The Kansas Preservation Alliance honored all those who worked on the Kansas Statehouse restoration project with a prestigious Medallion Award Friday, May 9.
Statehouse Architect Barry Greis accepted the award and recognized many of the contributors to the project, which spanned the course of 14 years, garnered bi-partisan support, and has sparked a growth in visits to the building.
Greis, JE Dunn Construction, and Treanor Architects coordinated the efforts of hundreds of entities, and thousands of workers, who rehabbed the Statehouse that was constructed in the 1860s.
The Kansas Preservation Alliance annually recognizes efforts to promote the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction of buildings of historical significance. The group met in the Old Supreme Courtroom in the Statehouse to present awards for 10 projects throughout the state.
“I am extremely pleased to accept this award on behalf of all those whose efforts have restored this great building to its former beauty while also bringing it up to date with state-of-the-art technology and accessibility,” said Greis.
Greis and the Office of Facilities Management within the Kansas Department of Administration (KDOA) oversaw the restoration of the Statehouse. KDOA Secretary Jim Clark attended the ceremony.
“Kansas has so much to be proud of in this building, and the work that’s been done to restore it,” said KDOA Secretary Jim Clark. “Our capitol is one of the most beautiful of all the capitols in the nation.”
In a prepared statement regarding the preservation of the Statehouse, the Kansas Department of Administration said:
The vision of the Kansans who designed and built our Statehouse was for a grand, majestic statement reflective of our state’s importance in the Union. Sadly, that vision was lost over the years as the building was neglected and many of its beautiful features were covered over or allowed to deteriorate.
Over the last 14 years, countless number of workers, emboldened by a resolute legislative body and several supportive governors, have brought the beauty and majesty of the building back. In spite of the challenge to keep the Statehouse open for business throughout, and in the face of tough economic times, our state forged ahead.
The renovation has firmly rooted our Statehouse in two vastly different eras. By restoring the building to a “period of significance” (circa 1903), the preservation effort unearthed many beautiful features of the Statehouse which would otherwise be lost. At the same time, the building was brought into the modern era in terms of technology and accessibility. Due to the wisdom of forward-thinking architects and engineers, it is believed that very little renovation will be needed in the next half-century or longer.