The Shawnee County Historical Society kicks off its fall programming Sunday, August 21 at 3pm with a walking tour of the Hicks Block Apartments at 6th and Tyler in Topeka. Architect Bryan Falk will take participants on a tour of the apartments and explain the building’s history and significance to the city. The event is free to historical society members; nonmembers will be charged $5.
The Hicks Block row house apartments were built in 1889 and are listed on the National Historic Register. Originally constructed as single-family homes, the structures have not been updated in decades and lack modern electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. Falk is overseeing a phased renovation project that will convert the facility into 28 historic loft apartments with modern amenities and updates. Planners expect the project to be completed in 2024.
The Shawnee County Historical Society’s popular fall programs will continue through the season. On September 18, Ben Coates will conduct a walking tour of Mount Hope Cemetery. On October 9, Topeka Zoo Horticulturalist Rick Knight will give an inside look of the Topeka Zoo. On October 16, the society will conduct its Historic Homes Tour along Topeka Avenue.
Other programs slated for later in the season include a discussion about Topeka Collegiate on November 6 and an event with Barnum Brown of Carbondale on November 13. Abandoned Topeka, a review of recently demolished structures, will occur on November 20.
All Shawnee County Historical Society events are open to the public for a nominal fee.