Kansas might not be known for its stunning structures and architectural brilliance, but there’s plenty of gorgeous buildings around to admire. Although we do have a lot of gorgeous scenery, sometimes it’s the man-made structures that look fantastic. How many of these have you seen?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Cottonwood Falls Courthouse
The red mansard roof and the classic French Renaissance style make this 113 foot tall building a piece of art. Millions have been spent on its restoration. Located at 300 Pearl St, Cottonwood Falls, Ks.
2. Brown Mansion
With its neoclassic style architecture and its non-restored style, this mansion is one for the books. Its still in the same state as its completion in 1906, with all the heating and electric facilities left alone. Located at 2109 S Walnut St, Coffeyville, KS.
3. Cooper Barn
Cooper barn is rumored to be the largest barn in the state. It was donated to the Prairie Museum of Art & History back in 1992, so you can visit it during business hours. It traveled in one piece almost 16 miles to reach its current spot. Located in Colby, KS.
4. Holy Cross Church
The Holy Cross Church is one of the finest examples of Gothic style churches in Kansas. Parish families paid two cents for each bushel of wheat they produced to fund construction, giving it the nickname "two-cent church". Located at 335th Ave, Pfeifer, KS.
5. Ness Bank
When it was finished in 1890, the Ness Bank was nicknamed "Skyscraper of the Plains". It features four vaults, one of which has an oil painting finished in 22 karat gold. It also has 20 rooms and 110 windows. Located in Ness City, KS.
6. Fox Theatre
The Fox theatre is by far one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the Midwest. It got a 4.5 million dollar restoration in 1999 that would make the Boller Brothers (its builders) very proud. Located at 18 E 1st Ave, Hutchinson, KS.
7. Lebold Mansion
This stunning building is one of the lone surviving examples of Italianate Tuscan Villa architecture. It housed soldiers in WWII but now is home to a great Victorian decorative art museum. Located at 1105 N Buckeye Ave, Abilene, KS.
8. John Mack Bridge
This bridge is the longest remaining James Barney Marsh Rainbow Bridge in Kansas, and the second longest in the U.S. It was renovated in 1997, and a low-profile bridge was added next to it to prevent four-lane traffic. Located at 2700 S Broadway St, Wichita, KS
9. Osborne Courthouse
With one of the most unique interiors, the Osborne Courthouse is a wonderful example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style courthouses here in Kansas. It features many unusual carvings on the outside, including a man who bothered builders during its construction. Located at 423 W Main St, Osborne, KS
10. Windsor Hotel
In 1887, the style of this hotel served as a model for many hotels throughout the country. It has a large open atrium, with surrounding hotel rooms. It's known as the "Waldorf of the Prairies". Located at Main and Pine, Garden City, KS.
11. Muchnic Home
This Queen-Anne style mansion is one of the most unique in the state. All of the woodwork is carved, and the third floor is a fully finished ballroom, and the flooring throughout the house is strikingly unique. Located at 704 N 4th St, Atchison, KS.
12. Mighty Samson Bridge
This enormous bridge was built in 1939 to cross the Cimarron River. It allowed trains to travel at normal speed over the river, after the previous bridge couldn't hold up. Located in Seward County, KS.
13. Mary, Queen of Peace Church
This church is a great example of hyperbolic paraboloid architecture, and it's probably the only triple-roof church of this style in the world. The windows are all stained glass that creates rainbows whenever light shines into the building. Architectural brilliance at its finest. Located at 804 N Colorado St, Ulysses, KS.
14. Fromme-Birney Barn
One of about 20 round barns out of thousands in Kansas, the Fromme-Birney Barn is a work of brilliance for sure. It was originally build to house horses, but after the tractor became prominent, it was used to store hay. Located at O St, Mullinville, KS.
15. Seelye Mansion
This three-floor Georgian style mansion is in great condition. It features a Tiffany fireplace, a Steinway piano, and even a bowling alley. The Edison light fixtures were even left in place! Located at 1105 N Buckeye Ave, Abilene, KS.
16. Chapel of the Veterans
This chapel is the only Kansas church where both Protestant and Catholic services can be held under the same roof. It features three gargoyles and Gothic arched windows. The glass work here is simply one-of-a-kind! Located at 4101 South 4th Street Leavenworth, KS.
17. Kansas State Capitol
Back when Kansas only had about 25,000 people living here, our forefathers made the decision to have this built. The ceiling is French Italian Renaissance style, and the elevator is one of the few hand-operated lifts still used in the state. Located at 300 SW 10th St, Topeka, KS.
18. Dyche Hall
This building houses the Kansas University Natural History Museum, and is absolutely covered in ornate carvings. The Romanesque building features carvings of all manner of animals real and mythical peeping out at every corner. Located at 1345 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, KS.
19. Salina Masonic Lodge
A row of copper gargoyles surrounds this neo-classical style building in Salina. It houses nine different fraternal organizations, and is a beloved building nicknamed "The Landmark of the Valley". Located at 336 S Santa Fe Ave, Salina, KS.
20. Topeka High School
Truly, Gothic architectural brilliance is shown at the Topeka High School. It also features pieces modeled after famous historical rooms, such as the library, made to look like Henry VIII's Great Hall. Located at 800 SW 10th St, Topeka, KS.