Crews reduce downtown Wichita building to rubble

A 109-year-old building at the corner of Douglas and Emporia in downtown Wichita was razed to the ground on Friday.

According to old newspaper articles, a prominent businessman, Fred Aley, built at least part of the current structure in 1909, when Wichita was only about 40 years old. Current property records say the building was built in 1920, but that could have been when it was enlarged. A photo taken around 1934 shows a building that clearly matches the look and shape of the current one.

The building apparently never had its own name, a name that lasted. It’s been called whatever business was housed there.

Since the first concrete dried in 1909, it’s held everything from real estate offices to a hat works, cigar shop and rooms for rent.

Most recently, it’s been known as Mead’s Corner for the coffee shop that had been there since 2008.