Residential Resources of Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of community planning and development and architecture.

First Congregational Church – 202 N. Bluff Avenue, Anthony, in Harper County
The First Congregational Church was completed in 1910 on a corner lot near downtown Anthony. It was the congregation’s second house of worship, replacing an older wood church built in 1880. Reverend B. F. Buck came to the congregation in 1908 and led the worshippers through the process of erecting a new church. The church building committee visited churches in other communities for ideas and eventually settled on a tri-tower, Gothic Revival-style brick building featuring stained glass windows honoring Anthony’s founders. The building’s architect is not known. It was constructed during a prosperous period in Anthony that witnessed the formation of the Anthony Commercial Club, whose first president was Reverend Buck. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of architecture.

Moyle, John, Building – 605-607 N. State Street, Augusta, Butler County
The three-story Moyle building was completed in 1918 to house retail spaces and a hotel. The building was constructed during a time of rapid growth and development in Augusta, largely in response to the booming oil and gas industry in surrounding Butler County. During this period local oilman John Moyle served as secretary of Augusta’s Commercial Club and was president of the local Chamber of Commerce when he set into motion plans for the construction of this building in the downtown. Moyle hired Joseph R. Switzer to design and oversee the building’s construction by contractor A. H. Krause. The building originally was used as a hotel, with the office and other retail spaces occupying the first floor. Guest rooms occupied the second and third floors. The hotel does not appear to have been overly ornate or outfitted with the latest technological accommodations. Rather, it appears to have been a well-built, modest hotel with 32 small, individual rooms for guests. Though private, these rooms did not have kitchen or bath facilities or any built-in features. The shared bathrooms were located at the west end of each floor. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of commerce.

Washington, W.B. & Julia, House – 110 N. 3rd Street, Leoti, in Wichita County
The William B. and Julia Washington House in Leoti was built in 1892 by Samuel A. Robison and his son Winfred (Fred) Robison of Wichita County. The Washington’s arrived in Leoti in 1886, prior to the violent county seat war of 1887 between residents of Leoti and Coronado. William served as the county attorney and established a law practice, where he worked until his death in 1934. His son Hershel continued the practice until his retirement in 1972. The Washington house, which was sold out of the family in 1943, is a late Victorian-era Queen Anne-style house with Free Classic elements. It is one of the best remaining examples of this style in Wichita County. The Wichita County Historical Society recently acquired the building and has rehabilitated it for tours and functions. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of architecture.

Brown’s Creek Tributary Masonry Arch Bridge – Glen Elder vicinity, Mitchell County

Antelope Creek Masonry Arch Bridge – Tipton vicinity, Mitchell County

North Rock Creek Masonry Arch Bridge – Hunter vicinity, Mitchell County

Three historic limestone bridges in Mitchell County were nominated for their local significance in the areas of government, social history, and engineering. They were constructed with locally quarried limestone between 1936 and 1940 as part of the Works Progress Administration (later named the Work Projects Administration), a federal New Deal-era work relief program that employed local residents. The Brown’s Creek Tributary Masonry Arch Bridge, a triple-arch limestone structure, is located on a rural county road northeast of Glen Elder in Mitchell County. The double-arch Antelope Creek Masonry Arch Bridge is located on a rural county road northeast of Tipton in Mitchell County. The North Rock Creek Masonry Arch Bridge, a double-arch structure is located on a rural county road northeast of Hunter in Mitchell County. The bridges were nominated as part of the New Deal-era Resources of Kansas and Masonry Arch Bridges of Kansas multiple property nominations.

National Register of Historic Places – Multiple Property Documentation Form

Historic Resources of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas

Proposal to attach a fifth context entitled “Lawrence Modern, 1945-1975”
This proposal seeks to attach a fifth historic context entitled “Lawrence Modern, 1945-1975” to the 2001 multiple property documentation form (MPDF) Historic Resources of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas. The MPDF organizes information collected in historic resource surveys and research for future National Register listing and preservation planning purposes. The form facilitates the evaluation of individual properties by comparing them with resources that share similar physical characteristics and historical associations. Information common to the group of properties is presented in the historic context, while information specific to each individual building, site, district, structure, or object is placed in an individual registration form.

The document’s four original contexts, which are arranged chronologically, are “Settlement Period, 1854-1863”; “City-Building Period, 1864-1873”; “Agriculture and Manufacturing, Foundations of Stability, 1874-1899”; and “Quiet University Town, 1900-1945.” The original document identifies two property types – residences and commercial buildings of various architectural styles. The new context is intended to bring up-to-date the original document with discussion of residential, commercial, and public development in Lawrence in the three decades after World War II. Property types covered by this context include commercial buildings, education-related buildings, and residences exhibiting Minimal Traditional, Ranch, Split-level, and Contemporary styles. No properties were nominated as part of this proposal. This project was funded in partnership between the Kansas Historical Society and the City of Lawrence.

Register of Historic Kansas Places – Nomination
Seybold Building – 720-722 Main Street, Eudora, Douglas County
The Seybold Building, located in downtown Eudora, was built in stages during the 1880s. German immigrant John A. Seybold, a tinsmith by trade, acquired land in downtown Eudora in 1870 and built a stone building on the north side of the lot in 1883 that connected to a brick building on the south side. Seybold, whose story is indicative of other immigrant German families that settled the Eudora area in the mid-19th century, operated his hardware business from this building. He died in 1884, and his wife Bertha Seybold managed the property through the 1910s. The Eudora Post Office moved into the building in 1897, where it remained until 1916. Beginning in 1920, the Trefz family operated various businesses from the building, including Trefz Tin Shop and Trefz Plumbing, Heating, and Electric Store. The Eudora Area Historical Society recently acquired the building with the intent of housing its museum. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of commerce.

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