Guide to Kansas Architecture

David Sachs & George Ehrlich

Some were designed in elaborate styles bearing elegant names—Beaux-Arts, French Renaissance, Art Deco. Others were humbly handcrafted from easily accessible materials—wood, stone, and sod. But whether courtly, colloquial, capricious, or curious, each of the state's architectural configurations has become an aesthetic slice of Kansas.

In Guide to Kansas Architecture, David Sachs and George Ehrlich spotlight hundreds of these surprisingly diverse homes, businesses, schools, churches, courthouses, theaters, bridges, and barns spread throughout all 105 counties. Encompassing the historical and contemporary, the vernacular and singular, this book features Victorian masterpieces, stately courthouses, and split-level suburban homes alongside the likes of "the world's most beautiful gas station" and Big Brutus, the enormous electric coal shovel turned museum.

“A useful guidebook as well as an excellent architectural history of the state.”

—David Gebhard, author of Buildings of Iowa

“A real eye-opener for anyone interested in the state’s history. The contents tell us much about the character of settlement—from one of the heartland’s major metropolitan areas to small towns and sparsely populated rural townships.”

—Richard Longstreth, editor of Studies in the History of Art: The Mall in Washington, 1791–1991

Illustrating where, how, and why Kansans assembled and altered their physical surroundings, the authors have amassed information on 700 structures—including descriptions, construction dates, architects, historical background, and unusual traits. They also provide maps and addresses to make them easy to find.

This one-of-a-kind guide for Kansas underscores architecture's bond with the state's artistic, cultural, historical, social, political, and economic attributes and idiosyncrasies. As a handy reference and traveling companion, it will be invaluable to the well-versed architect, preservationist, or historian, as well as to the merely inquisitive and adventurous.