The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced that Burlington has been designated the Restoration Capital and Pressed Metal Ceiling Capital of Kansas.
Nearly eighty-seven percent of the 84 downtown buildings have been restored to some degree. In addition, the metal ceilings in twenty-two of the buildings have been restored so that the exposed pressed metal can be the primary ceiling.
Art, especially in the form of murals, has also been incorporated into the downtown enhancements.
Some benefits of the degree of restoration are that businesses want to be located in such an environment and people want to visit and shop in such an attractive place. Also, Gene Merry, Burlington's "Downtown Guy" and artist Jim Stukey have given many tours of the buildings. Many cities and preservation-minded groups have come to view the restoration projects, see the businesses in the buildings, and learn how they might do something similar in their cities.
"The percentage of restored buildings in this city of 2,800 is phenomenal. It shows a great deal of pride and a progressive desire to preserve the past while preparing for the future," said Marci Penner, Foundation director.Communities must prove the case for their designation and after a review are added to the list of "capitals of Kansas" on the Foundation's website.