(Quoted from the Kansas Preservation Newsletter , Kansas State Historical Society, Sept.-Oct. 2007: http://www.kshs.org/resource/ks_preservation/kpsepoct07.pdf)
The Farmers and Bankers Historic District is on the northeast corner of First and Market Streets in Wichita. The two building district forms a solid block, and the buildings complement each other in materials and their Commercial style. The former Wichita Club and Elks Club buildings, constructed in 1911 and 1925, respectively, are both five stories tall with flat roofs and tripartite fašades faced with red brick and classical ornamentation. Wichita Club members approved a design by the Kansas City architectural firm of Keene and Simpson in April 1909. Plans progressed during the summer and into the fall, when the contracting firm of Dieter and Wenzel began work. Construction took one year and cost $120,000. Twelve years later, the Wichita Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks began construction of Lodge No. 427 north of the Wichita Club building. The Elks chose a five-story design by Wichita architect Ed Forsblom for their building. Contracts totaling $500,000 were awarded, including one to the Siedhoff Construction Company as the general contractor. The two buildings also have a shared history. By 1946, the Farmers and Bankers Life Insurance Company owned both buildings, which served as the company’s headquarters until 1969.
Photo: DC & VC 1-08