Surveyors seek downtown history
Representatives hired to survey buildings in downtown Marion talked with their owners last week about their past.
The survey, commissioned in May through a $9,750 grant from Kansas Historical Society, is being done with an eye toward getting a designation as a historic district. If the downtown gets that designation, building owners can apply for tax credits. The tax credits can be sold to pay for remodeling.
Thirteen building owners, city officials, and members of the city museum board turned out to listen to the presentation.
Ben Moore, owner of Manhattan architectural firm Ben Moore Studio, Kristy Johnson, project architect for Ben Moore Studios, and Christy Davis, owner of Davis Preservation in Cottonwood Falls, gave the presentation.
Economic development director Randy Collett passed around copies of a 1956 photo of Marion Main St.
“One of the things I’ve learned is that a sense of place has an important role,” Collett said. “You look at downtown Marion, and you get a definite sense of place.”
Collett said the photo was a historical view the city hasn’t done much of anything with.
Another photo, taken in 1882, showed identical buildings along the 300 block of Main St.
Collett said building owners often are intimidated by their size of their buildings and the cost of renovations.
Christy Davis, owner of Davis Preservation in Cottonwood Falls, told owners that their buildings often have not been maintained by previous owners.
Now that photos have been taken of buildings in the area planned for historical district designation, surveyors will gather more information about the properties and prepare physical descriptions.
She asked that building owners supply what information they have on their building’s history.
Surveyors will send records of properties to the Kansas Historical Resources Inventory and a final report will be sent to the state historical society.