|Central business district|
Downtown Wichita viewed from the west bank of the Arkansas River (2010)
|Elevation||1,299 ft (396 m)|
|ZIP code||67202, 67203, 67214|
Downtown Wichita is the central business district of Wichita, Kansas, United States. The political and financial hub of the city, it is home to several of the area's major landmarks and event venues including the Epic Center, Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center, Intrust Bank Arena, and the Old Town entertainment district.
In 1872, the community of Wichita opened a toll bridge on Douglas Avenue to Delano across the Arkansas River, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway opened a line through the city, triggering an economic boom. Local industries in banking, meat packing, and real estate emerged. A large warehouse district developed along the rail lines south from Central Avenue. By the late 1870s, the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Main Street had become the downtown hub of local commerce.
Continued economic growth through the 1880s spurred further downtown development, including the completion of the Wichita City Building in 1892. The building housed all city government offices, both the police and fire departments, and the city's first public library. During the subsequent decades, a number of manufacturers constructed plants downtown, including the Coleman Company in 1901.
The Forum, Wichita's convention center and primary event venue, opened downtown in 1911. It was built on the site of city co-founder Dutch Bill Greiffenstein's homestead. The Orpheum Theatre opened downtown in 1922 and became a popular venue on the vaudeville circuit.
By the 1960s, sections of downtown had entered a period of decline. To commemorate the centennial of Wichita's founding, the city razed The Forum and in its place built the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center which opened in 1969. The city government relocated to a new City Hall in 1975. In 1981, the former City Building reopened as the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. In 1987, construction finished downtown on the Epic Center office tower, the tallest building in the city and in the state of Kansas.
In 1989, the city initiated a redevelopment plan to revitalize Downtown Wichita. Among the plan's results was the redevelopment of the old warehouse district into Old Town, an entertainment district home to numerous restaurants and night clubs. The city implemented further development plans, including the construction of Intrust Bank Arena, a new multi-purpose indoor arena which opened in 2010.
Downtown Wichita is located at  It mainly consists of the area between Murdock Street to the north, U.S. Route 54 to the south, the Arkansas River to the west, and Washington Street to the east. Portions of Downtown overlap with the Midtown neighborhood to the north, Delano across the river to the west, and Riverside to the northwest. In addition, it borders the McAdams neighborhood to the northeast, The Hyde (also called Kellogg School) to the east, and South Central to the south.(37.688888, -97.336111) at an elevation of 1,299 feet (396 m).
For the purposes of representation on the Wichita City Council, the portion of Downtown north of Douglas Avenue and west of Washington Street is in Council District 6. The rest of Downtown is in Council District 1. Wichita City Hall is located downtown at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue.
The Warren Theatre in Old Town (2008)