Midtown 2021 Home Tour Includes Well-Known Wichita Homes
Roxanne Kellogg’s home at 17th and Park Place will be part of the Historic Midtown tour. (September 30, 2021)
In its comeback year, the Historic Midtown Citizens Association home tour will feature a well-known Wichita home and two more on Park Place that have been updated since Wichitans and others saw them for last time in previous home visits.
Tours of historic HMCA homes began in 1974 with the goal of showcasing the homes of some of Wichita’s oldest and most successful residents, as well as raising funds for various association projects, including a scholarship. studies for a Midtown resident. The last tour, in 2017, featured mostly houses built by William H. Sternberg, a prolific builder at the start of Wichita’s economic boom who also built the Sedgwick County Courthouse. Volunteer period-clad guides and often the owners themselves are on hand during tours to share historical information or point out interesting features.
This year’s tour focuses on three Park Place homes, described in a 1977 Wichita Beacon article as “once … the center of Wichita’s most fashionable neighborhood.”
The houses are still quite large in the eyes of their owners, and visitors will have the opportunity to see why.
Visitors will be able to observe the painstaking period restoration work carried out at 1720 Park Place by Sam and Sarah Sackett, the return to Victorian decor at the 1751 Park Place monument by June and Ralph Rhodes, and the cheerful and colorful spaces created by Roxanne Kellogg at 1759 Place du Parc.
In terms of history, 1720 Park Place was built around 1910 at a cost of $ 18,000, according to an old newspaper article, by Charles Darrigrand, superintendent of the Dold packaging plant. This is an example of the American Foursquare, a post-Victorian multi-story house with a sort of square shape, a hipped roof, large windows (this house has 50), and a wide porch.
The house at 1751 Park Place, which was called Wey Mansion and now renamed The Sweet Magnolia Wey Manor by its current owners, was built by Herman and Josephine Wey in 1909 and originally cost around $ 20,000. Wey was a wealthy hardware dealer who operated hardware and tool stores in Kansas and Oklahoma. The house is Queen Anne style with Baroque, Victorian and Romanesque style.
The 1759 Park Place house is the oldest on the tour, dating from around 1904. It was originally built by William Chain, an accountant, and is more of the Arts and Craft style, said Kellogg, who has lived in the house for the past three decades.
For all current homeowners, it is the potential of what these homes might be their burden on that has attracted them to the properties.
“We walked through and we were like kids in a candy store,” recalls Sarah Sackett when she first saw the house in December 2007 with her sister, who at the time lived in Midtown. “Look, there is a sliding door. There is a laundry chute. There is a third floor.
The house had been on the market for months, likely because it didn’t have central air conditioning or a garage and only had 1½ baths, Sackett said. After moving in in 2008, the Sackett’s were soon invited to take part in the 2009 HMCA home tour.
“The house was under construction” on that previous home visit, with stripped walls and small pieces of furniture placed in the bedrooms, Sarah Sackett said,
Since then, the house has benefited from Sam Sackett’s carpentry skills and the couple’s enthusiasm to restore and improve many of its features. The couple installed a ground-source or ground-source heat pump in the backyard, which provides an efficient, renewable heating and cooling system using the home’s original ductwork. Floors and woodwork were stripped and refurbished, and new storm windows were hung.
The couple are currently renovating the kitchen. The Sackett’s removed layers of linoleum and a layer of tar paper to reveal the house’s only maple hardwood floor. (All other floors in the house are oak, except for the pine floor in the third floor ballroom.) Sam Sackett builds pine cabinets to match those in the butler’s pantry, after purchasing vintage pine from a supplier in Virginia.
A new worktop in the kitchen with an east-facing window where she can sit in the morning sun and gaze out into the backyard is now Sarah Sackett’s favorite space. So that they could enjoy their backyard more while staying at home during the summer of 2020, the family had made several upgrades to what Sarah saw as an unfinished outdoor room.
One thing the Sackett’s left around 1910 is the original wallpaper that still hangs in the dining room; it is a dark brown with a painted design. In the fall and winter, when the outer tree is stripped of its leaves, the room’s decorative leaded windows project prisms not only into the dining room, but also into adjoining rooms.
“It was my favorite piece when we watched it,” said Sarah Sackett. “My other favorite was the third floor.”
Kellogg, owner of 1759 Park Place, was already living in the Midtown neighborhood, one block from Fairview, when she saw the sign for sale rise about 30 years ago.
“It wasn’t in great shape, half done and full of crap and I looked past it and saw I could fix it. It was a blank slate that I could play with.
She now calls it her “paradise”.
When Kellogg moved in, the house was converted into two residences, a holdover from the days when two sisters lived apart – one on the first floor, the other on the second. The kitchen on the second floor was turned into a nursery early on by Kellogg.
Since his home visit about 10 years ago, Kellogg has remodeled the second-story sleeping porch and remodeled three of the four bedrooms on the second floor. One serves as a music room when her boyfriend visits her and plays the guitar and sings. The kitchen transformed into a nursery transformed into a bedroom is now his craft room. A third bedroom has been converted into what Kellogg calls her bohemian retreat where she does yoga.
Kellogg’s favorite feature is the house’s huge wrap-around porch. Last summer, she remade the porch and painted the floor in her favorite color, purple, which sets it apart from the white exterior of the house.
“It’s a pleasure to have my morning coffee there,” Kellogg said. She also likes to sit on the porch during thunderstorms.
While Kellogg saw a blank slate when she bought her house, June and Ralph Rhodes saw a bland slate when they visited 1751 Park Place. It is one of the best-known houses in Wichita with its three floors, a large porch and balcony on the second floor and Corinthian pillars. A two-storey shed is located at the rear; the shed will be closed during the visit as this is where the three Rhodes dogs will hang out while visitors visit the main house.
“We left Dallas for this house,” June Rhodes said. “It was the dream of my life to have a Queen Anne if I was lucky.” The couple bought the house in early 2020.
While the house did not need major renovations, the neutral color scheme throughout the house was not correct at the time.
“We took it back,” June Rhodes said of the couple’s major makeover inside the house. A Wichita Eagle story from November 2020 detailed much of the work the Rhodes have done. June Rhodes has created a Facebook page for the house, where she often posts about the work the couple continue to do.
“We’ve taken this house to a point where we feel like if someone lived in 1909 and walked in now, they would think they had stepped back in time. … We brought it back to its roots, ”June Rhodes said in the article.
The house has retained all of its original woodwork, a large entrance hall with a spectacular wooden staircase, four living rooms, four fireplaces with original tiling, a ballroom on the third floor and many other features.
June Rhodes said she was very keen to honor the history of the house, even while researching and finding wallpaper with the same pattern that was originally installed in the house. They even replaced all modern toggle switches with vintage push button switches.
“It’s an experience when you step into it. It’s always for me.
She befriended one of the Wey’s great-grandchildren and received several items and instants from the parent. Several of these pieces are displayed on the wall in one of the living rooms. Plans of the house are displayed in the ballroom.
The house has already been on several tours of Midtown.
Park Place Historic Midtown Homes Tour
What: A home visit, started in 1974, organized by the Historic Midtown Citizens Association to benefit neighborhood projects and a scholarship for a Midtown resident
Or: 1720 Park Place, 1751 Park Place and 1759 Park Place
When: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 9 and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 10
Tickets: $ 15 for 13 years old and over, free for accompanying children 12 years old and under; available at KANSEL, 1650 N. Fairview, during visiting hours. Ticket sales will end at 4:30 p.m. on October 9 and 4 p.m. on October 10.
More information: facebook.com/Historic-Midtown-Citizens-Association-386551698028540