History Tours and Barn Sales

This week has been a bit less hectic, in terms of doing things we have to do. We still stayed busy, but we were free to move at our own pace. Mostly. I had a project to finish for the school PTO (done!) and the girls had some major room-cleaning to do (mostly done - picking my battles...)

 Last Monday, the day after Little Sis's play closed, I decided to switch things up a bit, by taking the girls to a park to do their homework. But not a normal grass and playground park. We headed downtown to see the new ICT Pop-Up Urban Park.

We had to park down the street a bit, so we stopped by the older Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park first. This lovely urban park was built on the site of an old Woolworth's building.

 The sculptures are my favorite part, especially "The Lunch Counter." A few buildings away, there was a Dockum Drug Store. One of the first successful sit-ins in the United States took place there. "The Lunch Counter" is a beautiful tribute.

The new Pop-Up Urban Park is a really cool addition to downtown. It was built to replace a big construction site pit. Yup, a big hole. (Cue the Parks & Rec jokes.) The park is temporary. I read that it will last a few years, until the developers are ready to build whatever they're planning for the space. There are strings of lights hanging overhead, art (including three "Keepers on Parade"), cool tables (and yes, the girls did their homework), even a ping-pong table. As of last Monday, the paddles were still there. 

Saturday, the old Carnegie Library building celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was the city's main library until the late 1960s, when a new building opened across the street. [Here's a great photo of people lined up to pass books across the street!] It's owned by a bank now, who restored it to use for offices. When I was a kid, it was the home of the Omnisphere, a planetarium.

There was a 1920s-style bookmobile parked out front, and they gave away free Puffin editions of The Wizard of Oz.

 After the party, we headed north to Hesston, Kansas, for the 2015 Kansas Barn Sale. We didn't purchase as much this year, but we had a great time roaming around. We left with homemade bath stuff, fudge and cookies, mini pumpkins and gourds, a little Christmas banner, and a Peppa Pig hair barrette.

And yesterday, we paid a visit to the McCormick School Museum. It's the oldest school building still standing in Wichita, and it now houses a small education museum. The girls got a kick out of the old Apple IIe on display, and the old textbooks. I even found the 1980s textbooks I grew up with! Big Sis rang the bell. Little Sis had her drawing pad.

 We took our time coming home. The McCormick School was designed by Proudfoot & Bird, who also designed the old City Hall (now Historical Museum) and the Scottish Rite (where Little Sis performed this). I drove to Friends University so the girls could see one more Proudfoot & Bird structure, the Davis Administration Building.

Believe it or not, they weren't bored by this. They love old buildings and history - for now. Someday I'm sure they will roll their eyes and call me boring, but for now, I'm rolling with it!

Here is a sneak-peek at Little Sis's batch of mini pumpkins. The girls finished their fabulous display last night. When my porch is ready, I'll share the rest!

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  1. How exciting and fun everything looks! The pictures of the girls are beautiful, I especially love the ones when they look like they're in deep conversation with the sculptures. Your pumpkins are so cute! We need some pumpkins too, to start this year's decorating. :o)

    1. Thanks! Big Sis ordering from the Lunch Counter lady! I think that's my favorite. I can't wait to get the rest of our goodies out. We're slow this year. :)

  2. Adding the Kansas Barn Sale to my calendar for next year... That old desk! (swoon)

    1. If I could empty my house and start all over again... The sale is bigger every year! I think they did a great job of spreading it out and making it less chaotic this year, even with more booths. It's definitely worth checking out.


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