Dodge City Main Street Launches Historical Downtown Building Promotional Campaign

 

Dodge City, Ks. (westernkansasnews.com)

In 2012 Main Street Dodge City began a campaign to acknowledge and award downtown businesses owners for outstanding window displays. While the organization continues to work with downtown businesses to help make visual improvements, the Main Street Design Team has chosen to take on another focus as well; educating the community on the number of historic properties located within the district and the tools that are available to help restore and maintain those properties. 

 

The Dodge City Historic Downtown District, which is listed on the both the State and National Register of Historic Places, encompasses 76 buildings in the downtown area, 60% of which are still deemed to be historic in nature.  The goal for 2013 is to bring awareness to as many of the historically significant properties as possible.  To accomplish this, the Main Street Design Team will be recognizing a few historic properties each month that not only add great historical significance to the downtown district, but have also been well maintained or restored throughout the years.

 

For the month of March the following historic buildings and businesses were chosen:

 

  • The Carnegie Library, which currently houses the Carnegie Center for the Arts. The Dodge City Carnegie Library was built in 1906 with $7,500 in funds from Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie offered the funds in return from a commitment from the community of $750 per year for operations. In 1936, the WPA funded an addition to the building. It continued to serve as a public library in 1970, after which it was converted for business use. In 1981 the Arts Council preserved the building with funding from the community and a grant from the state preservation office. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

 

  • Kansas State Bank, which was originally built in 1916 and is currently home to Fidelity State Bank & Trust Company. Although dwellings in the early 1880s had occupied the majority of this block, their slow replacement had begun by 1884, when there were two two-story commercial structures on the block. A two-story house at this location was vacant by 1887. What appears to be the same building provided for a confectionary in the 1890s, a millinery in 1905, and a tailor in 1911. The building was removed for the construction of the Kansas State Bank, the existing building, in 1916. The Kansas State Bank was chartered in 1907. In 1933, the Kansas State Bank merged with the State Bank of Dodge City (founded 1893), to form the Fidelity State Bank.

 

  • The Warshaw Building, which was originally built in 1915 and currently houses Salon Exotica. The commercial development of this block had begun by 1887, when a row of one-story commercial buildings lined 2nd Avenue.  Between 1911 and 1918, new buildings were constructed here.  This building housed the JC Penney Store until it moved to a new two-story building downtown in 1930.  After JC Penney’s moved out, the interior and exterior of the south half of the building were remodeled to house Warshaw’s, a “men’s furnishings store.”  The basement housed the Walnut Barber and Beauty Shop.  By 1930, Warshaw had been in business in Dodge City for fourteen years.  After Penney’s moved out in 1930, the north half of the building was remodeled for a Servey Store.

 

For more information on this program or the Main Street Dodge City organization in general, please contact Chelsey Fisher at (620) 227-9501 or cfisher@dodgedev.org.


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