August 17, 2014

Derby Public School among Kansas nominations for National Register of Historic Places

Ten Kansas sites, including the Derby Public School building built in 1923, have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review.

Ten Kansas sites, including the Derby Public School building built in 1923, have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review.

The properties also include remnants of a 19th-century canal in western Kansas that was designed to carry water from the Arkansas River to nearby farms; Craftsman-style houses in Emporia, and a World War II housing development in Johnson County.

Currently, Kansas has 1,369 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's list of historically significant properties.

To be eligible for listing, buildings must meet certain criteria, including the building's age, integrity and significance. Properties must be at least 50 years old to be considered. They can be eligible if they are associated with significant events or people.

While the historic designation can bring prestige to a property, it can also bring money, specifically tax credits for improvement. Owners of historically designated properties can receive up to 25 percent of their improvement investment back as state tax credit.

The nominees include:

Derby Public School, District 6, 716 E. Market St., Derby — The building was Derby’s public school building for much of the early 20th century. It was built by Wichita architect Samuel Siegfried Voigt. The building functioned as a school from 1923 through 1996. The Derby Historical Society owns the building, which houses the Derby Historical Museum.

Whitewater Falls Stock Farm, 433 Falls Road, Towanda — The 1909 horse barn is considered one of the state’s most iconic barns, designed by Wichita architect Ulysses Grant Charles. The farm was first purchased in 1884 by J.W. Robison.Robison and his sons specialized in registered Percheron draft horses. The Craftsman-style farm house was designed by El Dorado architect Carl Muck.

Soule Canal — The Eureka Irrigation Canal — or Soule Canal — was one of western Kansas' earliest irrigation attempts. The canal was financed by John and George Gilbert and Asa Soule. It stretched 96 miles from Ingalls in Gray County to Spearville in Ford County. Two canal sites were nominated: one near Ingalls and the other adjacent to U.S. 50 east of Ingalls.

Craftsman-style houses in Emporia — This is a multiple property nomination that discusses the settlement and development of Emporia and how the Craftsman movement coincided with the growth of the city. The Emporia properties include gable-front, side-gable and cross-gable bungalows, open-gable cottages and others. No specific properties were listed.

Sunflower Village Historic District, DeSoto — The Sunflower Village was built by the U.S. government to address the housing shortage during World War II due to the influx of workers at the Sunflower Ordinance Works facility. Of the original 175 houses, 157 remain.

Handel T. Martin House, 1709 Louisiana St., Lawrence — The house was built in 1917 on the south slope of Mount Oread in Lawrence. Handel T. Martin was an instructor and curator at KU’s Natural History museum. The house is an American Foursquare.

Masonic Grand Lodge Building, 320 SW 8th Ave., Topeka — Designed by Edward Lippincott Tilton, who also designed buildings at Ellis Island and several Carnegie libraries, this Classical Revival-style building was the gathering point for Kansas Masons. It has offices, a library and museum of Kansas Masonry. It is across the street from the Kansas Statehouse.

First Congregational Church, 400 N. 9th St., Independence — The church building was constructed in 1911 in the Gothic Revival style. It has towers, a steeply pitched roof, Gothic arch windows and a front porch. It was designed by Chicago architect George W. Ashby.

Alexander and Anna Schwartz Farm, 57 E CR-70, Dighton — The Schwartz family moved from Russia to Kansas in 1906. In 1928, they traded land for a farm in Lane County and built the property up. The farmhouse is a small Craftsman-style house. The farmstead includes a smokehouse with a cellar, and a barn.

Whiting Service Station, 204 Whiting St., Whiting — The service station was built in 1928 and served the public until 1966. It resembled a small house and exhibits the Craftsman-style architecture. It featured a canopy that covered the driveway.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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