Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Docking State Office Building Nominated for National Historic Register

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Docking State Office Building Nominated for National Historic Register

Article excerpt

In response to attempts by Gov. Sam Brownback to have the Docking State Office Building demolished, a historic preservation group has nominated the building to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

If that was to happen, any attempt to demolish or significantly alter the building would need to be approved by Topeka's governing body.

The Docking building has architectural and historic significance, the Kansas Preservation Alliance said in a nomination submitted to the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review, which plans to consider it April 30, said Mel Borst, a board member for the preservation alliance.

The nomination said the building, completed in 1957, "Retains all aspects of integrity to clearly communicate the mid-century era in which it was constructed and its elevated importance as a building associated with state government."

It added that the structure was the first state building in Kansas in which the steel frame was connected using welded bolts instead of rivets, and was "one of the earliest buildings in the region to use an aluminium and glass curtain wall."

The governor appoints the 11 volunteer professionals who serve on the review board that will consider the historic register nomination.

More information about that body can be found at https:// www.kshs.org/p/historic-sites-board-of-review/14601.

The nomination comes at a time when Brownback has been seeking for more than a year to arrange for the building at 915 S.W. Harrison to be imploded.

Brownback on Friday vetoed a bill that would have blocked the governor from taking future action to implode the building. The Senate had passed the bill 40-0 and the House passed it 121-1.

The Topeka Landmarks Commission plans to consider submitting comments to the state review board regarding the Docking Building when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the first-floor conference room at the city's Holliday Building, 620 S.E. Madison, said Bill Fiander, the city's planning director.

"At this point, the city's only role in this process per our agreement with (the State Historic Preservation Office) is to have the Landmarks Commission comment on the application before the State Board of Review decides on the matter later in April," Fiander said.

He said the state review board would decide whether to add the building to the state register, and forward the application to the National Park Service to consider listing it on the national register.

The nomination may proceed to the NPS even if the state rejects it, Fiander said.

He said anyone may nominate a public building to the National Register through the State Historic Preservation Office, even if the owner objects. The Docking building is owned by the State of Kansas. …

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