Topeka Landmarks Commission and partners to survey city’s historical African American places

The Topeka Landmarks Commission in partnership with the City of Topeka’s Planning Division will begin a process in January to survey the city’s historical African American places.

This project will focus on documenting buildings, districts, sites and structures that are significant to the development and history of African American life and culture within the City of Topeka.

While previous city surveys focused on neighborhoods such as Old Town and Tennessee Town, this survey aims to take a holistic approach, covering all city locations and time periods significant to Topeka’s African American history.

Additionally, a goal of the survey is to identify and designate at least two locations to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“What defines a community is its history and the people who live there,” said Dan Warner, the city’s Planning Division Director. “Through this survey, we hope to increase community awareness and appreciation for the places in our community that have made an impact on Topeka’s African American history.”

The city, commission and project partners are hosting a public meeting where community members can learn about the survey process and provide input. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in room 114. The library is located at 1515 SW 10th Ave.

Additional partners for the project include the city’s consultant Impact7G, the Kansas Historical Society and the National Park Service.

The survey and cataloging process is expected to continue through most of 2023.