‘Save Century II’ effort kicks off with petitions, signs, shirts and buttons

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The effort to save Century II from the wrecking ball is picking up energy.

A lot of people have spoken out against plans for Wichita’s east bank that do not include the iconic round building or the old Wichita public library.

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Century II, Wichita

“It’s a gorgeous building and it’s a crime to tear it down,” said Roy Juenemann, Wichita resident. “There’s absolutely no reason to. It’s wide open in the center, you can put anything in there you want.”

Juenemann was one of many people who showed up at noon Monday outside Wichita City Hall to sign a petition.

Organizers say the petition is for a policy change to let people vote on issues like this.

“We haven’t been allowed to vote on WaterWalk development, we haven’t been allowed to vote on the ballpark development, we haven’t been allowed to vote on TIFs, CIDs, bids, everything else the city has done recently and a lot of people are mad,” said Celeste Racette, organizer. “We’re taking back city hall.”

Racette says because it is a policy change, they will need 12,000 Wichita registered voters to sign the petition, but she thinks that will happen.

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Former Wichita Central Library

In the meantime, the group is also pushing forward with an effort to get Century II added to the National Register of Historic Places.

“I’ve already contacted the Getty Foundation because they want to save modern buildings which is what the library and Century II are,” said Racette. “Granted the library is a Brutalist style so a lot of people don’t find it very warm and inviting, but it is actually one of the purest examples of a Brutalist building in the United States.”

To learn more about the effort to save Century II, visit the group’s website SaveC2.org or the Facebook page Save Century II.

Tuesday, the people of Wichita will have a better idea of what the east bank could look like in the future. The Riverfront Legacy Committee will reveal economic data and a better timeline of the project at Newman University.

For more information about the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan or to see the options for the area near Century II in downtown Wichita, click here.

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