Rural Culture Elements

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Click here to see the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture

Click here to see the Kansas Barn Alliance sesquicentennial logos

Click here to add a WPA structure to our list

To assess the architecture in your town look at such structures as residential homes, downtown buildings, churches, barns, the courthouse, post office, library, bridges, and mills.
Ask these questions to help see the story of architecture in your town. The answers may lead you to interesting findings!
  1. What building materials were used and where did they come from?
  2. Are these materials unique to the area?
  3. What year or era was the structure built?
  4. Who was the architect or contractor?
  5. What was the original use of the structure?
  6. Does the structure have a well-known nickname?
  7. How is the building used now?
  8. Is there a connection to similar structures around the state?
Here are some examples of how some towns have used architecture to preserve and tell the story of their town:

*Building Preservation

Ness City's 1890s bank, the "Skyscraper of the Plains", has been restored and serves as a meeting place for groups, as an attraction, and has a Kansas products store in the basement.

*Historic Places

Most of the 41 buildings on Yates Center's courthouse square are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

*Theatre Restoration

There is a movement to restore historic theatres in Kansas towns of every size. The Brown Grand Theatre, built in the early 1900s led the restoration movement in the 1970s.
*Church Tours
The Cathedral of the Plains, Victoria, is the most famous church in Ellis County but because almost every town in the county has a historic Catholic church the driving tour has become known as the "Circle of Churches".