Upon my arrival in Wichita, having time to myself and a beautiful early evening at hand, I took to the streets exploring the historic buildings along Douglas Avenue and into Old Town Wichita.
This post is VERY photo-laden and I hope you will pour yourself a cuppa and take the time to enjoy each one! It’s a virtual Wichita Walking Tour through my eyes and the lens of my camera.
It only took a block before I noticed that there are amazing sculptures EVERYWHERE you turn.
What looks like normal passers by at first glance, turns out to be beautiful bronze statues, tucked in here and there on sidewalks, on benches, creating street scenes of Wichita past.
I was mesmerized! I wanted to find them all!
As one of the first cities in the United States to commission public art under a National Endowment for the Arts program, Wichita has literally taken art to the streets.
In 1991 the City of Wichita took a visionary approach by supporting the inclusion of public art in capital improvement projects. These actions along with generous donations from private citizens, business and community leaders have transformed Downtown Wichita into an area full of visual interest and energy.
Statue from the front!
The bronze statues donated by the Devore Family Foundation and placed along Douglas Avenue and the recently installed Sculpture WalkAbout in Old Town, a competitive year-long sculpture exhibiton of the region's premier three-dimensional artists, are just some of the fabulous pieces that decorate Downtown Wichita.
Numerous statues, fountains, monuments and memorials dot our parks, buildings and sidewalks. Art now adorns everything from bridges and street pavers to retaining walls and tree grates. This public display is a feast for the eyes and generates public awareness of the importance of art in our everyday lives.This is just the most wonderful thing!
I left my hotel and started walking!
Stopping to appreciate redbud trees blooming purple.
Across the street is Century II convention center.
The Prairie Quilters hold their show here!
Tulips and pansies, SPRING in bloom!
A figure of a young girl and her cat – Hopscotch!
I admit it, I hopscotched right next to her!
The historical museum is in this building.
My time here didn’t work with the hours that the museum was open, but I loved looking at the building! Check out these details:
Look close or you just might miss him!
Or this gargoyle! Yikes! Look at those ears --
Passing some “Keeper of the Plains” replicas in an area where food trucks set up during the day.
The best kind of graffiti!
I’m trying! Thank you for the affirmation!
A little guy and his push car!
Scooters along a path way!
And the story behind this one is likely my favorite --
The old soda fountain!
Here is a photo of the counter in it’s hustle and bustle days:
Woolworth’s counter in the 1940s!
I love the statue version, it’s almost like you can hear and feel the noise of a busy lunch counter in this city with so much history. This counter is an important icon in Wichita. I was relayed the following story:
In downtown Wichita stood the Dockum drug store which was part of the national Rexall chain, including a lunch counter that only served white customers. On July 19, 1958, with ten well-dressed and polite students seeking to place orders while sitting at the lunch counter. Parks-Haun ordered a Coca-Cola from a waitress, who served it to her but then pulled it back when she realized that "store policy was not to serve colored people".Students sat quietly all day at the counters, enduring taunts and threats from white customers. After three weeks, in early August, the manager came in and said "Serve them — I'm losing too much money". Historian Gretchen Eick called the Dockum Drug Store sit-in as setting "a precedent that really began what would be a very significant strategy — a strategy that would change the way business was done in the United States". Ultimately, all of the Dockum locations in Kansas were desegregated. [source]
A 20-foot-long bronze sculpture first announced in 1998 at a cost of $3 million marks the site of the successful sit-in, with a lunch counter and patrons depicting the protest.
Through looking this info up, I learned of more of these quiet sit ins across the south, including a Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina, very close to where I live. I didn’t live here then, but I am so proud that these folks gently stood up and sat in for what was fair and right. Bravo!
Playing with balloons!
That stool was built for selfie taking!
tall old buildings, flag flying!
The fox is after the birds!
You can’t help but smile when you see these!
Wolf with dinner?
This looks like it belongs in Philadelphia!
Such a beautiful evening, and these buildings!
Don’t forget to look down!
The OCD in me is a bit freaked out over those two mis-placed grey squares interrupting the white background. And there is a missing black square between the two loops right above my right foot! Did you catch that? LOL!
Can you imagine this sight in the 1920s and 1930s?
I love old advertising on the sides of buildings.
And that sky!
A very cool ride!
A girl, her dog, and her pony.
Hello, I see you!
Beautiful brickwork in Old Town.
A sweet mother and child.
By this time I am as tired as this child, wanting to just curl in and call it a day. Sun was setting as I made my way back to my hotel, saying goodnight to all of the statues I had encountered along my path.
Beautiful Wichita, you are a gem!
In the front entrance of the hotel I went.
Beautiful architecture, so happy this has been preserved!
Don’t you love these mouldings??
Sunset across the river from the window in my room on the 6th floor.
Wichita is a truly beautiful city, but what makes it even more so are the people I encountered during my stay there. I loved it! 3 days full of workshops, two lectures, and time with special friends who came to see me while I was there. This was definitely a HIGHLIGHT of my 2016!
Quiltville Quote of the Day!
How different life would be if we all walked away from gossip and verbal defamation. Let's make a habit of shutting off conversations that aim to tear others down.
Vintage Jacob's Ladder quilt found in North Carolina.
Today Mona comes to sew! And she is bringing some tops that she has finished recently! Whowhooooo….let’s get this day going!
Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!