Awards of Excellence:
Thomas County Hospital

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1941 | Year Saved: N/A
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

The WPA expanded services to rural communities throughout America in the projects it built, and the St. Thomas Hospital in Colby is an example of one of those projects. Built in 1941, the hospital was constructed of local brick salvaged from the old high school that originally stood on the site. The 3‐story hospital had a hipped red clay tile roof and 6/1 double‐hung wood windows. The raised central entrance was modern in design with ashlar stone with brick banding contrasting with the Georgian Revival‐style building. An addition was built in 1948 that included emergency facilities and a polio ward. A two-story chapel was also included as part of the expansion. The chapel helped blend the modern style of the addition into the original building by incorporating a clay tile roof. The hospital closed in the 1970s, leaving the building subject to the usual forces of historically insensitive remodeling and eventual abandonment. SWD Architects developed an adaptive design for 30 new affordable apartments that maintains the historically significant areas within the original building. The adaptive reuse design preserves the original circulation path and historic details throughout the building while also incorporating a large portion of the original layout in the new apartment floor plan.

Federal and state historic preservation tax credits were utilized to fund this rehabilitation.

The project team included: Cohen Esery Affordable Partners LLC, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, Stark Wilson Duncan Architects Inc., Travois Design & Construction Services LLC, Bob D. Campbell & Company Inc, Hoss & Brown Engineers Inc, Construction Technologies LLC, Spencer Preservation, R4 Capital LLC, City of Colby, and PreservingUS, Inc.

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