Skip Navigation LinksDowntown Topeka Historic District Design Guidelines

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View the Downtown Topeka Historic District Design Guidelines
(guidelines approved by the Topeka Landmarks Commission on 10/13/2016)


The Process

​​​On September 8, 2016, Consultant Peter Benton led a public meeting to discuss the guidelines. The meeting was held at Juli’s Bistro, 110 SE 8th Avenue.

The Topeka Landmarks Commission reviewed the guidelines at their public meeting on September 8 at the Holliday Building located at 620 SE Madison. At this meeting, the Commission approved the draft with suggested changes.

On Thursday, February 12, 2016, downtown property owners and the general public were invited to hear a progress report on the design guidelines being developed by Heritage Strategies, LLC. that will be used within the Mill Block and South Kansas Avenue National Historic Districts in Downtown Topeka. The guidelines will be used by the Topeka Landmarks Commission, architects, and developers to provide guidance on appropriate treatments for renovations and new construction within each district. Heritage Strategies, LLC, previously worked with the Topeka Landmarks Commission, writing the City’s Historic Preservation Plan in 2013.​

At the meeting, Peter Benton, and Elizabeth Watson of Heritage Strategies, presented an overview of the design guidelines project, and an outline of the proposed document, each based on and supported by an examination of the existing and historical character of the Districts, and an examination of unique issues that should be addressed by the design guidelines concerning potential future investments within each district. The presentation was followed by questions from the audience, as well as suggestions on specific concerns that should be addressed within the final document.

View the presentation provided by Heritage Strategies, LLC, or view the outline of the proposed Design Guidelines document.

In September of 2015, the Topeka Planning Department hired Heritage Strategies, LLC, to write specific and appropriate design guidelines for the Mill Block and South Kansas Avenue Historic Districts. All design guidelines for these historic districts will be written in accordance with the US Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Properties. Funding for the design guidelines was provided by a Historic Preservation Fund grant from the Kansas State Historical Society.

February 1, 2016
Downtown Historic Districts Design Guidelines Kick-Off Meeting


Bill Fiander, AICP

Planning Director

Kris Wagers

Administrative Officer
620 SE Madison
Topeka, KS 66607

Planning Contacts

Licensing & Inspections