Group trying to get Century II on National Registry

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Save Century II leaders are meeting on Tuesday. They want to make sure the building is a part of the future of downtown.

“We have already filed the preliminary site assessment for National Registry status,” said Celeste Racette with Save Century II. “And we are now moving on to phase II which is to get it nominated.”

Racette says if the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, it will make it difficult to tear it down and build something new.

The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan is a move to change the area into something different for the area surrounding Century II.

City council members have said they have not made any decisions on the future of Century II, and several of them tell KSN they will have to decide what is best for the Riverfront area.

But, Racette says the Save Century II movement needs a stronger voice.

“So, we are having another meeting at the Mary Jane Teall Theater on Tuesday,” said Racette.

Ann Garvey has joined the movement. Garvey and her family have long been supporters of the arts in and around Wichita. Garvey says Century II could still play a role with modernization of the inside of the building.

“We rate higher than the national average on our arts and culture,” said Garvey. “This is part of who we are. I am absolutely devastated by the destruction of our landmarks.”

Garvey says the group has secured “significant, private funding” to help renovate and modernize the interior of Century II. The group will unveil more at its next meeting on Tuesday.

“We can transform it,” said Garvey. “This could really be the center of our local arts world. We need to consider what our local, vital cultural arts center is. We have one.”

Garvey says that is Century II.

Racette says the group also wants the future of Century II to be decided by the public.

“There’s been a lot of projects where we have not had a vote,” said Racette. “We need a public vote on Century II.”

The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan is still a venue for public input into what comes next for the riverfront area. Several city council members say they will take into consideration the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan while deciding the future of the riverfront area.

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