Downtown Wichita
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Downtown Wichita

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.[1]


Wichita's Old City Hall, now the Sedgwick County Historical Museum (2008)

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.[2] By the late 1870s, the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Main Street had become the downtown hub of local commerce.[3]

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.[4] During the subsequent decades, a number of manufacturers constructed plants downtown, including the Coleman Company in 1901.[2]

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.[5] The Orpheum Theatre opened downtown in 1922 and became a popular venue on the vaudeville circuit.[6]

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.[5] 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.[4] In 1987, construction finished downtown on the Epic Center office tower, the tallest building in the city and in the state of Kansas.[7]

In 1989, the city initiated a redevelopment plan to revitalize Downtown Wichita.[8] 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.[9] The city implemented further development plans, including the construction of Intrust Bank Arena, a new multi-purpose indoor arena which opened in 2010.[8]


Downtown Wichita is located at 37°41?20?N 97°20?10?W / 37.68889°N 97.33611°W / 37.68889; -97.33611 (37.688888, -97.336111) at an elevation of 1,299 feet (396 m).[10] 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.[1][11]


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.[12] Wichita City Hall is located downtown at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue.[13]

For the purposes of representation in the Kansas Legislature, Downtown Wichita is in the 29th district of the Kansas Senate and the 103rd district of the Kansas House of Representatives.[14]


Primary and secondary education

The headquarters of Wichita Public Schools is located downtown on North Water Street.[15]


The main branch of the Wichita Public Library is located downtown on South Main Street.[16]


The offices of The Wichita Eagle, the main daily newspaper published in the city, are located downtown in Old Town.[17]

Parks and recreation

  • A. Price Woodard Park
  • Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park
  • Finlay Ross Park
  • Heritage Square Park
  • Mayor's Pine Grove
  • Naftzger Memorial Park
  • Veterans Memorial Park
  • Wichita Skatepark


Century II Convention Center

Points of interest



  1. ^ a b "Neighborhood Context [Map]" (PDF). Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita. Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. November 2010. p. 2.25. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ a b "Oldtown History". Retrieved . 
  3. ^ "History of Jews in Wichita". Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ a b "About the Museum and its Building: Old City Hall". The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ a b "History of Century II". City of Wichita. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ Buchanan-Spachek, Johny; Salley, Paul. "Orpheum Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "Epic Center". Emporis. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ a b "Project Downtown History". Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita" (PDF). Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. November 2010. p. 2.2. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "Wichita". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Neighborhood Associations [Map]" (PDF). City of Wichita. 2012-06-13. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "Wichita Council District 1 [Map]" (PDF). City of Wichita. 2013-01-03. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ "Visit City Hall". City of Wichita. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Kansas State Legislature". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ "Contact Us". Wichita Public Schools. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ "Locations". Wichita Public Library. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ Rengers, Carrie (2017-01-03). "Wichita Eagle signs deal for new downtown headquarters". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved . 

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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