HOLLIDAY PARK:
SPIRIT OF THE CITY

by Douglass W. Wallace
    
      Named after Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad founder Cyrus K. Holliday (1826-1900), the Holliday Park neighborhood centers on a 1 1/2 acre triangular park at 12th and Western Ave. An error in the first plat
of the townsite led to its distinctive shape. Topeka founders, among them
Fry Giles who later developed part of the district, laid out the streets
using crude tools. Soon afterwards they discovered their mistake and
corrected it with the newer streets and plats paralleling federal survey lines. Thus, where subdivisions and the original townsite meet: a street jog
and, as well, left-over spaces like Holliday Park. 
    Popular legend relates that gypsies once camped in this area; most
certainly early Topekans used the future park ground to graze their
live-stock and/or dump building debris. Beginning in the late 1880s,
however, houses started to fill up the prairie as Topeka commenced its first big expansion or "boom." Responding to such rapid growth, on April 20, 1895, nearby residents formed the Holliday Park Association to beautify the triangular plot which soon became the Kansas capital's fourth public park. 
    A forest in the middle of a bustling city, at an early date neigh-
bors carefully nurtured young trees and plantings while a ladies
group raised funds through ice cream socials and band concerts for an
ornamental park fence. More recently, 1983, the Holliday Park NIA
moved a granite boulder and bronze tablet honoring C.K. Holliday from
the former Santa Fe depot to the park. In 1994 the newly formed
Society for the Preservation of Holliday Park--with financial
assistance from its annual Christmas home tours,
Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield of Kansas, and supporters -purchased and
switched on ten period Victorian light standards adding greatly to
the Park's charm. 
    The surrounding turn-of-the-century neighborhood boasts of a myriad
of distinctive houses from all periods and styles: Italianate, Queen
Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Bungalow, Prairie, Tudor. Here
resided (and resides) a diverse community: working class to business
executive--bankers, educators, journalists, and more; from railroad treasurer to railroad conductor, widow of an Episcopal Bishop of Kansas to jewish merchant. Like most older, urban districts, it experienced decline
following World War II--the rise of bland suburbia--but
recent years have witnessed a revival as more and more young people
(and not so young) restore and repaint their Victorian/Edwardian
homes. 
    A special place amid busy streets, Holliday Park embodies all the
images of the traditional American neighborhood: children playing in
a shady park, oaks and elms towering over brick sidewalks, white picket
fences embracing family homes, columned churches beckoning all to
enter, train whistles sounding in the distance, and nourishing the spirit, a
great Gothic tower rising majestically into a blue sky.

Neighborhood Tour
    
    Centrally located, in the shadow of the Statehouse dome and Topeka
High School's Gothic tower, a walking or driving tour is a simple
exercise.  The neighborhood encompasses Fillmore, Western, and Taylor streets from 10th to 13th--its Historic District the 1000 and 1100 blocks of
Fillmore, 1100 and 1200 blocks of Western, 1200 block of Taylor, plus parts of the 800 and 900 blocks of Munson Ave. (formally King St.). While the eastern most area lies within the original Topeka townsite of 1855, the
remainder are incorporated in the later King's and Young's Additions along with the small Giles subdivision.
    The quintessential urban neighborhood--elegant and gracious--it
possesses several of the Kansas capital's finest vistas: the Victorian
row of 1000 Fillmore (looking NW from Munson & Fillmore); the T.H.S.
tower rising above the roof tops of 1000 Western (NE from Munson &
Western); and Topeka High School at the head of Taylor St. (N from
the Park).
    Since Holliday Park is, with a few exceptions, a residential dis-
trict, houses and buildings may only be viewed from the public
right-of-way, the sidewalk or street. The privacy of residents must be
respected.  While one may travel any direction, the route below goes counter clockwise beginning at 10th and Fillmore. 
    Note: Keyed to the map by number or letter, each description begins
with the historic name(s) of the structure, address, year constructed, brief historical and/or architectural description, and in parenthesis
its architectural style. (MAP COMING SOON)

1) Snyder Residence. (WREN), 1001 Fillmore (1906). Many details are
hidden, except unique semi-circular bay, by bland, new siding. Built
for George Snyder,  Pres. Topeka State Bank, it is best known as
home, from late 1950's to 1987 of pioneer radio station WREN. Owner
Alf Landon had his office here; on air personalities included KU
sportscaster Max Falkenstien and DJ Lou "Louie, Louie" Constantino.
(Colonial Revival)
    
2) Macferran Residence. 1015 Fillmore (1887). Three 2-story porch
columns and other details highlight this early 1900's home of State
Savings Bank cashier Horace Macferran and family. (Italianate)
    
3) Residence, 1019 Fillmore (1891). Modified (recent porch
alteration), it no doubt resembled the Macferran residence to north;
note low hip roof and bay, characteristic of the Italianate style
(Italianate)
    
4) Wellcome Residence, 1021 Fillmore (1892). Current owner (1997)
helped area revitalization as early NIA leader and by being one of
the first to remove later siding and then painting house in Victorian
hues rather than white. William Wellcome was a real estate broker and
in the mortgage business. (Queen Anne)
    
5) Merriam-Miller Residence, 1025 Fillmore (c. 1890). Though
altered, house has intriguing internal arrangement plus several
handsome fireplaces. C.B. Merriam came from a prominent Topeka
banking family while subsequent owner. William Miller was a partner
in Lyon County's famed Miller Ranch. (Queen Anne)
    
6) Griswold Residence, 1031 Fillmore (1886). Interior features
include elaborate staircase and woodwork; exterior, note the
"eyebrow" attic story window of this typical Victorian mansion.
Josiah Griswold was President of Shawnee Milling Co.; step-son the
sculptor Robert Merrill Gage created the "Seated Lincoln" statue on
the Kansas Statehouse grounds in a barn than once stood in back of
the house. (Queen Anne)
    
7) Smith Residence, 1035 Fillmore (1887). J.B. Parnham, Supt. of
Construction on the Statehouse, presumably built this house as a
speculative venture; owner in 1900, George W. Smith, was Supt. of
Machinery in the vast Santa Fe machine shops. Its various gables and
dormers, along with art nouveau beveled glass windows and interior
oak woodwork, distinguish this Queen Anne. The porch, however, is an
obvious early 20th century modification. Now The Elderberry Bed &
Breakfast. (Queen Anne)
    
8) Residence, 1170 Fillmore (c. 1925). One of Holliday Park's few
Airplane Bungalows, a style identified with Topeka.  Long and narrow,
a rear 2nd-story bedroom or sleeping porch section gives the type its
unique character and, presumably, the name--resembling the fuselage
and tail of a plane. (Bungalow)
    
9) Felix Residence, 1174 Fillmore (c. 1924). The classic Colonial,
Holliday Park's only true Georgian house, it was briefly home of
clothier Isaac Felix. Subsequent owner Mrs. Sarah Hambelton Thomas,
step daughter of an Episcopal Bishop of Kansas, engaged in local
charity work. (Colonial Revival)
    
10) Lindsey Residence, 1178 Fillmore (1911). The classic bungalow,
its estimated cost in 1911 was $5,500.  First occupants were artist
Katherine Lindsey and her father Henry Lindsey who had been a
liveryman, Topeka Chief of Police, Col. of the 22nd Kansas Infantry,
an "Indian fighter," and as a teenager a drummer boy during the Civil
War. In 1935 the home of state architect Raymond Coolidge. (Craftsman
bungalow)
    
11) Lewis-August Residence, 1181 Fillmore (1909). Such 2 l/2 story
front gable houses go by many names--Craftsman, Prairie, Homestead-
and is probably the most common style built in Topeka from 1900 to
1920. Lower story features brick veneer siding, upper narrow
clapboard, a common occurrence. Porch columns and oval window
Colonial Revival elements while interior possesses art nouveau
elements. Builder "Ike" Lewis was Superintendent of Insurance; David
J. August was a colorful downtown merchant and a leader in the Jewish
community. (Craftsman/ Homestead)
    
12) Bullene-Endlich Residence., 1185 Fillmore (1909). Prominent
Kansas City architect Walter Root designed this bungalow for K.C.
Star reporter Fred Bullene; later owner Harry Endlich, whose woman's
clothing store catered to city's elite, was August's brother-in-law.
Interior excellent example of the Gustav Stickley Craftsman style.
(Bungalow/ Craftsman)
    
13) Jarrell Residence, 1186 Fillmore (1911). Jarrell family were all
writers: father Frank AT&SF Railway. publicity director and editor;
mother Myra (who grew up across the street at 1195 Fillmore) a
playwright; and son Jack a Washington and foreign correspondent who
covered D-Day for the INS (International News Service).
(Craftsman/Homestead)
    
14) Lucas Residence, 1191 Fillmore (1909). Another excellent 2 1/2
story Craftsman but with side gables; eaves on gables and dormer have
a slight flare, a trademark of this type. Albertus Lucas' real estate
and insurance office in 1910 was located in the Crawford Bldg. at 5th
& Jackson. (Craftsman)
    
15) Residence, 1192 Fillmore (1887). Small late Victorian cottage,
typical of its day; no doubt the front gable once sported decorative
gingerbread work. Porch also changed but probably follows the
original shape. Parlor bay the other exterior feature. John S.
Dawson, a native of Scotland, resided here in 1935 while a Justice of
the Kansas Supreme Court. (Folk Victorian Queen Anne)
    
16) Williams Residence, 1195 Fillmore (c. 1880). Oldest house in
Holliday Park, possibly pre-1880 (depicted in 1880 Topeka "bird'
s-eye view" lithograph). A.L. Williams was elected Kansas Attorney
General in 1870 and also served as attorney for the Kansas Pacific
R.R. and then the Union Pacific, Kansas Division, as well as other
corporations. (Folk Victorian)
    
17) Shakeshaft Residence, 1197 Fillmore (1910). Excellent example of a shingle bungalow, built by clothing merchant Ilif W. Felix who later
built 1174  Fillmore. Long time resident was E.J. Shakeshaft, born in
England, who first worked for the Union Pacific but then became the
Santa Fe's General Passenger Agent. (Bungalow/Craftsman)

18) Jewell Residence, 1216 Fillmore (1914). Mrs. C.W. Jewell, who
came to Topeka as a bride in 1864, built this unusual Prairie style
apartment house at the age of 81. Her husband who died in 1901 was a
capitalist and founder of the National Bank of Topeka. To many she
was known as "Mother Topeka." (Prairie)
    
19) Akers Residence, 1221 Fillmore (1913). Unique Prairie style
house with a distinctive Colonial Revival dormer window; interior
eclectic--one of Topeka's more important Prairie houses. Benjamin
Akers was a traveling freight agent for the Santa Fe Railway.
(Prairie)
    
20) Central Presbyterian Church (2nd United), 920 Huntoon (c. 1905, 1923, & later). It began as a simple, stone Gothic chapel, an
off-shoot of the United Presbyterian church. Thomas Williamson
designed the 1923 addition which blended-in nicely with the original
sections which may still be discerned; modern addition less
successful. (Gothic)
    
21) The Brick Flats, 923-929 Huntoon (c. 1890). Greatly altered
remnants of late 19th century rowhouse; the east half was destroyed
in the 1966 tornado. East unit the most original while the corner
tower resembles the contemporary Hicks Block at 6th & Tyler. (Second
Empire)
    
22) Neil Residence, 1257 Fillmore (1886). Fish scale siding and
unusual arch porch are among the notable features of this, the home
in 1907 of George Neil, vice president of the Topeka Woolen
Manufacturing Co. (plant at north end of Oakland, building later used
for the Longren Airplane factory). (Queen Anne)
    
23) Woodward Residence, 1272 Fillmore (1923). Walter Root designed this Tudor mansion for financier Chester Woodward: world traveler, book collector, and author. A towering figure in Topeka's cultural
history, as School Board President he was instrumental in planning
for the new Topeka High School. Its two-story library with
hammer-beam ceiling is a special feature of Topeka's grandest Tudor
manor. Now a Bed & Breakfast--The Woodward. (Tudor Revival)
    
24) Parnham-Keizer Residence, 1269 Western (1887). J.B. Parnham,
Supt. of Construction for the Statehouse, built and briefly lived
here (probably a speculative venture during the city's building
boom). Dell Keizer, son-in-law of Daily Capita1 founder Gen. J.K.
Hudson, lived here while he was the Capital business manager and
later when President of the short-lived Herald. By early 1940's,
house was renovated into the Belvedere Apts.  (Queen Anne)
    
25) Gleed Residence, 1263 Western (c. 1892). Like many grand Topeka mansions, by the 1950's this large home was carved into apartments (called The Cedars). James Gleed was one of the city's eminent attorneys and businessmen; at the time of his death in 1926 general attorney for Southwestern Bell in St. Louis. He remodeled the Bennett Flats into The Devon in Holliday Park.  (see below). (Queen Anne)
    
26) Knox-Lindsay Residence, 1256 Western (1885). Realtor/minister
John D. Knox built the house as wedding present to son William Knox
who erected (1889) the Columbian Bldg. downtown. Next owner, Dr.
William Lindsay, was a local pioneer in treatment of mental illness.
Pattern of vertical and horizontal boards plus exposed rafters and
gable trusses define this as a Stick style of Victorian house.
(Stick)

Continue tour at Holliday Park Tour, Part 2


HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN TOPEKA

The Shawnee County Historical Society seeks to promote the preservation of Topeka's historic neighborhoods, buildings and sites through education and advocacy. Volunteers have rallied to save countless historic properties in the city, and have sponsored special events, publications, tours, lectures, preservation awards, and fundraising for projects such as the restoration of the 1880 Ross Rowhouses, acquired by Historic Topeka, Inc. in 1993. HTI merged with the Shawnee County Historical Society in 2003.

Shawnee County Historical Society,
P.O. Box 2201, Topeka, KS 66601-2201

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