Local structure a finalist for state’s ‘8 Wonders’


The Peter Paul Loewen House is one of 24 finalists in the ?8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture? contest sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. To vote online for the clay-bricks structure made by Mennonites immigrants in 1876, go to www.kansassampler.org, or pick up a paper ballot at the Hillsboro Museums Vistors Center and mail it in. The voting deadline is June 15. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

The Peter Paul Loewen House, known in past years as the Hillsboro Adobe House, has been selected as one of the 24 finalists for the the Kansas Sampler Foundation ?8 Wonders of Kansas Architec?ture.?

The announcement was made Friday at the Kansas Sampler Center near Inman. Represent?atives of the finalists were in attendance.

Stan Harder, Hillsboro Museums director, said, ?It is a great honor to be included in the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architec?ture contest. We would like everyone to vote for us.?

Public vote will determine the top eight. People are encouraged to vote online at 8wonders.org, call 620-585-2374 for a ballot, or pick one up at finalists that have an office.

Voting begins April 25 and will end June 15 at midnight. The top eight will be announced June 30. To be accepted as a ballot, eight sites must be selected.

Paper ballots are also available at the Hillsboro Museums Visitors Center.

?A vote for the Loewen House is a vote for Hillsboro,? Harder said. ?Help us put Hillsboro on the maps of people who might consider visiting us.?

The Peter Paul Loewen House is an example of a traditional Russian clay brick house. It was built in 1876 in the Mennonite settlement village of Hoffnung?s?thal southwest of Hillsboro. It was relocated to its present site in 1958.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are: Brown Mansion, Coffeyville; Chapel of the Veterans, Leavenworth; Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls; Cooper Barn, Colby; Dyche Hall, Lawrence; Fox Theatre, Hutchinson; Franklin County Courthouse, Ottawa; Fromme-Birney Round Barn, Mullinville; Holy Cross Church, Pfeifer; John Mack Bridge, Wichita; Kansas State Capitol, Topeka; Lebold Mansion, Abilene; Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Ulysses; Masonic Center, Salina; Muchnic Home, Atchison; Ness County Bank, Ness City; Osborne County Courthouse, Osborne; Peter Paul Loewen House, Hillsboro; Saint Joseph Church, Damar; Samson of the Cimarron, Seward County; Seelye Mansion, Abilene; Topeka High School, Topeka; Wichita Carthalite, Wichita, and Windsor Hotel, Garden City.

KSF director Marci Penner said, ?This is a tremendous group of finalists. We have everything from a clay brick house to a hyperbolic paraboloid church. We hope people will travel across the state to see these amazing structures before they vote.?

The top eight will be decided by the public vote, either online or paper ballots, completed midnight June 15.

The 8 Wonders of Kansas series is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation based near Inman.

According to the organization?s Web site, ?the purpose of this campaign is to help the world get to know Kansas and to encourage the exploration of the Sunflower State.?

The Foundation has long used the eight elements of rural culture ?architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people?to help see Kansas with new eyes.

The project is designed to educate the public about the state and to encourage travel.

The series will continue until all eight elements have been featured. On Kansas Day, Gov. Kath?leen Sebelius announced the original 8 Wonders of Kansas after a six-month process.

For more information go to www.kansassampler.org.

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