Historic Survey of Lincoln’s City Park

The Scout Cabin, made of local limestone, in Lincoln’s City Park.


Lincoln’s City Park has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places/Register of Historic Kansas Places.  The nomination will be reviewed by the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review (KHSBR) at their meeting on Saturday, February 1, 2020, starting at 9am in Topeka.  Links to information:

The City Council has been sent a letter notifying them of the meeting.  Local citizens are welcome to express whether they concur with or object to the nomination as the KHSBR takes local sentiment into consideration on their decisions.

During the meeting, the KHSBR will either approve the nomination, table it for additional research, or not approve the nomination.  If the nomination is approved, the park will be immediately placed on the state register (opening up financial incentives to the city) and the nomination will be forwarded to the National Park Service for consideration on the national register.  This final consideration could take several months.

One of the primary reasons for achieving historic designations is to open up financial incentives to property owners.  A “Financial Incentives for Historic Properties Workshop” is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln County Historical Museum.

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In 2018, The Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation (LCEDF) received a grant from the Kansas Historical Society to conduct a survey of Lincoln’s City Park along with downtown Lincoln and downtown Sylvan Grove. The primary purpose of the survey was to determine if the park would be eligible for any historic designations that could open up financial resources to the city to help maintain and improve it.

The grant funding allowed the LCEDF to hire Brenda Spencer of Spencer Preservation to conduct the survey. Since last fall, Brenda has taken photos of the park, researched its history and analyzed its historic character. Upon the completion of her survey work, Brenda submitted a report (see below) of her findings that included the determination, with agreement by the Kansas Historical Society, that the park is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The survey itself is research (not an actual nomination) intended to ‘start the conversation’ about the value historic designations can bring to the city and its residents. Primary benefits of designation include marketing opportunities and financial incentives. Should the city decide to move forward with an actual nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, the city could gain access to state- and federal-level grants and tax credits to help maintain and improve the area.

A public meeting will be held on Monday, June 17th, 7:30 p.m., at the Lincoln County Historical Museum in Lincoln to present the two Lincoln survey reports to the community, discuss how these determinations do (or do not) affect property owners, and answer any questions or concerns attendees may have.

If you have any questions about the survey or on the benefits of historic designations, please feel free to contact the LCEDF at [email protected], 785-524-8954, or visit the office in the County Courthouse at 216 E Lincoln Ave., Lincoln, Kansas.

Additional Information

Lincoln City Park Historic Survey 2019 – Final report includes a summary of the park’s history, outline of structures and features that contribute to the park’s historic character and final recommendations

Kansas Historic Resources Inventory – Database includes detailed information on each property within the district. Search the database by scrolling down to the “Survey Project” field and select “Lincoln – City Park Survey (HPF 2018)”.

FAQs on Lincoln’s survey and historic designations – Answers frequently asked questions about the survey process, what ‘contributing’ and ‘non-contributing’ means to a property owner, and how designation can impact property owners.

Article in the Lincoln Sentinel 06-14-19

Map of Potential City Park Historic District

List of Surveyed Structures and Features within the City Park