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Sep 14

4 Historic Spots Along 4th Street in Manhattan Kansas

Posted on September 14, 2020 at 1:26 PM by Tarra Rotstein

Head out for a walk, catch a breath of fresh air and checkout the four historic landmarks along 4th street. Manhattan has a deep history of unique architectural buildings and revolutionary Manhattanites who lived there, that helped shape the future of Manhattan.

1. Community House

A mostly brick structure, the Community House sits on the corner of 4th and Humboldt streets. The building was constructed in 1917 and was a place of refuge for soldiers during World Wars I and II. The building starred on the cover of The American City magazine, this later led to the government funding other cities to create similar community buildings. The Community House has always been a lively place at one time holding dances, concerts and other functions for nearby soldiers.

2. Damon Runyon House

The Damon Runyon House is located on the corner of Osage Street and 4th street. Who was Damon Runyon? He was known as a prominent newspaper columnist, sportswriter, novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He is well known for his musical “Guys and Dolls” some even refer to him as the “Father of Broadway.” One could say a love for writing was in his blood. His father A.L. Runyon confounded a newspaper that later became the Manhattan Mercury in 1888. Damon's career started as a cub reporter at the ripe age of 14. After fighting in the Spanish American War he found his was to New York working for the New York Sporting News. Some of his short stories focus on his and his father's life in the west in small towns like Manhattan.

3. Manhattan State Bank

Walk down Poyntz avenue and you will spot the limestone beauty of what was once the first State Bank in Manhattan, Manhattan State Bank. The bank opened in 1897 and later closed in 1931. The Bank marks an architectural history of Romanesque revival style and of course the signature limestone that characterizes Manhattan. The building was the work of commercial architecture John. D. Walters, a Kansas State Agricultural College Professor who later organized the first four-year course of architecture.

4. Strasser House 

The Phillipena J. Strasser House serves as a historical landmark at 326 Laramie right off of 4th street. The building is known for its significance to the architectural history of Manhattan. It serves as an intact example of a vernacular stone residential building along with showcasing a high level of craftsmanship. The home was constructed in 1874 for Phillipena J. Strasser, a widow. The building remains an example of residential usage in a time when railroad lines and flooding caused shifts in town planning. 

Next time you take a walk downtown be sure to stop by the green signs that signify a historical landmark. You never know what you'll learn next about the unique place we call Manhattan.


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