Historic downtown Topeka building recognized

Elks building at 7th and Jackson (photo provided by ASA Marketing)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The building occupied by the Kansas Highway Patrol is recognized Thursday for its historic value to Topeka.

In recognition of the preservation of a piece of Topeka’s history, Parrish Management Corporation and the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks honored the Kansas Highway Patrol with a special presentation at the highway patrol state headquarters, 122 SW 7th Street, Topeka, Kansas.

Since 1982, the KHP headquarters has been located in the former home of the Topeka Elks Lodge No 204. Local businessman Jim Parrish, PMCorp president, is joining with Carl Nuzman, last Exalted Ruler of Elks Lodge No. 204 and its treasurer, Edna Greene to present the KHP with the original charter for Lodge No. 204 and the original masons trowel used to lay the Elk Building’s cornerstone in 1907.

The 1891 Elks charter lists several notable Kansans, including Cyrus K Holliday. The KHP has a third item to add that they discovered when moving into the building. These items will be on display in the Community Conference Room to allow public access when the room is not in use.

Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast and Vince Frye, President of DTI, thanked the KHP, Elks officials and Parrish for preserving the historic artifacts which will become a permanent part of the building’s interior décor.

This native brick and limestone building was built in 1907 to provide a permanent home for the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks (B.P.O.E) Lodge No. 204 chartered in 1891. The Elks Lodge sold the building in 1979, and the new owners renovated it to create a permanent headquarters for the highway patrol.

From the time the building was constructed until 1979, it was owned and utilized primarily by Lodge No. 204. The Elks Building housed a favorite Topeka eatery for lunch and dinner frequented by prominent Topeka businessmen, local and state politicians. In 1980, the Elks Building was listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places and on the historic building walking tour. This and other prominent structures in downtown help preserve the memory of Topeka’s downtown for generations to come.


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