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Limestone Arch Bridges, Historic Districts Added to National Register of Historic Places

andy lambertDecember 17, 2013

 

The Kansas Historical Society announced that limestone arch bridges in Gove County and historic districts in Johnson and Sedgwick counties are the newest Kansas properties added to the National Register of Historic Places. These listings were entered into the National Register December 3 and 4. This brings the total Kansas listings in the National Register to 1,341.

 

The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 2.00.51 PM

 

Eligible properties must be significant for one or more of the four criteria for evaluation. Properties can be eligible if they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history. They can be eligible if they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. Distinctive construction can qualify properties for the National Register if they embody the characteristic of a type, period, or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic values, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction. Lastly, properties may be eligible for the National Register if they have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history. The National Register recognizes properties of local, statewide, and national significance.

 

Below is a summary of the listings:

 

Westwood Hills Historic District – Westwood Hills, Johnson County

 

The Westwood Hills Historic District comprises the entire city of Westwood Hills in Johnson County. The J. C. Nichols Company platted the Westwood Hills subdivision in 1923 and established the Westwood Hills Homes Association in 1926. Twenty years later, residents successfully petitioned the Board of County Commissioners to be recognized as an independent city. The City of Westwood Hills officially incorporated on July 1, 1949. The district is an excellent, intact example of the residential design concepts that prominent local developer J. C. Nichols employed in his many successful subdivisions in both Missouri and Kansas. Westwood Hills was the first subdivision Nichols developed in Kansas using these concepts. The district retains excellent examples of architect-designed dwellings that express the variety of formal and vernacular styles popular in the area during the period of significance. It also encompasses an entire municipality that was involved in the mid-century trend of incorporating as a city in order to retain its own identity as Johnson County developed. The 255 resources reflect the development history of the neighborhood as it evolved from pastureland to a residential subdivision to its own self-contained city. It was nominated for its local significance in the areas of community planning and architecture.

 

Linwood Place Historic District – Wichita, Sedgwick County

 

The Linwood Place Historic District is a 40-acre residential neighborhood on Wichita’s south side near the city’s aircraft-related industrial area and includes 90 fourplex buildings, a maintenance shop, and four unrelated and non-contributing buildings. The complex was developed by Ray Garvey and his son Willard of Builders, Incorporated. The firm specialized in constructing affordable housing in Wichita during the booming post-World War II years. They closely followed the requirements mandated by the Federal Housing Administration that involved appropriate location, access to commercial services, access to bus and automobile routes, local zoning and siting requirements, and street design. The district was nominated as part of the Residential Resource of Wichita, 1870-1957 and Historic Residential Suburbs in the United States, 1830-1960 multiple property nominations for its local significance in the areas of community planning and architecture.

 

Benson Culvert – 6.0 miles south and 9.0 miles west of Gove, Gove County

 

Benson Culvert is a double arch limestone bridge that was built in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The bridge’s construction is typical of limestone structures built in this area during the early 20th century and is representative of the master stone builders and craftsmanship of construction workers trained by the WPA. In September 1937, County Engineer Frank Tyson announced an “extensive culvert campaign” and the use of WPA workers to quarry local rock and construct several similar bridges. The Benson Culvert—likely so called because it was near Charley Benson’s property—was opened to traffic in June 1938. It is located southwest of Gove on a rural county road near the intersection of M Road and 28 Road. It spans a tributary of Plum Creek and water flows beneath the bridge only during seasonal rains. It was nominated as part of the New Deal-era Resources of Kansas and Masonry Arch Bridges of Kansas multiple property nominations for its local significance in the areas of social history, government, and architecture.

 

Jenkins Culvert – 6 miles south and 11.3 miles west of Gove, Gove County

 

Jenkins Culvert is a triple arch limestone bridge that was built in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The bridge’s construction is typical of limestone structures built in this area during the early 20th century and is representative of the master stone builders and craftsmanship of construction workers trained by the WPA. In September 1937, County Engineer Frank Tyson announced an “extensive culvert campaign” and the use of WPA workers to quarry local rock and construct several similar bridges. The Jenkins Culvert—likely so called because it was near Harley Jenkins’s property—was opened to traffic January 23, 1938. It is located southwest of Gove on a rural county road near the intersection of M Road and 22 Road. It spans a tributary of Plum Creek and water flows beneath the bridge only during seasonal rains. It was nominated as part of the New Deal-era Resources of Kansas and Masonry Arch Bridges of Kansas multiple property nominations for its local significance in the areas of social history, government, and architecture.

 

Press release via the Kansas Historical Society

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