WICHITA, Kansas – A Wichita icon is being demolished. Wrecking crews are at the old Joyland Park this week continuing to bring down the buildings and hauling them off.
“As a teenager, we would hand out there,” says John Ortiz. “Took the kids. Grandkids. Yep. Three generations.”
Ortiz is one of a stream of sightseers stopping by the old park this week to get a look. Ortiz is clicking photos, to remember.
“Had to come get some pics, before it’s all gone,” said Ortiz.
The city has deemed what is left of the park to be a nuisance, so the owners, the Nelson family, have until the end of May to make significant progress at cleaning it up. Now, the building are being ripped down and hauled off to the dump.
But, some bits and pieces are being saved.
On Monday, the president of the Sedgwick County Historic Preservation Society gave KSN News a tour.
“It’s a sad situation, certainly. The demolition is something none of us wanted to ever have happen. It’s one of those unfortunate events,” said Greg Kite with the Society.
Kite says part of the front of the Wacky Shack is being saved.
Kite says the Society will buy some of the roller coaster cars and a bit of track for a display.
“That last wind storm took down this hill, the first hill on the roller coaster,” explains Kite. “We want some of those cars.”
“It’s a sad situation, certainly. The demolition is something none of us wanted to ever have happen,” says Kite. “It’s one of those unfortunate events. The only thing we can take from it is preserving those artifacts While the site of Joyland may no longer be with us, what Joyland meant to us can be re-lived through the displays and exhibits that people can enjoy.”