Kansas Army National Guard, Topeka, KS
Award Type: Honor Award
In towns all over the Sunflower State, the National Guard Armory is a prominent landmark and a symbol of local pride. Because of the Kansas Army National Guard’s commitment to good stewardship over the past decade, these historic structures can continue to play a vital role in community life.
In America's heartland, the National Guard has added something new to the long list of services it provides: historic preservation. Over the past 10 years, the Kansas Army National Guard (KSARNG) has taken an unprecedented leadership role in identifying and protecting the historic properties in its care. While many of Kansas' historic armories have been drastically altered or replaced by modern facilities, the KSARNG's aggressive and dedicated approach to preserving its cultural resources now serves as a model for state and federal agencies nationwide.
In 2005, the KSARNG celebrated 150 years of service to the state and nation. The agency marked the occasion by undertaking preservation projects on its historic armories. In an exceptional collaboration with the state historic preservation office, the Guard surveyed 49 armories and secured National Register listing for those that qualified. The Guard is the first state entity to take advantage of Kansas Rehabilitation Tax Credits and it successfully carried out top-quality preservation projects at the Kingman and Hiawatha armories. The preservation plans the Guard drew up are landmark documents that have since been distributed in other states as models of their kind.