The Kansas State Historical Society will hold its 2008 State Historic Preservation Conference this coming Thursday through Saturday in Hutchinson, Kansas. The title of the conference is "Past-O-Rama: Green Light For Preservation." For details, see this link.
Ace and I will be attending all three days of this (a bargain at 100 bucks) and two of our friends have already jumped aboard for parts of it. You can attend smaller chunks of the three-day event if you like, for less money. Again, see the link.
With a name like "Past-O-Rama", you'd hope for some retro, and it looks like you'll get it - possibly several times. Read on.
Friday night, Dr. Carroll Van West of Middle Tennessee State University will present a talk on roadside architecture.
There is a dandy bit of roadside architecture right here in Hutchinson. This windmill-like building has served several purposes and has even been moved once. It used to be at about 4th and Plum streets and now resides much farther east on 4th.
Saturday morning, Angela Shearer of the National Park Service will present a talk about Modern architecture.
At Saturday's lunch, Dr. Jay Price of Wichita State University will speak on Kansas roadside architecture.
I'm not sure it qualifies as architecture, but the sinewy fiberglass arm of the Brown's Tire "muffler man" in Wichita demands your attention.
My favorite googie architecture building in Kansas is the Haysville Community Development Building. I believe it used to be a Vickers gas station.
Other attractions include a talk about the history of Hutchinson by Ace's pal, Gary Hughes, a well-respected local teacher. Gary is known for his portrayal of Father Frost at Christmas-time, though I'm betting he'll be dressed a bit more mainstream for the conference.
There'll also be a session about barn survey results. They aren't making any new old barns, you know.
There will be a workshop Thursday on "Saving the Claim House."
The claim house in question is this 1876 structure which was built near Hutchinson to satisfy the U.S. government's Homestead Act, which required that setters build a dwelling and live on part of a section of land for five years before being given the rest of the section for a dollar an acre. The building has been modified since then and has been moved at least twice.
An update on restoration and renovation work at the Kansas Statehouse will be presented by Treanor Architects, the firm in charge of the work. Here's a view from last year of an upper level of the rotunda, looking down.
And here is the long scary stairway between the top of the inner dome and the roof of the outer one.
Ace checks out the inner dome.
Friday morning breakfast will be served at the Wolcott House. Dig that cool screened porch.
Barry Law and Amy Farley of Hutchinson will conduct a tour of the Houston Whiteside Historic District on Friday afternoon.
This area is, by the way, where I live, though my house is not one of the ornate ones.
Jim Seitnater and Mark Rassette will conduct a tour of downtown Hutchinson on Friday.
There will also be optional tours of the Kansas State Fairgrounds...
...and of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
There's a lot more to the event than this. Again, see the link.
Oh, the picture at top is of the sign outside the Western Holiday Motel in Wichita - a nice clean place. I may add more pictures to this post, later today.