AG Press Project

The Historic Building Is Now Officially Historic

August 22, 2022

Warning: this entry has more technical jargon in it than most of my others!

We just received word that Ag Press (previously the Viking Manufacturing Company) was listed in the Register of Historic Kansas Places thanks to the tedious work of the local company Spencer Preservation! We will hear from the National Registry in 10-12 weeks. The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties. According to the Kansas Historical Society’s website, buildings that have the opportunity to be on the list “generally retain their historic appearance, are at least 50 years old, and have the potential to be documented as historically or architecturally significant at either the local, state, or national level.”

Spencer Preservation’s nomination of the building states, “The Viking Manufacturing Company, located at 1531 Yuma Street in Manhattan, Kansas, is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A & C in the areas of Industry and Architecture, significant locally as Manhattan’s first major development project following the end of WWII signaling the beginning of the post-war building boom that would forever change the face of the town. Completed in 1946, the building remains one of the city’s outstanding mid-century examples of the Modern Movement reflecting the late Art Deco period and Streamline Art Moderne style with ribbons of glass block and bands of contrasting black tile reinforcing the building’s low horizontal form. The glass block windows extend around the curved building corners reflecting a classic detail of the Streamline Moderne style. At the time of its construction, the new plant was touted to be the most modern factory around with abundant natural light and a clean all electric facility (compared to common coal-burning industrial plants).” *Spencer Preservation compiled more rich historical content about the building that we can post in the future.

One of the benefits of the property being on the registry are eligibility for state and federal income tax credits equal to 25% (state) and 20% (federal) of qualifying expenditures on the rehabilitation process. Additionally, Derek and I love old stuff, so this ensures that we won’t lose the character that old properties bring to a community. Luckily, this does not mean that we can’t make needed changes to make the inside more modern and what we want it to be.

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