HOLLIDAY PARK (Tour Continued)
by Douglass W. Wallace
27) Robbins-Lewis Residence, 1234 Taylor (1900). Built for real
estate broker A.D Robbins and later home to Alfred G. Lewis,
President Arkansas Valley Town and Land Co., this house demonstrates
the transition from elaborate Victorian to the simpler structural
masses of the early 20th century homes--less gingerbread, plainer
wall surfaces. Note Palladian window in front gable. (Colonial
28) Van Petten Residence, 1228 Taylor (c. 1895). Other than new
porch, house has been beautifully restored; interior features ornate
stairway and wainscotting, parquet floors, 12-foot ceilings, oak and
walnut finish, etc. A.E. Van Petten was President of the Pioneer
Mortgage Co. (Queen Anne)
29) Brown Residence, 1224 Taylor (1902). Topeka architect Theodore Lescher designed house for State Printer Thomas Brown whose family lived here for nearly 70 years. Like the Robbins-Lewis house, Brown Residence shows the change from the Victorian era to the Colonial Revival and Homestead styles. (Homestead/Colonial Revival)
30) Bowman Residence, 1220 Taylor (1901). A transitional house, a
forerunner to the Foursquare style, its near square plan and hip roof
are the special features though it retains the 3-sided parlor bay (on
south) of the older pre-1900 houses. W. Walter Bowman was an officer
of several financial institutions, including National Bank of Topeka,
and served as Secretary to the Kansas Bankers Association.
31) Drum Residence, 1218 Taylor (1903). New siding hides extensive
Colonial Revival details around windows and bays of this very late
Queen Anne Victorian. Builder William Drum was an insurance agent;
1930's resident George Rigby was member of the Rigby Candy Co. family
and a brother, William, was a Topeka mayor. (Queen Anne/Colonial
32) Residence, 1200 Taylor (c. 1901). Its hip roof and lower cross
gables indicate a Queen Anne style house though the flat, front
facade is indicative of the plainer houses of the first two decades
of the 20th century. (Queen Anne)
33) Christian Science Church (former), 1239 Western (1938-39).
Topeka architect W.E. Glover designed this simple but classically
inspired church. Material for the ionic columns is Silverdale
limestone from Silverdale, Kansas. (Greek Revival)
34) Culver Residence, 1213 Western (1887). Hardware merchant William Culver was active in the first Holliday Park Association. An amateur
photographer, he converted the carriage house into his studio.
Important in depicting life in turn-of-the-century Holliday Park, the
photo collection is now in the University of Kansas' Spencer Library.
Modest Queen Anne, its porch is the only major exterior change;
interior, slightly altered, still possess small reception hall, two
parlors, and dining room. A homey touch, a picket fence unites the
houses of the 1200 block Western. (Queen Anne)
35) Stanton Residence, 1211 Western (1886). House built for
attorney S.L. Seabrook (Seabrook district in SW Topeka named for
family), later it was home of State Architect (1899-1909) Frank
Stanton who was first associated with pioneer Kansas architect John
G. Haskell; Stanton oversaw Statehouse decoration and completion.
36) Lux Residence, 1207 Western (c. 1900). Samuel Lux was a major
Topeka produce wholesaler. In 1918 he sold the business to partner
O.A. Fleming; this later became the Fleming Cos., the nation's
largest food wholesaler. Like the Culver house, it boasts a more
recent porch and like 1200 block Taylor in transition from the Queen
Anne style. (Queen Anne)
37) The Devon Apts. (Bennett's Flats), 800-808 W. 12th (1888 &
1906). Architecturally this is the largest and most important
structure in Holliday Park with an excellent view of the Park and
from upper apartments of the downtown skyline. For its history, see
38) Residence, 1135 Western (1910). Overlooking the Park, this 2 1/2
story side-gable Craftsman house features extensive oak woodwork.
Turn-of-the-century Sanborn fire map shows site to be livery stable;
photographs c. 1912 also show Western Avenue not cut through to 12th
St. at the time. In mid-199Os this was the Holliday Park Bed &
39) Residence, 1133 & 1131 Western (1908). Permits for these
twins--the model Homestead style of the 20th century's first decade-
were issued only weeks apart in fall, 1908; no doubt built by same
contractor: permit #13879 (1133) and #13975 (1131). Note same simple
oriels for back parlor/dining room (south) and stairway (north), side
dormers, dentil molding above 3rd floor windows, etc.--in contrast to
similar but year older neighbor 1119 Western (1907) that has cross
gables rather than dormers. Estimate cost for all three 1907-8 houses
$3,500. Jewelry store owner Mrs. Frances Wardin resided in 1131 in
1930; A.T.&S.F. tax commissioner Edward Cartlidge was long time
occupant of 1133. (Homestead/Craftsman)
40) Brewster Residence, 1101 Western (c. 1890). Kansas Attorney
General Sardius M. Brewster lived here, 1915-19; later he became
famous as one of the prosecuting attorneys in the infamous Finney
Bond Scandal that rocked Kansas government in the mid 1930s. House
may have been moved to this site in 1891; rear kitchen addition added
in 1900. Undergoing thorough restoration, it was saved from demolition
at the last minute. (Queen Anne)
41) Residence, 1100 Western (1905). Time warp; extremely late but
good example of Queen Anne style: hip roof with lower cross gables-
contrast with its transitional contemporaries in 1200 block Taylor.
In 1930s this was home of William Lorts, a conductor on the Rock
Island Railroad. (Queen Anne)
42) Glick Apts., 808-810 W. 12th (c. 1920). Four unit apartment
house typical of several built in this district after World War I in
the so called California Mission style (stucco, etc.). Adam Glick,
who lived around the corner at 1035 Taylor, may have erected it; one
resident in 1924 was Adj. General of the Kansas National Guard.
Building well documented in early photos. (Mission)
43) Pratt Residence, 1118 Taylor (1907). Contractor Edward Murphey built it and may have briefly lived here before selling it; H. Fuller
Pratt was a physician. Quasi-Homestead house, it has atypical
44) Copeland Residence, 1031 Fillmore (c. 1884). Edward L. Copeland rose from a modest job in the auditor's department. to become
Secretary Treasurer of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway; he
also served on its Board of Director's 1928-31. A 1911 book on Topeka
houses shows that it originally possessed elaborate decorative
"gingerbread" woodwork on gables. The photo also shows its south
neighbor: Knowles Residence, 1035 Taylor (1884); now an altered
Italianate which then sported a square tower (Knowles was a banker).
45) Guild-Dean Residence, 1032 Western (1907). "Bankers' Corners;" residents included George A. Guild (1916), cashier and later Chairman of the Central National Bank, and W. Laird Dean (1935), President Merchants National Bank. Daily Capital ad January 19, 1908, described the nine room house: "Genuine oak finish downstairs, double hardwood floors, both floors; beam ceiling in dining room; gas, grate,
furnace, paved cellar, cistern, walks all in; nicely decorated...50
foot front with fine old large shade, block either way to Tenth or
Twelfth street [trolley] car line, excellent neighborhood.
46) Morrow Residence, 1028 Western (1907). Marco Morrow was
Assistant Publisher of Capper Publications and President Topeka
Broadcasting Association; he oversaw Arthur Capper's newspaper empire
when latter was away in Washington as United States Senator. Three
houses in a row--1024, 1028, and 1032 Western--were all built at same
time by contractors Lytle & Murphy; additions and fireplace only
significant exterior alterations. (Homestead)
47) Peppmeyer-Patten Residence, 1025 Western (1905). Distinct for
gambrel roof and odd gambrel dormers. Elerman Peppmeyer was President Topeka Coal Co. in 1907 (one of over 20 fuel and coal companies in town, chief source of home heating then), and Albert Patten in 1912 headed the street railway system and later a President of KP&L.
48) Bennett-Swan Residence, 914 Munson [King] (1902). Newly widowed Belle Swan took out permit #10724 for $2,250 house which undoubtedly her father, contractor Henry Bennett, built. Bennett lived here, too, and also used it as office. His firm erected the Crawford and
Columbian Bldgs. in downtown Topeka, Grace Cathedral, the old
Governor's mansion (now razed), and remodeled the Kansas capitol's
East Wing. This residence, with its square plan and hip is precursor
to the Foursquare style; note fluted porch columns and ornate
capitals. (Colonial Revival/Foursquare)
49) Giles-Nellis Residence, 915 Munson [King] (1887). Topeka pioneer and founder Fry Giles erected this--along with Residence, 927 Munson (1886), a Folk Victorian/Queen Anne to west--as a speculative venture in his small subdivision. First owner Daniel Nellis established early
Topeka insurance agency; a subsequent owner operated the famed Akey
Bakery near Topeka High. Converted into a rooming house, it stood
vacant for many years. Only days from the wrecking ball, two
enterprising young Topekans saved and restored it to its High
Victorian glory; now The Sunflower Bed & Breakfast as well as a
private residence. Ornate fireplaces and plaster ceilings highlight
the interior, one of Topeka's most important restorations and a focal
point in the renaissance of Holliday Park. (Queen Anne).
An aura of mystery surrounds this, Holliday Park's most prominent
landmark. Unlike any comparable place in Topeka, it seemingly belongs
in Chicago or some other eastern urban center--certainly not on the
Kansas prairies. Traveling from the east or north, it suddenly leaps into
view from behind trees and the neighborhood's older homes. The Devon, one senses, is a place imbued with history.
During Topeka's 1888 building boom, contractor Henry Bennett
erected the original structure, two stories plus attic, for $30,000.
Various businesses, among them groceries, meat markets, bakeries,
etc., occupied the ground floor and apartments upstairs; hence, its name:
Bennett's Flats. Unfortunately little is known about the place in the
19th century; there are no known, good photographs. Those photos that
exist hint at a very picturesque roof-line.
In 1906 businessman and attorney James W. Gleed purchased the
building (which may never have been completed), remodeled it by
adding a third story, and renamed the place The Devon. Possibly familiar with "the Chicago School* of architecture popularized by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Gleed recast it the Prairie Style, notable for its
horizontal lines or courses and massive round arch entrances, as found here.
Apartment houses were relatively rare in Topeka at that time, the
Devon--and Bennett's Flats--being one of the first built as such. It
contained (still does) 22 units plus, on the first floor, a drugstore in
the southeast corner and a grocery on the southwest. The apartments
vary in size, most possessing decorative moldings, transoms, and, in several instances, French and/or pocket doors; some of these details may date from the 1880s. An attractive scale-and-plat stair winds around to reach some apartments on the east side. Light or air courts and skylights are scattered throughout.
It was (still is) a "fashionable" residence for those who did not
need or want a detached house like those found in the vicinity of
Holliday Park. For that reason many Topeka High School teachers like Drama Coach Gertrude Wheeler lived here as did single, widowed, or retired individuals. They found an added bonus or convenience with the corner drugstore (first Joslin's, later Rowland's Crescent Druystore) and corner market (numerous grocers over the years with Morgan's the last, and one of the last neighborhood stores in Topeka, closing in 1985) just a few steps away. Figuratively and literally, The Devon is the heart of Holliday Park.
Adjacent historic sites
The following buildings and residences are located near or on the
fringes of Holliday Park and are of high interest.
A) Holy Name Roman Catholic Church, 10th & Clay (1925). Handsome
Renaissance church with a slight Greek look, notable for its high
alter and other interior details.
B) St. John's Lutheran Church, 901 Fillmore (1938). Attractive stone,
Gothic church, it would be home in the English Midlands as some
village parish church.
C) Clay Street Market, 1035 Clay (1907). Wonderful example of the
neighborhood market; unusual for Topeka with the living quarters
above the store, most local groceries only a single story.
D) Central Congregational Church, 1248 Buchanan (1890 & 1909). Stone Gothic church complemented by its Collegiate Gothic Community House next door; unfortunately its interior has been modernized. This was
the parish of Dr. Charles M. Sheldon, author, among other works, of
In His Steps. Church was active in the Tennesseetown neighborhood, to
the north, and its black kindergarten.
E) McClintock Residence, 1313 Fillmore (c. 1895). Massive Queen Anne house, Dr. John C. McClintock was first Chief of Staff of Christ's
Hospital (now Stormont-Vail). Apartments.
F) Residence, 1314 Fillmore (c. 1923). Beautiful fieldstone Colonial
Revival home; the 1920's was the highwater mark for this type which
here gives the Kansas prairie the look of sophisticated Connecticut.
In '20s home of Oscar Cropper of Aetna Insurance Co.
G) Residence, 1407 Western (site). Briefly in mid 1930's this was the
residence of illustrator Harold Foster who drew the ''Tarzan'' comic
strip and while living here created what some believe to be the most
beautifully crafted of all strips: *Prince Valiant."
H) Franklin L. Crane Jr. High School (former), 1620 Tyler (1929).
Impressive Collegiate Gothic building from the 1920's, Topeka
architect Thomas Williamson designed it, one of the last surviving
Jr. high schools. Now KBI head quarters. Modern stair/elevator tower
blends well with original structure.
I) Crosby Residence, 1109 Topeka (1910). Frank Squires designed this
$17,000+ residence for local department store magnate William T.
Crosby (Crosby Bros.). At heart a Foursquare type house, Colonial
Revival and classical details (e.g., art nouveau leaded glass windows) add to its elegance--one of the last grand mansions along Topeka Blvd.
J) Hilson-Redden (Curtis) Residence, 1101 Topeka (1878 & 1888).
Eclectic. The south half Italianate dating from 1878 and built by
J.C. Wilson; north section remodeled for the Redden family by Seymour Davis, the premier architect of Topeka's 1888 boom. Sen. Charles Curtis, future U.S. Vice President, purchased it in 1907.
K) Fowler Residence, 1021 Polk (1902). A late Queen Anne house, its
art nouveau leaded glass windows plus the highly decorated gable
window flanked by classical columns are the special exterior
features. First owner Woodford Fowler was variously described in city
directories as capitalist, cigar maker, and co-proprietor of the
Chesterfield Hotel on lower Kansas Ave.
L) Tyler St. Apts., 900-1000 Tyler (c. 1928-30). A row of two,
three-story apartment houses line Tyler St., a fashionable parade of brick Tudor or Spanish style residences among them the Senate & Curtis (now an elegant apartment hotel), Stanleigh Hall, Lamoine, Lexington, Pendennis, and Gem (latter between Topeka and Tyler and once housed the Gem Market). Several were designed by early Kansas City woman architect Nelle Peters who also designed similar apartments on the Country Club Plaza.
M) KSTA Bldg., 715 W. 10th (1955). Modern office set back from
street, its red brick and sandstone facade compliments rather than clashes with the traditional architecture of Topeka High School across 10th. Certainly not great, but unlike most '50s architecture has not aged all that badly.
N) Frost Residence, 935 Western (1888). Single style mansion designed by Seymour Davis, Santa Fe R.R. land agent. Along with the 800 block of Western, it was one of a row of grand homes that lined Bethany Square.
O) The Topeka High School, Bethany Square (1931). The Oxford of
Kansas, T.H.S. is (excluding the Statehouse) Topeka's most important
landmark, one of the finest public schools in the nation. Also on the Square are the two extant Gothic Revival Bethany College Bldgs. (1875) and Grace Episcopal Cathedral (1911 & later). The Topeka High School tower is modeled after that of Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Library wing after Henry VIII's Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace. Thomas
Williamson and Ted Greist were the architects. Flag pole is the lower
foreyard from U.S.S. Constitution, "Old Ironsides."
Return to Holliday Park Tour, Part 1
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
P.O. Box 2201, Topeka, KS 66601-2201
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Topeka & Shawnee County, Kansas