Lion Block

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1887 | Abandoned: N/A
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (October 16, 2008)
Status: AbandonedEndangered
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

The Lion Block in Ness City, Kansas, serves as an excellent example of late 19th century Italianate design. Italianate styling was popular nationwide from the 1840s through the mid-1880s, spurred on by pattern books such as those published by Andrew Jackson Downing. Financed by the Shepard Brothers in 1887, the Lion Block retains its interior and exterior architectural integrity including decorative smooth cut limestone crafted by master stonemason Henry Tilley. The Lion Block was a center of activity throughout the last one hundred years, serving as a photography studio, dry goods store, post office, and meeting place for organizations such as the IOOF and Boy Scouts. This structure is also significant for the work of Henry Tilley, whose other notable works include the Ransom Christian Church and Grade School. The Lion Block represents the last remaining example of Tilley’s craftsmanship in Ness County. Though the building retains a great deal of original fabric, the rear structural supports need repaired and the roof needs replacement to prevent any further deterioration.

Photo by Lion Block. (2022, March 18). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Block

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