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Jan 16

[ARCHIVED] 1934 Detailed Look at Kansas and "Futuristic Plan" for the State Capitol Plaza in Topeka

The original item was published from January 16, 2019 11:08 AM to January 16, 2019 11:19 AM

In 1934, at the suggestion of the Federal Public Works Administration, Kansas Governor Alf Landon established the Kansas State Planning Board.  Part of the Board's mission was:  

1)-- Collection, analysis and graphic presentation of available physical, social, and economic facts pertinent to Kansas. 
2)-- Detailed study of the several urgent physical-economic-social problems with particular emphasis on land use, transportation, and water conservation and flood control.
3)-- Definition of long-range objectives which would transform the more conspicuous, present, social-economic liabilities into social-economic assets.

The Board issued a number of reports on state and local issues, some of which are in the KGI Online Library.

One of the coolest reports issued by the Board was the 1934 "Progress Report."  It's a self-evaluation of Kansas chock full of graphs, maps and statistics.  If you ever wanted a detailed view of Kansas during the first third of the 20th century, here it is.

The Progress Report is huge... all those graphics... so we've got it divided into four "Sections" in KGI  We've also added one page separately called "Topeka Plan."  It's the last page of the Report,  a futuristic "site plan" of how the State Planning Board envisioned the area around the Kansas State Capitol as a state/county/municipal "Civic Center."  If you're familiar with Topeka it's a must see.  You'll recognize a few buildings on the site map which have been around for years.  But a lot of the suggested buildings were never erected on site.

You can view the report online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Library here: