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8 Wonders of Kansas

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8 Wonders of Topeka

Thanks to the Topeka Capital-Journal for asking readers to identify the 8 Wonders of Topeka!

1. TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE & ACADEMY

3028 S.W. 8th

"I have never seen a town who loved its theater as much as this one does," said TCT president and chief executive officer Carole Ries. "I am stunned by how much the people in this community give (to TCT)."

The theater was founded in 1936 and, according to the TCT Web site, and is the oldest continuously running community theater in the country.

Ries said the theater is manned by more than 600 volunteers, and the academy is attended by several hundred students every year.

She said she thinks the community supports the theater because it offers so much to the community.

People "see what the theater does for their child, for their grandchild, neighbor, husband, wife," Ries said. "They support something that does so much good for the people they know and love."

2. TOPEKA AND SHAWNEE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

1515 S.W. 10th

The vision statement for the library states that it will be "one of the finest public library facilities in the nation." That sentiment was expressed by several Topeka Capital-Journal readers who said the library bested those of cities many times larger than ours.

3. KANSAS STATEHOUSE

300 S.W 10th

Kansans in 1866 wanted a grand, classical building that would rival the national Capitol in style. It took 37 years, but they erected a building that still makes Kansans proud more than 100 years later. Of particular interest to many voters were the John Steuart Curry murals depicting life in Kansas.

4. GREAT OVERLAND STATION

701 N. Kansas Ave.

The old Union Pacific passenger train station has been refurbished and converted to a museum for railroad memorabilia and artifacts. The museum opened in June 2004.

5. KANSAS MUSEUM OF HISTORY

6425 S.W. 6th

The train in the middle of the room is a perennial favorite for kids young and old, but so is the teepee and the biplane and the log house. New exhibits are planned regularly.

6. BOBO'S DRIVE-IN

2300 S.W. 10th

Topekans have been eating burgers, fries and milk shakes at Bobo's since July 4, 1953. The restaurant and its owners, Richard and Tricia Marsh, were featured recently on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

7. TOPEKA HIGH SCHOOL

800 S.W. 10th

The school, which cost more than $1 million to build in 1931, still receives top scores from Topeka residents who appreciate its architecture and history.

8. CHARLES CURTIS HOUSE

1101 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

The home of former vice president Charles Curtis was registered as a historical building in 1976 by Daughters of the American Revolution.

Other vote-getters: Apple pie from Annie’s, Blind Tiger Brewery, Brown v. Board of Education, Burnett’s Mound, Classic Bean, Combat Air Museum, Dutch Goose, First Presbyterian Church, Gage Park, Governor’s Mansion, Heartland Park, Helen Hocker Theater, Jayhawk Theatre, Kansas National Guard Museum, Kansas Silent Film Festival, La Siesta, Lake Shawnee, Larry’s Shortstop, Lee Arena on game nights, Menninger Hill, Mulvane Art Museum, Old Prairie Town, Potwin, especially at Christmas, Reinisch Rose Garden, Row Houses, Shunga Trail, St. Mary’s Church, St. Joseph Church, Sunflower Festival at WU, Sweet potato fries at Lane’s, Topeka Concert Series, Topeka Festival Singers, Topeka Jazz Workshop, TPAC, Topeka Roadrunners hockey, Topeka Zoo, Washburn University