Awards of Excellence:
Morris County State Bank

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1887 | Year Saved: 2018
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (June 3, 1976)
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

A critical supply point on the Santa Fe Trail, the town of Council Grove had been bypassed by both the Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads in the 1860s, but by 1886, the KATY and Missouri Pacific railroads had put the community’s development back on track. It was in this economic environment that the Morris County State Bank rose, and the Council Grove Republican declared the bank’s new Italianate gem “by far the handsomest and most substantial structure yet attempted in this city.” But by the time Davis Preservation purchased the building in August 2017, much of it had been vacant for forty years, and the entire building had been abandoned for a decade. The result was a project that both met community needs – particularly for quality housing – while also respecting its traditional downtown environment by reserving the historic bank space for retail or office use.

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