Rural Culture Elements

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WPA Structures

Although there is not a comprehensive listing of Kansas WPA structures a good resource provided by the Kansas Preservation Alliance is the National Register Multiple Property Document.  It provides a guide to looking for and understanding those structures with a chronology and set of building types.

To begin the process of building a list for Kansas we've started a list below.

If your town has WPA structures or if you know of any, please send the following:
1. Type of structure
2. Year built
3. Location and city
4. Any description you'd like to add
5. Web site link, if there is one.

Send to wendee@kansassampler.org. Thank you.

  • Caney High School Football stadium, 1938-39.  Structure is still in use.



Fire Station 1 and the original Hutchinson Police Station. They are listed on the Downtown Core South National Register Nomination as two separate buildings: 18 & 24 East Avenue B. However, they are attached and for all intents and purposes 1 building.

The Police Station was built in the 1880s, but 1934-38, the fire station was added on and both buildings remodeled in an Art Deco style. The building is now used solely by the fire station. This building is located in Hutchinson, Reno County. The Downtown Core South National Register Nomination that has info about this building and many others around South Main Street in Hutchinson can be accessed at: http://www.hutchgov.com/egov/docs/1199301717_739562.pdf


The WPA worked at Marion County Park and Lake from 1937 until the start of WWII in 1941.

Marion County Park and Lake (including it's WPA and CCC structures) are on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Horseshoe Pits remains
 Picnic Table
 Roque Court - wickets missing
 Skating rink
The following limestone structures were built by the WPA:

  • 5 toilets
  • 1 high house (skeet shoot)
  • 1 low house (skeet shoot)
  • 1 trap house
  • 2 shelter houses
  • 1 concessions house
  • 1 entrance
  • 1 croquet court
  • 2 roque courts (According to Helen Beckham, Marion, roque is similar to croquet and played somewhat the same way, but instead of grass the court is cement with steel wickets permanently embedded. The mallets are shorter and the balls are larger)
  • 5 seats
  • 34 picnic tables
  • 9 ovens
  • 5 incinerators
  • 1 concrete outdoor checker board
  • 1 concrete outdoor shuffle board
  • 1 concrete skating rink
  • 6 concrete sandboxes
  • 1 tennis court

The following were built by the CCC:

  • 3 acre lake
  • Stone parapets
  • 2 stone arch bridges
  • Stone Wash House and Dry Cleaning Establishment (now a museum)
  • Stone guard posts
  • Stone pump house
  • Dam and spillway
  • Streets
  • Swimming area
  • Ball diamond

    • ELMDALE - vacant WPA building with the words "City Hall" on the building.  Date of construction unknown.
    • Harvey County West Lake - WPA building, use and date of construction unknown.

  • Old round swimming pool (demolished for the new water park)
  • Old high school which is now the McPherson Middle School
  • Girl Scout Cabin at Lakeside Park - east side
  • Boy Scout Cabin at Lakeside Park - west side
  • Coronado Heights
  • Mural inside the Lindsborg Post Office
  •  Township Hall

    Tall, one-story, rectangular-shaped front-gabled building with coursed-ashlar limestone walls; series of 5, large, multi-light steel sash windows along the east and west facades; and a gabled vestibule on the south (primary) façade. Interior space consists of one large meeting room and an elevated stage at the north end of the building. It is now serves as the National Park Service’s Nicodemus National Historic Site visitor’s/interpretive center.  Website:  http://www.nps.gov/nico/
  • Shelter House, Osborne City Park, West Main Street 1938
  • Scout Cabin, western end of Main Street 1938
  • Osborne Dam, below Scout Cabin at western end of Main Street 1936
  • BETHANY TOWNSHIP: Nine 20-foot WPA concrete bridges, eastern half of township 1936-1939
  • DELHI TOWNSHIP: Hobbie Lake Dam 1936
  • KILL CREEK TOWNSHIP: Medicine Creek Stone Bridge 1937
  • WINFIELD TOWNSHIP: Gimlet Creek Stone Bridge 1938
  • BETHANY TOWNSHIP: Nine 20-foot WPA concrete bridges, eastern half of township 1936-1939
  • DELHI TOWNSHIP: Hobbie Lake Dam 1936
  • KILL CREEK TOWNSHIP: Medicine Creek Stone Bridge 1937
  • WINFIELD TOWNSHIP: Gimlet Creek Stone Bridge 1938

Armory - built
1941-1943;  5th and Lasley

The design of the Hiawatha, Kingman, and St. Marys armories followed national trends of the late 1930s and early 1940s including the development of clean lines, simple forms, and geometric styles. The three armories were all designed in variations of the PWA Moderne style, an architectural subcategory frequently used on public buildings between 1933 and 1944. PWA Moderne combines the vertical geometry of Art Deco, the horizontal streamlining of Moderne, and the traditionalism of the Beaux Arts. Stone structure.

  • Stark High School gymnasium. 1942.