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Empowering Your


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CONTENTS Founded in 1936, Topeka Civic Theatre is the oldest continuously running community dinner theatre in the country. Over 260 nights of performances a year!

Electrifying Musicals Thought Provoking Plays Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy Whimsical Children’s Productions

Camps & Classes Volunteer Opportunities

Community Profile 4 Blazing Trails to Freedom and Equality 10 Education 12 Washburn University and Tech 16 Sports 18 Healthcare 21 Neighborhoods 24 Acceptance and Inclusion 34 iNCLUDED 35 Important Numbers 36 Quality of Place 38 Our Capitol is Capital 42 Topeka Zoo 44 Kansas Children’s Discovery Center 46 Sky Zone and Leap 48 Gage Park 49 Lake Shawnee 50 Heartland Motorsports Park 52 Truckhenge 54 Combat Air Museum 55 Evel Knievel Museum 56 Golf Courses 58 Murals 60 Experience the New Top City 62 Wheatfield Village 65 Fine Dining 66 The Pennant 68 The Burger Stand 69

EDITORS Bob Ross Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications CONTRIBUTORS

357.5211 topekacivictheatre.com 3028 SW 8th Ave.

Jensen Simons Copy Writer

Rhett Flood Project Manager

Jared Hitchens Marketing Director

Logan Hildebrand Project Manager

LAYOUT & DESIGN Shelby Brokaw Graphics Manager

ADVERTISING Rosa Cavazos Vice President, Resource Development & Events

All information is accurate at the time of printing. However, the Greater Topeka Partnership does not assume responsibility for accuracy. All rights reserved.

Please recycle this magazine or pass it on to a friend.

MAKE IT YOURS. Choose Topeka. We’ve got 15,000 reasons to make a change.

2 | Topeka





POPULATION MSA* (5 counties)



City of Topeka




Shawnee County


American Indian/Alaskan Native




Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander


Two or more races


State of Kansas

2,913,314 Source: 2019 ACS 5-Year Estimates *Metropolitan Statistical Area: Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Wabaunsee and Osage Counties


Source: 2019 ACS 5-Year Estimates Note: People of Hispanic or Latino origins represent 12.8% of the population which is included in each of the above racial distributions. Hispanics may be of any race.

Jackson Jefferson Shawnee Wabaunsee









0 to 9 years







10 to 19 years







20 to 44 years







45 to 64 years







65+ years


















Totals Median Age


Source: 2018 ACS 5-Year Estimates

4 | Topeka

1200 mi.



750 mi.

The elevation ranges from 876 feet above sea level in the valley to 971 feet in the southwest part of the city.


500 mi.

New York Chicago

San Francisco




Kansas City

Los Angeles


























City of Topeka




Shawnee County











2018 Rainfall




2018 Snowfall

Dallas Houston

Source: NOAA

DISTANCE 58 sq. miles 552 sq. miles

30.04โ€ 14.6โ€ Source: w2.weather.gov/climate Climatological Report (Annual)

Kansas City

60 miles


170 miles

St. Louis

315 miles


505 miles


550 miles


560 miles


740 miles


The Greater Topeka Partnership participates in the ACCRA Cost of Living Study three times a year. The study measures differences between areas in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. Generally about 300 communities participate with the average ranking being 100. Topeka consistently ranks 6 - 8 points below average.

Topeka, KS Metro


Kansas City, MO-KS Metro


Manhattan, KS Metro


Wichita, KS Metro


Lawrence, KS Metro





Shawnee County


Median Household Income



Mean Household Income



Per Capita Personal Income



Source: 2019 ACS 1-Year Estimates



Less than$10,000


















$200,000 or more

Source: 2019 ACS 1Year Estimates

Relocation Guide | 5



Shawnee County






Median Home Value

Kansas City, MO


Little Rock, AR


Median Cost of Owning a House with Mortgage



Wichita, KS




Oklahoma City, OK


Median Cost of Owning a House Paid Off

Des Moines, IA


Median Rent



Springfield, MO



Indianapolis, IN


1 Bedroom

$540 – $880

Houston, TX


2 Bedroom

$710 – $1,180

Dallas, TX


3 Bedroom

$930 – $1,530

Denver, CO


4 Bedroom

$1,110 – $1,810

Source: National Association of REALTORS

Source: 2020 HUD Small Area Fair Market Rents

Criteria: Single family dwelling. Average home listing price of four-bedroom, two full bathroom properties.

Rental ranges are for rental units built within the last 10 years. Each complex offers selected amenities such as fireplaces, garages, microwaves, saunas, pools, washer-dryer hook-ups, basements, exercise rooms, etc. Rates are subject to change.



6 | Topeka



Topeka is headquarters to national and international companies including: Advisors Excel, American Home Life Insurance, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., SE2 and Security Benefit.

Health Care & Social Assistance


Public Administration


Retail Trade


Educational Services


Accommodation & Food Services


Administrative & Support




Finance & Insurance




Other Services


Source: Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages Unemployment in July 2020 was 6.90%. Kansas is a right-to-work state by constitutional amendment.

Government City of Topeka Coast Guard Department of Veteran Affairs State of Kansas Insurance/Financial Advisors Excel Capitol Federal CoreFirst FHLBank Topeka Gradient Financial Security Benefit SE2

Manufacturing and Distribution Frito Lay Goodyear Tire & Rubber Hill’s Pet Nutrition HME Home Depot DC MARS Chocolate NA Polo Custom Products PTMW Reser’s Fine Foods JM Smucker Pet Foods Southwest Publishing Target DC US Foods Wal-Mart Associates

Transportation, Utility and Communications AT&T BNSF Railway Cox Communications Evergy Education Topeka Public Schools Washburn University Medical/Health Services Blue Cross & Blue Shield Stormont Vail Health University of Kansas Health Systems St. Francis Campus

50 miles

30 miles Pottawatomie

Jackson Jefferson Shawnee


Douglas Osage

TOPEKA LABOR FORCE DRAWING POWER (NOV 2019) County Shawnee Jackson Jefferson

Civillian Labor Force 92,137 7,231 10,149










121,148 Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics

Relocation Guide | 7



Enrollment (2018-19)

Average ACT Scores (2019)

Kaw Valley (USD 321)


Seaman (USD 345)



Universities within an Hour of Topeka (Academic Year 2019)

Washburn University



University of Kansas



Kansas State University




Emporia State University


Auburn Washburn (USD 437)



Allen Community College


Shawnee Heights (USD 450)



Highland Community College




Friends University


Baker University


Silver Lake (USD 372)

Topeka Public (USD 501) Kansas

21.7 Source: KSDE Data Central

Rasmussen College


Source: Kansas Higher Education Enrollment Report (KHEER)


Less than 9th Grade


Up to 12th Grade (No Diploma)


High School Graduate (or Equivalency)


Some College (No Degree)


Associate’s Degree


Bachelor’s Degree


Graduate or Professional Degree

10.7% Source: 2019 ACS 1-Year Estimates


Residential property tax is determined by taking 11.5 percent of the appraised value to determine the assessed value; vacant lots are 12 percent of the appraised value. The yearly determined mill levy is applied to determine the property tax. (Mill levies are computed annually and may vary because of location of property and/or additional special assessments.)


There is a 7% tax added to hotel/motel room bills for stays up to 28 days.


Within Shawnee County property taxes are evaluated by mill levies. The current mill levy is 160.6226.


Income Under $30,000

Income Above $30,000

Income Above $60,000



$870 plus 4.9%

$2,340 plus 5.2%



$930 plus 5.25%

$2,505 plus 5.7%



$930 plus 5.25%

$2,505 plus 5.7%






8 | Topeka



Momentum Develop Homegrown Talent Create Vibrant & Attractive Places Grow a Diverse Economy Promote a Positive Image Collaborate for a Strong Community

Topeka is a vibrant capital city filled with friendly people, an affordable cost of living and access to excellent education programs. Short commutes allow for residents to work within their desired fields while pursuing their favorite leisure activities in their down time. Residents of Topeka agree that the capital city is a wonderful place to live, work and play. Momentum 2022 is a development strategy to solidify Topeka’s status as an optimal place to raise a family, start a business, or to visit. This strategy is a four-phase plan that focuses on community engagement, a ready workforce, quality of life and place, and holistic economic development. To accomplish these goals, strategic objectives are being implemented by committees comprised of community members committed to the growth and success of Topeka. A great deal of work is already underway in Topeka and Shawnee County to make the future of our city a great one. The ultimate goal is to effectively incorporate existing, enhanced and new activities under a coordinated implementation framework. Topeka is thoughtfully, innovatively and aggressively putting action into the goals set forth in Momentum 2022.



Topeka has repeatedly found itself at the crossroads to freedom. From its founding as a free state capital city to present day and the Equality House standing as a symbol of LGBT rights, Topekans have played a role in the struggle for equality and justice for all. Because of this, Topeka has many landmarks that serve as a reminder of the great things people have done. Topeka is a treasure trove full of outstanding landmarks of equality. Take a day, explore these places and learn a thing or two about Topeka. Brown v. Board of Education 1515 SE Monroe St.

Brown v. Board of Education

Pg 10 10 | Topeka | Relocation Guide

This site of tremendous hope and bravery marking the end of segregation in public schools lives right here in Topeka, Kansas. A story full of normal, everyday people, this national landmark acts as a reminder of the greatness people have inside them and why it is so important to fight for equality for all. This year is the 65th anniversary of this historic event.

Mamie Williams House 1503 SE Quincy St. A noted Topeka educator, Williams served the Topeka Public Schools for more than 30 years, as principal of Monroe School. She was appointed to the Kansas Commission of the Status of Women in 1965 and was a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging. The Historic Ritchie House 1116 SE Madison St. The Ritchie House – built by abolitionists John and Mary Jane Ritchie in 1856 – was a station along the Underground Railroad and is considered to be Topeka’s oldest home. The hours for visits are Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment.

The Historic Ritchie House Constitution Hall and Old Federal Building/U.S. Post Office

The Historic Ritchie House

Charles Curtis House Museum 1101 SW Topeka Blvd.

Constitution Hall 429 S. Kansas Ave.

Topeka Cemetery 1601 SE 10th Ave.

Tour the former home of Charles Curtis and marvel in the intricate decor and memorabilia from his political career. When Charles Curtis was selected by President Herbert Hoover to serve as his Vice President, Curtis became the first Native American to hold the office, the first Vice President to come from west of the Mississippi, and the first Vice President from the state of Kansas.

In 1855, delegates from across Kansas came together to draft Kansas’ constitution, which was the first antislavery constitution to be created. The Free State Topeka Constitution stated, “There shall be no slavery in this state.” Kansas was at the forefront of this issue and this site highlights the beginning of a great win for equality.

Many notable Topekans are buried here, including Charles Curtis and many Civil War veterans.

Open Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. or by appt First Washburn University School of Law 118 SW 8th Ave. Now home to The Celtic Fox, the building was the Washburn Law School from 19031911. Attorneys on both sides of the Brown v. Board case attended this law school.

Old Federal Building/ U.S. Post Office 424 S. Kansas Ave. Dedicated in 1934, the Brown v. Board case was first argued by future US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the thirdfloor courtroom.

St. Mark AME Church 801 NW Harrison St. Oliver Brown, lead plaintiff of 13 in the Brown v. Board case, pastored the church. Equality House 1200 SW Orleans St. As the organizer of this house, Planting Peace describes the Equality House as “a symbol of compassion, peace and positive change.” Though the visitors center has closed, visitors are always welcome on the property. This home serves to remind every citizen that peace and beauty only exist when equality is given to everyone, no matter their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Relocation Relocation Guide Guide | Pg | 11

EDUCATION Shawnee County is home to six public school districts, as well as parochial and private schools. First-rate computer and science labs, interdisciplinary team teaching, award-winning debate teams and championship athletic programs are just a few of the highlights of Topeka-area schools. Topeka Public Schools (USD 501) jumpstarts interest in specialized subjects at Williams Science & Fine Arts Magnet School and Scott Dual Language Magnet School, as well as STEAM focused Jardine Elementary School. Silver Lake School District (USD 372) boasts award-winning debate high school teams. Kaw Valley School District (USD 321) is the first Google Reference District in Kansas (and one of only 117 in the nation), demonstrating excellence and thought leadership through innovative use of technology to drive learning outcomes. Shawnee Heights School District (USD 450) provides quality education that ensures academic achievement for all students and develops caring, productive and responsible citizens. Seaman School District (USD 345) integrates technology into learning to provide more personalized learning, increase instruction time, and better prepare students for life after graduation. Washburn Rural High School, part of Auburn Washburn School District (USD 437), has been named a National Performing Arts School of Excellence by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the Kansas State High School Activities Association for their band, orchestra, vocal music, theatre, dance, speech and debate programs. Private schools, parochial schools offer small teacher-student ratios and home-school organizations provide support for customized educational experiences.

PUBLIC EDUCATION Auburn Washburn School District (USD 437) 5928 SW 53rd St Topeka, Kan. 66610 785.339.4000 usd437.net 2017-2018 total enrollment: 6,327 The Auburn Washburn School District has seven elementary schools, one middle school (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12) and one alternative high school (grades 9-12). Situated on 128 square miles of suburban and rural land, the school district serves families in the southwest area of Topeka. The district has consistently earned leading student scores on the ACT and SAT exams along with numerous National Merit Scholars.

12 | Topeka

Kaw Valley School District (USD 321) 411 W Lasley St. Marys, Kan. 66536 785.437.2254 kawvalley.k12.ks.us 2017-2018 total enrollment: 1,230 The Kaw Valley School District is the first Google Reference District in Kansas (and one of only 117 in the nation), demonstrating excellence and thought leadership through innovative use of technology to drive learning outcomes. They serve families in Rossville (Northwest Shawnee County), as well as St. Marys, Delia and Emmett. The district characterizes its educational system as one built on synergistic relationships and a high-quality curriculum. There are three elementary schools, which include pre-K, and two junior/senior high schools.

Seaman School District (USD 345) 901 NW Lyman Road Topeka, Kan. 66608 785.575.8600 usd345.com 2017-2018 total enrollment: 3,943 The Seaman School District has five elementary schools, one middle school (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12) and one alternative school (grades 7-12). This district is primarily for residents in the northern part of Shawnee County. Seaman School District integrates technology into learning to provide more personalized learning, increase instruction time and better prepare students for life after graduation.

Topeka High School (USE 501)

Shawnee Heights School District (USD 450) 4401 SE Shawnee Heights Road Tecumseh, Kan. 66542 785.379.5800 usd450.net 2017-2018 total enrollment: 3,523 The Shawnee Heights School District has four elementary schools, one middle school (grades 7-8) and one high school (grades 9-12). This district generally serves families in the east and southeast part of Shawnee County. Both teaching and dedicated support staff provide quality educational experiences that ensure academic achievement for all students and develops caring, productive and responsible citizens.

Silver Lake School District (USD 372) 200 Rice Road PO Box 39 Silver Lake, Kan. 66539 785.582.4026 silverlakeschools.org 2017-2018 total enrollment: 736 The school district takes pride in their students academic achievements which includes award-winning debate high school teams. This district has one elementary school and one junior-senior high school. This district primarily serves families who live in the northwest area of Topeka & Shawnee County.

Topeka Public Schools (USD 501) 624 SW 24th St. Topeka, Kan. 66611 785.295.3000 topekapublicschools.net 2017-2018 total enrollment: 14,310 Topeka Public Schools is the largest school district in Shawnee County with 18 elementary schools, six middle schools, three traditional high schools and five other schools to reach students outside the mainstream kindergarten- 12th grade. They jumpstart interest in specialized subjects at Williams Science & Fine Arts Magnet School and Scott Dual Language Magnet School, as well as STEAM focused Jardine Elementary School. Topeka Public Schools also have a diverse student population that reflects the community and a rich tradition in the arts.

Relocation Guide | 13


The Catholic school system in Topeka is part of the Kansas City, Kansas, Archdiocesan system and features five elementary schools (kindergarten-grade 8) and one high school (grades 9-12). 2017-2018 total elementary enrollment: 1,209 Christ the King: 284 Holy Family: 190 Mater Dei: 183 Most Pure Heart of Mary: 370 St. Matthews: 182 Hayden High School 401 SW Gage Blvd. Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.272.5210 haydencatholic.org 2017-2018 total high school enrollment 9-12): 421 Together in a setting of academic excellence, Hayden High School celebrates the dignity of every person and the presence of Christ within each of us. Hayden’s mission as a Roman Catholic High School is to cultivate excellence in Faith, Academics, Community, Tradition and Service.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Cair Paravel Latin School (Christian) 635 SW Clay Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.232.3878 cpls.org 2017-2018 total kindergarten-grade 12 enrollment: 375 Cair Paravel Latin School is a private, nondenominational Christian school that offers Preschool – 12th grade classes. The college preparatory school aspires to become the premier classical Christian, liberal arts school in America.

Topeka Collegiate

Kennedy Academy 206 SE Lakewood Court Topeka, Kan. 66609 785.266.5150 2017-2018 total pre-kindergarten-grade 2 enrollment: 72 Kennedy Academy is a private child care, preschool, kindergarten readiness and kindergarten program. The school offers three levels of preschool curriculum, two levels of kindergarten readiness curriculum, and two kindergarten classrooms that work on a kindergarten and first-grade curriculum.

Heritage Christian School 2000 NW Clay Topeka, Kan. 66608 785.286.0427 hcstopeka.org 2017-2018 total pre-kindergarten-grade 12 enrollment: 181 Heritage Christian Schools was founded in 1996 by a group of parents looking to provide a Christian education for their children. The mission of HCS is to provide a Christ-centered, quality education in order to prepare our children to serve Christ.

14 | Topeka

Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC) (USD 501)

Topeka Adventists School 2431 SW Wanamaker Road Topeka, Kan. 66614 785.272.9474 topeka22.adventistschoolconnect.org 2017-2018 total pre-kindergarten-grade 8 enrollment: 12 Committed to making Christ the center all its efforts, the Topeka Adventists School offers enriching curriculum and school activities to encourage your child’s spiritual, academic, physical and social growth.

Topeka Collegiate 2200 SW Eveningside Drive Topeka, Kan. 66614 785.228.0490 topekacollegiate.org 2017-2018 total pre-kindergarten-grade 8 enrollment: 161 Topeka Collegiate is an independent college preparatory school that provides preschool – 8th grade classes. The school provides an agile learning environment for each student, helping them develop confidence, critical thinking skills, a commitment to community service and a love of learning that will benefit them for life. Topeka Lutheran School 701 SW Roosevelt Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.357.0382 topekalutheran.org 2017-2018 total pre-kindergarten-grade 8 enrollment: 76 Topeka Lutheran is a private Lutheran school that maintains high academic standards, small class sizes, a family atmosphere, and Christian instruction.

HOME SCHOOLING Cornerstone Family Schools is an independent parent-led organization that provides extracurricular opportunities and educational accountability for its members. Cornerstone offers a Christian sports program called the Northeast Kansas Saints.

HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA PROGRAMS ORION Education & Training 5331 SW 22nd Pl Ste M Topeka, KS 66614 785.228.2336 orioneducation.org/diploma-completion/ locations/topeka

VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS Midwest Barber College 901 SW 37th St Topeka, Kan. 66611 785.266.2500 midwestbarbercollege.com 2017-2018 enrollment: 24 Accredited through the Kansas Board of Regents, Midwest Barber College offers a 1,500 credit hour program that provides students training in the field of barbering and further prepares them for licensure. Midwest’s curriculum is diversified and includes textbook and theory coursework as well as hands-on labs. Topeka Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee 1620 NW Gage Topeka, Kan. 66618 785.232.5154 topekaelectricaljatc.com 2017-2018 enrollment: 90

Washburn Tech Main Campus 5724 SW Huntoon Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.273.7140 washburntech.edu Washburn Tech East Campus 2014 SE Washington Topeka, Kan. 66607 785.670.3380 washburntech.edu Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship School (Local 441) 2132 S Kansas Ave. Topeka, Kan. 66611 785.234.2006 2017-2018 enrollment: 260 apprentices WTI–Topeka 3712 SW Burlingame Road Topeka, Kan. 66609 785.354.4568 wti.edu/by-campus/topeka 2017-2018 enrollment: 104 The Wichita Technical Institute’s Topeka Campus offers programs such as medical insurance billing and coding specialist; medical assistant programs; heating, air conditioning and refrigeration; and computer technology and network administration.

PO Box 4968 Topeka, Kan. 66604 cfs-online.org neksaints.com

Hayden High School

Relocation Guide | 15

Washburn University


Washburn Tech



With an enrollment of over 6,000 students, Washburn University offers more than 200 programs leading to certification, associate, bachelor, master, doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Applied Studies, Business, Law and Nursing. The university is annually ranked as one of the best colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.

Washburn University Institute of Technology is a nationally recognized innovator in career and technical education. Their unique affiliation with Washburn University provides the opportunity to start with technical courses and continue to advanced degrees while preparing for today’s careers.

Washburn University claims an experienced faculty, with over 80 percent of its full-time faculty holding doctorates or the terminal degree offered within their field of study. As graduate teaching assistants do not teach courses, undergraduate students work directly with professors in any and all related classwork. Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology offer affordable education. Tuition is charged per credit hour. In addition, Washburn University offers resident tuition to students from Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. In the fall of 2018, Washburn unveiled plans for an indoor sports complex for the athletics teams to use to train in and use during the winter months. It will include a six-lane track and a turf field for football, women’s soccer, baseball and softball to use. The facility is set to be complete in August of 2020.

Dedicated faculty and staff serve adult and high school students as well as business and industry participants with career specific training in the following • Advanced Manufacturing • Business • Computer & Networking Technology • Construction • Drafting & Design • Health Care • Hospitality & Human Services • Transportation Their continuing education including online courses offer more specialized training in settings that fit busy schedules and lifestyles. Washburn Tech also works closely with business and industry to ensure all courses are high-quality and provide the high-demand, real-world skills that lead to good jobs and career placement.

Area employers partner with Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology to cultivate a high-quality workforce through collaborative learning and training opportunities.

With a graduation rate of 81% and a placement rate of 94%, both the highest in the state, Washburn Tech can help set goals and attain dreams.

Washburn University 1700 SW College Topeka, Kan. 66621 785.670.1010 washburn.edu

Programs at Washburn University Institute of Technology are included in the accreditation for Washburn University.

16 | Topeka

Washburn Tech Main Campus 5724 SW Huntoon Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.273.7140 washburntech.edu

Washburn Tech East Campus 2014 SE Washington Topeka, Kan. 66607 785.670.3380 washburntech.edu

•35+ career programs • ties with industry • internships • financial aid • scholarships ENROLLING NOW

785.670.2200 washburntech.edu Washburn Tech 5724 SW Huntoon St. Topeka, Kan. 66604 Relocation Guide | 17



The capital city is home to several exceptional sports teams, leagues and programs. Learn a little bit about each one below and be sure to check out their starting schedules! Topeka Golden Giants The Topeka Golden Giants are a collegiate, wooden bat baseball team in the Mid-Plains League. They have been playing at Jerry Robertson Field since 2005. They have five regular-season championships, the most recent being in 2018, and two league championships, the most recent being in 2017. Topeka Sizzlers The Topeka Sizzlers were a professional basketball team based out of Kansas City who then relocated to Topeka from 1986 to 1990 when they disbanded. The organization was restarted in 2018 and became a part of the American Basketball@wusports Association. Washburn Athletics Washburn University hosts a variety of men’s and women’s sports in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. The athletics department has many notable achievements, such as the volleyball team winning their way to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament in 2018 or the softball team becoming MIAA conference champions in 2018. For more information on Washburn’s upcoming athletic events, visit wusports.com.

18 | Topeka


Topeka Public Schools offers: • Free Meal Assistance: Free lunches available to all students at 17 of our schools • Full-Day Preschool: Tuition based, available to all Shawnee County residents • Magnet Schools: Dual Language, Science & Fine Arts • Signature Programs: Music, Performing Arts, Fine Arts, Leadership, and STEAM • Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers: An innovative high school program that provides students with the opportunity to deeply explore professions of high interest. • Three JROTC Programs: Air Force, Army, Marines

Pictured: Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers visit tcalc.yourcapsnetwork.org

• College Prep Academy: An advanced program that prepares scholars for college and career success. • Summer Enrichment Programs





(785) 295-3000 topekapublicschools.net

Primary Care Brewster Place (South Central) 1101 SW 29th St. 785-379-4600 Fleming Place (Central) 1119 SW Gage Blvd. 785-271-6000 Hunter’s Ridge (North) 4646 NW Fielding Road 785-286-4475 JewelI (Central) 600 SW Jewell Ave. 785-295-5310 Lake Shawnee (Southeast) 3310 SE 29th St., Suite 300 785-270-7444 Mission Woods (Southwest) 2835 SW Mission Woods Drive 785-271-1818

We’ve got you covered. Healthcare close to your new home. The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus honors the hospital’s proud history of delivering world-class, compassionate care close to home. With a legacy of quality care and the support of a leading academic medical center, the future of healthcare is here.

To find a physician or schedule an appointment, call us at 1-833-4NEWDOC (1-833-463-9362) or visit kutopeka.com

River Hill (West) 6001 SW 6th Ave., Suite 320 785-232-4248 Valley Falls (Jefferson County) 403 Sycamore 785-945-3263

Other Specialties Cardiology 600 SW College Avenue 785-233-9643 Hospital/Emergency Department 1700 SW 7th Street Main Number: 785-295-8000 Women’s Center OB/GYN 634 SW Mulvane, Suite 209 785-295-5330 See our website for a complete list.

University of Kansas Health Systems St. Francis Campus

HEALTHCARE Topeka offers a wide range of health care services and is national recognized for offering high-quality, low-cost care. Topeka has a multitude of community outreach services, including neighborhood clinics, prevention programs and services for children and low-income individuals, which are provided by our two general hospitals and five specialized hospitals that collectively employ over 8,000 people.

Specialized infant care, rehabilitation services, surgical procedures, older adult programs and comprehensive heart services are offered in high-tech, newly remodeled facilities. Over 237 physicians from 42 specialties are members of the Shawnee County Medical Society. The Kansas Dental Board reports there are 75 practicing dentists in Shawnee County.

Stormont Vail Health

Stormont Vail Health Stormont Vail Health is a health system comprised of a 586-bed major regional medical center and 180 primary care and specialty physicians in the CottonO’Neil Division. The system serves the region through its network of more than 20 outpatient care facilities located in Northeast Kansas, including a Heart Center, Cancer Center, Digestive Health Center and Diabetes Center. Stormont Vail has the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the region’s only verified Trauma Center and a new, state-of-the-art Emergency and Trauma Center. In 2019, Stormont Vail celebrated it’s 5-year anniversary with the Mayo Clinic Care Network that has allowed Topeka to collaborate with academic institution and bring state of the art care and expertise to the community.

University of Kansas Health Systems St. Francis Campus The St. Francis Campus is a member of the University of Kansas Health Systems and ranks in the top 5% of the nation’s hospitals for clinical excellence, according to HealthGrades. St. Francis provides comprehensive cancer, cardiology, orthopedic, diabetes, surgical and rehabilitation inpatient and outpatient services, sports medicine and many other programs to meet the healthcare needs of northeast Kansans. St. Francis has a history of offering innovative care, including the da Vinci surgical robot and state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities, such as digital mammography, PET/CT, Cardiac CT and TomoTherapy. Other health care facilities in Topeka include: Colmery-O’Neil Medical Center, Kansas Neurological Institute, Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital, Tallgrass Surgical Center, GraceMed Health Clinics, Valeo Community Residence Program, Family Service & Guidance Center, Valeo Behavioral Health Care and The Capper Foundation Easter Seals. For more information visit GOTopeka.com/QualityofLife/Healthcare. Topeka’s regional medical community is nationally recognized for offering highquality, low-cost care. A multitude of community outreach services, including neighborhood clinics, prevention programs and services for children and low-income individuals, are provided by two general hospitals and five specialty hospitals.

Relocation Guide | 21

HEALTHCARE GENERAL MEDICAL HOSPITALS Note: These hospitals maintain emergency departments and have emergency room physicians on site.

University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus 1700 SW Seventh St. Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.295.8000 kutopeka.com University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, formerly known as St. Francis Health Center is a for-profit hospital in Topeka, Kansas, United States. Stormont Vail Health 1500 SW 10th Ave. Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.354.6000 stormontvail.org Stormont Vail Health is a regional medical center that includes primary care and specialty physicians in the CottonO’Neil Division. Stormont Vail Health was the first Kansas hospital to join the Mayo Clinic Network. Topeka ER & Hospital 6135 SW 17th St. Topeka, Kan. 66615 785.670.6760 topekahospital.com Topeka ER & Hospital is an emergencyfocused micro-hospital that uses the same cutting-edge equipment and technology found in a modern ER.

Stormont Vail Health

22 | Topeka



Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center 2200 SW Gage Blvd. Topeka, Kan. 66622 785.350.3111 www.topeka.va.gov This VA Medical Center, Part of the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, provides a full range of medical, surgical and psychiatric treatment services for veterans. The VA recently opened the Sunflower Memory Center specializing in assisting the growing population needing dementia care.

Family Service & Guidance Center of Topeka 325 SW Frazier Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.232.5005 fsgctopeka.com Family Service & Guidance Center is a leader in children’s mental health services, serving over 14,000 children and families each year. FSGC’s programs and services are tailored to help children and teens living with anxiety, depression, ADHD and other mental health issues live a healthier, happier life.

Kansas Neurological Institute 3107 SW 21st St. Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.296.5389 kdads.ks.gov/state-hospitals-andinstitutions/kansas-neurological-institute The Kansas Neurological Institute is a state agency that provides services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a residential setting. Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital 1504 SW Eighth Ave. Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.235.6600 kansasrehabhospital.com The Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital provides comprehensive physical rehabilitation services on an inpatient, acute and outpatient basis. Tallgrass Surgical Center 6001 SW Sixth Ave., Suite 100 Topeka, Kan. 66615 785.272.8807 tallgrass-surgical.com Tallgrass Surgical Center is a multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery center located in west Topeka.

Valeo Behavioral Health Care 330 SW Oakley Topeka, Kan. 66606 785.233.1730 24-Hour Crisis Hotline 785.234.3300 Valeo Recovery Center 785.234.3448 valeotopeka.org Valeo Behavioral Health Care, the community mental health center for Shawnee County, provides adult mental health and addiction recovery services in the areas of crisis intervention, substance abuse, psychotherapy, medical services, case management, supported employment, supported education, reintegration, residential and transitional housing, homelessness assistance and peer support groups.

THERAPY SERVICES Easter Seals Capper Foundation 3500 SW 10th Ave. Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.272.4060 capper.easterseals.com Easter Seals Capper Foundation provides pediatric and adult services to ensure people with disabilities and their families have opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.


The Topeka area is home to many adult care homes that provide a range of services including nursing, assisted living, residential health care and nursing facilities for the mentally ill. Please check a local phone directory for a complete listing. For other information, call the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, 785.296.4986.

Valeo Behavioral Health Care

Easter Seals Capper Foundation

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The Collins Park neighborhood has winding roads, big trees and many picturesque English Tudor, Colonial and Cape Cod style homes. Stroll through this area in warm weather and you'll notice residents on their porch swings or dining outdoors. The area is bound by Oakley Avenue on the west, Randolph Avenue on the east, Huntoon Street on the north and 15th Street on the south. The neighborhood was designed by J.C. Nichols, visionary real estate developer of structures and designer of the Kansas City Country Club Plaza. It was developed in the 1920s with about 200 homes. Collins Park itself is a large, lush green-space extending from 15th Street four blocks through the middle of the neighborhood to Huntoon.

Located just north of Washburn University’s beautiful campus, College Hill is a historic neighborhood with a mixture of American Four-square, Victorian, Georgian Revival and Craftsman homes. College Hill is home to some of Topeka’s favorite local restaurants and businesses near Washburn Avenue. College Hill is bound by Washburn Avenue on the east, Huntoon Street on the north, MacVicar Avenue on the west and 17th Street on the south.

Each July, Collins Park’s “come-as-you-are” Independence Day parade attracts people from all over the city and children are invited to walk or ride a bike in the festivities. The Collins Park parade is believed to be the city’s longest continuous parade, running more than 40 years. The parade usually starts at SW 15th and Collins and goes around the park.

Collins Park

24 | Topeka

Fun Fact: In 2018 College Hill was named one of the Best Neighborhoods in Kansas by The Journal, a publication of the Kansas Leadership Center. Writer Brian Green extolled the neighborhood’s “well-established trees, large yards and wide front porches” as well as the neighborhood’s pride, “with many homes flying College Hill pennants or featuring neighborhood medallions on their porches.” Some famous residents included Rev. Charles M. Sheldon, author of the famous novel In His Steps, which introduced the concept “What Would Jesus Do?” and Dr. Karl Menninger, a pioneer in the treatment of mental health.

College Hill @n8mick

OODS DOWNTOWN LOFTS In the midst of a budding retail and cultural reawakening, the Downtown Topeka Loft community has steadily started to grow. The Kansas Avenue loft crowd utilizes the many walkable amenities near to their homes that includes fun for the whole family. The kiddos can enjoy the numerous pocket parks that line the avenue while older members of the family drop by the local specialty shops. With a variety of eateries to choose from, Downtown is the perfect location a breakfast, lunch or dinner outing. The Downtown Loft neighborhood is bound by 1st and Kansas to 12th and Kansas, from Topeka Boulevard to Adams Street. Downtown lofters have a perfect view of the annual festivities taking place downtown: The Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Bridge-2-Bridge 5K and the CoreFirst Bank & Trust Concert Series.

Kansas Ave Lofts

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Named after Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad founder Cyrus K. Holliday (1826-1900), the Holliday Park neighborhood centers on a 1.5 acre triangular park at 12th and Western. As Topeka underwent rapid growth through the late 1880s, houses started to fill up the prairie and nearby residents formed the Holliday Park Association to beautify the park.

One of Topeka’s oldest neighborhoods, Potwin Place is well-known for its classic and colorful Victorian style homes. Potwin is a community favorite, especially at Christmastime, when neighbors join forces to decorate the homes and intersections with lights and themed decor. It’s common to hear carols being sung or even to run into Santa himself during a tour through the neighborhood to see the lights during the holidays. Halloween and Fourth of July also are popular holidays to celebrate in Potwin with decorations, parades and activities.

The surrounding turn-of-the-century neighborhood contains some of the oldest homes in Topeka and boasts a myriad of distinctive houses from all periods and styles: Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Bungalow, Prairie, Tudor. Here resided (and resides) a diverse community: working class to business executive - bankers, educators, journalists and more; from railroad treasurer to railroad conductor, widow of an Episcopal Bishop of Kansas to Jewish merchant. Like most older urban districts, it experienced decline following World War II, but recent years have witnessed a revival as more and more young people (and not so young) restore and repaint their Victorian/Edwardian homes. The Holliday Park neighborhood is bound by Topeka Boulevard on the east, 9th Street on the north, Buchanan Street on the west and Huntoon Street on the south.

Holliday Park

Potwin Place

26 | Topeka

The Potwin Place Historic District was named for Charles Wolcott Potwin, a banker from Zanesville, Ohio, who purchased 70 acres of land west of Topeka in 1869. When Potwin divided his land into plots and offered them for sale in 1885, he required that any home built on the lot would cost at least $2,000 to build. Potwin’s idea of an exclusive, prosperous development was realized as all of the homes built exceeded the minimum figure, some by a considerable amount. From 1888 through 1899, Potwin Place was recognized as its own city, until annexed into Topeka. Potwin Place is bound by Broadmoor Avenue on the east, Grove on the north, Woodlawn Avenue on the west and Willow Avenue on the south.

WESTBORO Westboro is a central-Topeka neighborhood featuring large homes in Italian Renaissance Revival, French Eclectic and Colonial styles. The neighborhood features winding streets of stately homes and expansive green spaces. With several art galleries, eateries and boutiques nearby, Westboro is a high-end, trendy neighborhood ideally suited for individuals who like to walk to destinations. Many of the homes in Westboro, built in the 1920s and 1930s, became model homes for the L.F. Garlinghouse Company of Topeka, which sold the floor plans via annual catalogs throughout the United States. The Westboro neighborhood is bound by Huntoon Street on the north, Oakley on the east, 17th Street on the south and Gage Boulevard on the west.


Westboro Mart

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TOPEKA NEIGHBORHOODS ROCKFIRE AT THE LAKE Rockfire at the Lake is a highly desirable, Topeka subdivision, featuring Dultmeier Homes, in Shawnee Heights School District. Located off SE 45th and Croco Road, Rockfire at the Lake features many amenities, such as gorgeous views of Lake Shawnee, walking trails, access to the Lake Shawnee Golf Course and Park, clubhouse access with an indoor pool and fitness center and much more. Not to mention, the beautiful homes!


Sterling Chase

The Oakland neighborhood of Topeka (not to be confused with Oakland, Calif.) is an outstanding tight-knit community with unique looks and lifestyle. This Mexican American enclave is home to Mexican-style bakeries, restaurants, bilingual churches and the former Guadalupe school, thus, blending the best of Kansan and Mexican cultures. The neighborhood has beautiful murals by leading artists Maria Guzman and Jamie Colon. Some important buildings in Oakland include El Centro de Topeka, a Puerto Rican restaurant called El Criollo MontaĂąez Restaurant, the Santa Fe shops, the historic Santa Fe train tracks, the Oakland Community Center and more.

Oakland Oakland

Rockfire at the Lake

28 | Topeka



The Lake Sherwood community, located just outside the city limits southwest of Topeka, is thriving, lively place in which to call home. Lake Sherwood is also home to one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the Topeka community. Long trolls, friendly neighbors and a feeling of living outside of town while still being a short distance from city conveniences are just a few of the great aspects of living in Sherwood.

This beautiful subdivision located in northwest Topeka is perfect for anyone looking to settle down in a quiet, cozy neighborhood. Offering large lots and a walking trail, Sterling Chase guarantees wide-open spaces. Enjoy the peaceful rural environment, just a short drive from intercity amenities. Located in the Seaman School District, Sterling Chase offers the room for your family to grow.

Lake Sherwood

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Relocation Guide | 31

Family. Friends. Community. Garrison Ins and Fin Svcs Inc Jim Garrison, Agent 6750 SW 29th St Topeka, KS 66614 Business: 785-272-0332 Mon-Fri 9:00am to 5:30pm Saturday 9:00am to 11:00am Any other wacky time by appt


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ACCEPTANCE & INCLUSION Topeka has continually shown itself to be a forward-thinking community. From its founding as a free state capital city to present day and the Equality House standing as a symbol of LGBTQIA rights, Topekans have played a role in the struggle equality and justice for all. Moving here means entering a community that puts a high value on acceptance and inclusion. From the thousands of free community events happening year-round to the diverse committees and board that serve Topeka, we want to make sure everyone feels welcome here. Because of this air of acceptance, groups share their cultural heritage with the community through much-anticipated activities and events featuring art, music, cultural traditions and cuisine.

In September, the annual Inter-tribal Pow Wow, a celebration of Native American culture, takes place at Lake Shawnee, replete with fullcostume dancing, food and crafts created by Native American artisans.

MANA de Topeka is a Hispanic civic organization that meets monthly and provides leadership training, a mentor program for Latina youth and scholarships for higher education.

The German-American Club of Topeka has more than 100 members and meets twice a month. The German-American Club sponsors Mardi Gras (Fasching) and a popular Oktoberfest that draws hundreds of people from across northeast Kansas to enjoy bratwursts, bierocks and German potato salad.

Perhaps one of the oldest events in Topeka is the Fiesta Mexicana held annually the third week in July. Fiesta attracts entertainers, music and dancers from cities across the country as well as Mexico. The multi-day festival features authentically prepared tamales, tacos and other fare, as well as music, art, a carnival and more. India Association of Topeka provides a platform for social interaction and an introduction to the diverse facets of Indian culture. The organization raises funds for local community organizations through India Fest, an annual gala where locals are introduced to Indian food and entertainment.

34 | Topeka

The African-American community offers numerous social and civic organizations for involvement, including the NAACP, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Jack and Jill, Links and myriad of religious organizations. The Chinese-American Association meets a few times a year to celebrate its heritage. The group has been established in Topeka for more than 30 years and gathers together for picnics and Chinese New Year celebrations.

The International Center at Washburn University promotes the value of international awareness and strives to meet the needs of students and faculty as well as businesses and organizations in the community. The organization facilitates cultural interaction among students, faculty and the community. Many Washburn students also participate in study abroad trips with faculty and participate in various exchange and internship programs.


BRINGING DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION TO THE FOREFRONT The Greater Topeka Partnership’s iNCLUDED initiative is working diligently to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) awareness throughout Topeka & Shawnee County. iNCLUDED, which was launched in the spring of 2017, works to provide the resources and assistance to create diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within area businesses and organizations. The organization aims to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive business culture throughout Topeka & Shawnee County by educating the community in the area of DEI, by serving as a convening, peer networking group that shares best practices and problem-solving techniques throughout the community and by communicating the business case and competitive advantage that businesses have when they focus on DEI within the work place. According to a study by McKinsey and Company, companies that are considered gender-diverse outperform those companies that are not by 15%, and companies that are ethnically diverse outperform by 35%. In a separate study conducted by Forbes, businesses that are labeled as “diverse” and “managed” have employees that have a 2.3 times higher cash flow over a three-year period. This study shows that the benefits for a business to become more diverse go beyond just human resources. iNCLUDED has partnered with many local businesses who have also made a commitment to make DEI a main priority for the success of their businesses or organization. These businesses/ organizations include: City of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas One Gas, KTWU,

Washburn University, Forge, Momentum 2022, JM Smucker, Mars Wrigley Confectionary, SE2, Security Benefit, FHLBank Topeka, YWCA, Bartlett & West, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Topeka Public Schools, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Westar - an Evergy Company and Express Employment Professionals, with more joining every day. “YWCA's approach to racial justice goes beyond changing hearts and minds. We strive to transform communities, systems, and public policy.” Kathleen Marker, CEO of YWCA and Chair of iNCLUDED, said. “Everyone can participate in transforming our community and being involved with iNCLUDED gives our business community the opportunity to connect with the community at large, learn about best practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion and find ways to recruit and retain staff that reflect the rich diversity in our community. It also sends a message outside our community that we value diversity.” iNCLUDED holds monthly meetings, usually at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, where attendees share success stories, best practices and problem-solving techniques that further advance the mission of iNCLUDED: to lead, educate, and partner with businesses to create equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce cultures, promoting economic and inclusive prosperity. The meetings are the second Wednesday of every month. If you would like more information about Included, please contact Barbara Stapleton at 785.246.6204 or Barbara.Stapleton@ TopekaPartnership.com.

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

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(fire, police, sheriff, ambulance) 911 Poison Control Center 800.222.1222 Stormont Vail Health 785.354.6000 St. Francis Health 785.295.8000 Highway Patrol Mobile: *47 Kansas Turnpike Authority Road Conditions 511 Kansas Turnpike Authority Emergency Line *KTA (*582)


Ambulance 785.233.2400 Kansas Highway Patrol 785.296.6800 Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office 785.368.2200 Topeka Fire Department 785.368.4000 Topeka Police Department 785.368.9551


Kansas State Driver’s License Station 785.266.7380 Voter Registration 785.251.5900 Social Security Administration National SSA Office. 888.327.1271 Deaf or Hard of Hearing 800.325.0778 Braille Services 410.965.6414 Motor Vehicle Tags 785.291.5415

EMERGENCY DENTAL Adventure Dental & Vision 400 SW 29th St 785.783.5981 Gage Center Dental Group 1271 SW Woodhull St 785.273.4770 Topeka Smiles 2400 SW 29th St Suite 224 785.267.6886 Heinbach-Larkin Dental 5100 SW 28th St., Suite B 785.271.1002



The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus 1700 SW 7th St 785.295.8000


Stormont Vail Hospital 1500 SW 10th Ave 785.354.6000

Westar Energy 800.383.1183 Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. 785.478.3444

Kansas Gas Service 800.794.4780


Water and Sewer Service (City of Topeka) Rural Water District #4 (Shawnee County)


785.368.3111 785.286.1729

Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas can help locate child care openings. A regulated child care resource and referral agency, the organization serves a 33-county area. The agency assists parents and child care providers alike. Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas 1100 SW Wanamaker Road, Suite 101 Topeka, Kan. 66604 785.357.5171 Child Care Referral Hotline: 877.678.2548 east.ks.childcareaware.org

36 | Topeka

Topeka ER & Hospital 6135 SW 17th St 785.670.6760

URGENT CARE / WALK- IN CLINICS Cotton O’Neil Croco 2909 SE Walnut Dr 785.267.0744

CITY BUS Topeka Metro 785.783.7000


Cotton O’Neil Corporate View 601 Corporate View 785.234.2400

Enterprise Truck Rental 2009 SW Westport Drive 785.273.3819

Cotton O’Neil Garfield 901 Garfield Ave 785.354.9591


Cotton O’Neil Mulvane 823 SW Mulvane St 785.354.9591 Cotton O’Neil North 4505 NW Fielding Rd 785.270.0080 Cotton O’Neil Urish 6725 SW 29th St 785.478.1500 GraceMed-Capitol Family Clinic 1400 SW Huntoon 785.861.8800 Urgent medical and dental care for established patients GraceMed-Highland Park Family Clinic 2025 SE California 785.861.8800 Urgent medical and dental care for established patients KMCMedAssist 4011 SW 29th St 785.272.2161

Pedego Electric Bikes 2828 SW Arrowhead Rd 785.548.5446 Topeka Metro Bikes TopekaMetroBikes.org 785.730.8615

FITNESS HillTop Strong Fitness Training 214.460.7149 Topeka Fit Body Boot Camp 5626 SW 29th St 785.408.4269

LIMOUSINE SERVICE Cortez Transportation Company 785.233.5466 Black Label Transportation 785.383.7099



The Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st St, serves as an advocate for animal welfare and provides sanctuary for animals in need of compassionate care and protection. Helping Hands also fosters the adoption of healthy animals into responsible homes and reunites lost animals with their owners. They can be reached at 785.233.7325, hhhstopeka.org.


The Topeka Animal Control Unit is responsible for issuing dog and cat licenses. These licenses may be obtained at the Animal Control Office at the Law Enforcement Center, 320 S Kansas Ave, or at the City Express Services desk located at 620 SE Madison. This office is open to the public Monday- Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration forms also are available at the Helping Hands Humane Society and various veterinary clinics and may be mailed to the Animal Control Office. The annual license fee for a sterilized dog or cat is $8; for an unneutered dog or cat the fee is $20.


Hill’s Bark Park gives dogs an opportunity to run and play with other dogs in a leash-free controlled environment. Hill’s Bark Park is located at Gage Park in a former softball field surrounded by a six-foot fence near the southeast corner of 10th Ave and Gage Blvd.

Amtrak 785.357.5362

VETERINARY EMERGENCY Emergency Animal Clinic of Topeka 5501 SW 29th St #3 785.272.2926

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Topeka Zoo

QUALITY OF PLACE WHAT MAKES TOPEKA AN AWESOME PLACE TO LIVE IN OR MOVE TO? In some cases, this is an easy question to answer; the people and the places. In other instances, the question is much more complex. You often hear people saying things like “this project will improve quality of place.” But what does that really mean? Essentially, it is the question at the beginning of this article, what makes Topeka an awesome place to live in or move to?

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Sky Zone @skyzonetopeka

38 | Topeka

When thinking about that question a few things will come to mind. Things like great schools, access to health care and affordable housing. Those are parts of what make Topeka a great place to live but the list isn’t limited to only those things. In reality, what makes Topeka an awesome place to live is so much more. According to Livability.com, there are eight key pieces of criteria that influence quality of a city. The criteria include amenities, demographics, economy, education, healthcare, housing, social and civic capital and transportation and infrastructure. Topeka thrives in many of these categories, and the ones in which it doesn’t, you can guarantee steady work is constantly being done to make improvements.

Amenities are things such as libraries, art and entertainment, food and drink establishments and access to outdoor space like parks and recreational areas and Topeka has amenities to boast about. Topeka is home to Lake Shawnee which was voted the top tourist attraction in Kansas by Expedia. Topeka also is the home of an award-winning library. The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library was the winner of Library of the Year in 2016. Topeka also has a great art and entertainment scene, from the NOTO Arts District to the Topeka Performing Art Center and the Topeka Community Theatre. With five breweries and three wineries and an array of local restaurants, Topeka definitely has the food and drink area covered. The demographics of Topeka is a story in itself. Topeka is 83% Caucasian and 17% other races; however, Topeka has long been a champion of equality for all. Topeka has been at the crossroads to freedom since its founding in 1854. Topeka and her people fought for freedom before and during the Civil War in what is known as Bleeding Kansas. Topeka also fought for desegregation and is home to the Brown V Board of Education National Historic Site. Topeka was active in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the present-day fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

The Pennant

The Topeka economy has been strong and steady over the last decade and boasts a diverse job market. Topeka’s main industries are education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, finance, manufacturing, public service, transportation and construction. The six public school districts in Topeka & Shawnee County offer curricula that reflect current educational trends and technology for preschool through high school graduation. Computer labs, upto-date science labs, interdisciplinary team teaching, award winning debate and library programs and championship athletic programs. Topeka is also home to Washburn University and Washburn Tech. Topeka’s regional medical community is nationally recognized for offering highquality, low cost care. A multitude of community outreach services, including neighborhood clinics, prevention programs, and services for children and low-income individuals, which are provided by our two general hospitals and five specialized hospitals that collectively employ over 8,000 people. Specialized infant care, rehabilitation services, surgical procedures, older adult programs and comprehensive heart services are offered in high-tech, newly remodeled facilities. Over 237 physicians from 42

Lake Shawnee

specialties are members of the Shawnee County Medical Society. The Kansas Dental Board reports there are 75 practicing dentists in Shawnee County. Topeka boasts communities like Oakland, Highland Park and Potwin that were annexed into the city many years ago to newer neighborhoods like Shadywood, Clarion and MacFarland Farm and established central city neighborhoods like Westboro, Westwood, Tennessee Town and College Hill. Whether you like historic Victorian homes, sprawling ranches, Tudors peeking out from a canopy of trees or new homes built to the owner’s specifications, you’ll find housing to fit every taste.


Topeka is situated at the crossroads of several major highways and interstates, six of which converge in Topeka, providing easy access to on-and off-ramps and to all points in the city. Also, I-70 is the only interstate highway traveling from Topeka west into Colorado. Due to a $2.6 billion comprehensive transportation program, Kansas roads are ranked fourth in the nation in quality. These interstate connections have drawn more than 20 interand intra-state carriers to the area. So, what makes Topeka an awesome place to live in or move to? All the things listed above and so much more.

Gage Park

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Visitors and Topekans alike love a good celebration! There are a variety of festivals and special events throughout the year, from cultural and performing arts festivals to parades and professional events. The following is a list of some of our community’s favorite annual events. Check out the full community calendar at Topeka365.org. January Kansas Day February Chocolate After Dark March Restaurant Week St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Street Fair Kansas Kids Wrestling April Tulip Time Bridge2Bridge 5K Women’s Forum State of Community May Travel & Tourism Week Brownbag Concert Series NHRA Nationals Country & Food Truck Festival Small Business Awards

June Brownbag Concert Series Camp Topeka Movie on the Lawn Second Saturday Concert Series Mulvane Art Fair Germanfest Sunflower Music Festival Heartland Military Day Kansas Chocolate Festival

September Movie on the Lawn Jazz & Food Truck State of Education Tap That Aaron Douglas Art Fair Cider Days Great Topeka Duck Race Huff ‘n Puff Balloon Rally Inter-Tribal Pow Wow

July Brownbag Concert Series Movie on the Lawn Second Saturday Concert Series Rock & Food Truck Festival Fiesta Mexicana Shawnee County Fair Spirit of Kansas Celebration Sunflower State Games

October Apple Festival Boo It Downtown Boo at the Zoo Science & Tech Fest Forge Birthday Party Business Expo Mother Earth News Fair

August Brownbag Concert Series Second Saturday Concert Series Cruising the Capitol Touch-A-Truck National Night Out

November Veterans Day Parade Small Business Saturday Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade Living Loft Tour December WinterFest Winter Wonderland Forge New Year’s Eve Party

curiosity library...

Feed your at the

and attend hundreds of events and choose favorites from thousands of books and movies. Your library card will make you feel right at home whether you visit us in person, on a bookmobile or our digital branch tscpl.org.

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has been a community treasure for 150 years. A great library never gets old.

1515 SW 10th Ave | Topeka, KS | 785 580-4400 | tscpl.org M-F 9 am -9 pm | Sat 9 am -6 pm | Sun N ooN -9 pm Š2019 TSCPL Relocation Guide 2020



The crown jewel of Topeka, the Kansas State Capitol is one of the most popular stops in Kansas. Construction started on the building in 1866 and took 37 years. When the Capitol was finished in 1903, Kansas owed no debt. Materials used in the building came from all around the world. Later, world-renowned artists added murals to its expansive walls on the second and third floors and to the rotunda ceiling. A 13-year renovation completed in 2014 revealed artwork that had been painted over. The $332 million effort included replacing the copper dome, which is expected to patina green again in about 40 years. While not all fixtures underwent restoration, modern reproductions of desks and lights brought back its original splendor. After the renovation, visitor attendance doubled, with more than 80,000 visitors in 2016. The Kansas Statehouse is the only one in the nation where you can climb to the top of the dome and go outside for a bird’s-eye view of the city. The Capitol stands 306 feet, the tallest structure in Topeka. (Topeka’s City Council has never approved construction of a taller building.) Ad Astra

42 | Topeka

Dome Chandlelier

Dome Tour

Dome Tour

John Steurt Curry’s “Tragic Prelude”

Ad Astra The state added the Ad Astra statue in 2002, created by artist Richard Bergen of Salina and produced in Topeka. The figure, representing a Kaw warrior shooting his arrow at the North Star, which stands more than 20 feet tall atop the Capitol dome, is hollow, made of silicon bronze and weighs 4,420 pounds. Ad Astra comes from the state motto, Ad Astra per Aspera, Latin for “To the stars through adversity.” Dome Chandelier Don’t forget to look up! During restoration, designers replicated the fixture because during World War II the original chandelier was donated to a scrap metal drive. John Steuart Curry’s murals In 1937, a group of newspaper editors commissioned John Steuart Curry, Kansas native, to paint three sections of murals in the Statehouse. Beginning in the east wing, he immortalized John Brown in his now famous “Tragic Prelude,” depicting the largerthan-life Brown, arms out-stretched with a Bible in one hand and

a rifle in the other. The painting’s subject stirred controversy at the time. More was brought when Curry’s “Sunrise to Sunset Over the Prairie” in the east wing was scrutinized. Curry’s response, it is said, was to add skunks to the image (go find them!). In 1942, Curry left the state of Kansas refusing to finish the murals and never returned. His works remain some of the most recognized public art in the nation. State Library While you can pick up a fiction book with a state library card today, its initial purpose was to house strictly legal and historical documents for the executive and legislative branches of state government.

The Kansas Stateho use is the only one in the nation where you can climb to the top of th e dome and go outside for a bird’s-eye view of th e city We don’t call it Top C ity for nothin’.

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a Baby! Everyone Larovfoer s d Conser vation the Topeka Zoo an

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Tropical Rainforest Exhibit



The Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is one of the Capital City’s star attractions. The Zoo is committed to providing expert care to its animal inhabitants. It offers visitors and Topekans alike numerous opportunities to learn about the wildlife and environmental conservation. There are numerous zoos out there but we think once you become a little more familiar with The Topeka Zoo, you’ll agree that it definitely sets itself apart from the pack. Here are seven things you didn’t know about the Topeka Zoo (probably).

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Trumpeter Swans @topekazoo

1. It was the first zoo in the U.S. to utilize a glass aviary for its indoor tropical rainforest exhibit. That’s right. Not the second but the first ever zoo to incorporate an all glass in-flight aviary for its indoor Tropical Rainforest exhibit. The enclosure allows birds such as scarlet macaws and roseate spoonbills to fly freely. You will also find numerous animals indigenous to warmer climates roaming about at their leisure, like the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth! This type of exhibit has been duplicated many times since, but Topeka did it first! 2. Animals are happy and healthy. The Topeka Zoo dedicated to keeping its animal population happy, healthy and wise. That’s why mental and physical simulation is an essential part of each day. Exercise is key, of course. But when trying to provide additional mental and emotional stimulation, zoo staff try to simulate species specific behavior through various enrichment activities. This often involves a change in environment, such as alternating toys or changing the location of their food. 3. One of the few zoos in the U.S. that successfully breeds Trumpeter Swans. As a part of its breeding and conservation programs, the Topeka Zoo breeds Trumpeter Swans in order to release them into the wild each year. This breed of swan is considered state endangered in many states (including Kansas), and the Topeka Zoo is one of the few zoos in the U.S. that is successful in breeding Trumpeters. You can find these beauties either floating in the pond or along its banks next to the Adventure Trail.  4. Elders are well taken care of! When their geriatric animals need a little extra care, the Topeka Zoo is on top of it! Hooray for elder equality! Of course, animals survive longer in the captivity as compared to in the wild. So, zoos around the world have been working hard to navigate the world of geriatric animals. One way the Topeka Zoo staff helps their elderly animals keep in good health is by training them in the preferred behavior for preventative care. Because without proper training, an animal can cause harm to themselves or others when getting

routine procedures like blood work, radio graphs or sonograms. Therefore, it’s detrimental that training happens so that the animals can receive these critical treatments. 5. Zoo members are eligible for the AZA Reciprocity Program. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Topeka Zoo is able to offer its members a free or discounted admission to other AZA-accredited zoos, like Omaha’s Henry Doorley Zoo & Aquarium and the Kansas City Zoo, Mo.   6. They provide education & youth engagement. In addition to the numerous events offered each week, there are various educational opportunities to be had at the Topeka Zoo. Take your child to experience educational series such as Discovery Home School. This program is designed to provide an up close and personal encounter with science concepts, vocabulary, and interactions with the zoo. Your children will be able to meet live animals and have hands-on activity time (e.g., craft, game, scavenger hunt, etc.). See other educational opportunities here! The zoo also offers youth engagement through the Ecoclub, an environmental awareness group targeted at teens, and the Topeka Zoo Youth Council.  The Topeka Zoo also offers a variety of camps during all major school breaks (spring, summer and winter). 7. Their intern positions are highly coveted.  It’s true. Due to the intimate size of the Topeka Zoo, the interns are able to be cross-trained with multiple breeds and species. Whereas, if they worked at a large zoo, such as the San Diego Zoo, they’d most likely work with only one species because many of the animal programs are so large! This cross-training is quite valuable because it provides the interns with additional experience in their field.  While you’re here visiting the zoo, be sure to check out our Family Fun Getaway tour! For more details, check out VisitTopeka.com/Things-To-Do/Family-Fun-Getaway.

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DISCOVERY CENTER By Kansas Children’s Discovery Center When kids play, they’re not just having fun, they’re learning all the skills they’ll need to grow into healthy, strong adults who can put their brains to work solving problems. We now know that playing outside is important to how kids develop, plus, it’s serious fun! Here are a few of our favorite reasons to plan some outside playtime as part of your family vacation.

Gets Everyone Moving After a long ride stuck in the car or too much screen time, the whole family can benefit from getting out and about. Moving around a play structure or climbing a tree not only feels great, it helps kids develop their muscles as they try new things. They also develop language as adults talk to them about climbing under, over, through and around. Children feel the meaning of words when moving their bodies, an experience far more memorable than hearing the words out of context. Encourages Unstructured, Imaginative Play The most productive play for children is led by the children themselves. Getting outside allows great opportunities for exploring natural objects at their own pace and using their imaginations. When adults follow the lead of kids, they find themselves participating in amazing adventures, being pulled down secret paths, and discovering magical objects under every rock and stump. Families make great memories together when kids get to take the lead. Lets Kids Take Play Risks There’s a good reason children gravitate toward what looks risky to adults; they’re seeking the thrill that motivates them try new things. Children learn by taking risks and they should be encouraged to climb, swing and jump when appropriate. Experiencing excitement and even a little fear helps them learn to regulate their emotions and develop self-confidence. Adults should let kids take the lead on risky play, letting them decide when to try something new and when something is too scary to try, but getting outside is a great way to start.

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Helps Develop Social Skills Less crowded outdoor spaces tend to allow children the space and time to make new friends at their own pace. When kids meet on the playground, they learn how to communicate with kids of different ages and backgrounds. When traveling, it’s a great way to meet local families and get tips from other parents in a relaxed environment. Gets Kids Learning About Nature Exploring a new place can really get kids talking about what makes your travel destination different than home. Seeing new trees, plants, animals and climates can all get kids asking why places have different characteristics. Ask children to find things that are different and things that are the same. Seek out animal habitats together. How Does the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Encourage Outdoor Play? The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center has earned national recognition as a Certified Nature Explore Classroom from the Nature Explore program. Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden and pathway areas, and natural materials for building and creating art. Our Outdoor Classroom is 4.5 acres of serious fun, including outdoor obstacles and climbing challenges, a treehouse, bike and trike course, stream and pond. Visit KansasDiscovery.org for a full list of indoor and outdoor exhibits and tips on planning your visit.

REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®


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Topeka is home to two premier indoor trampoline parks: Sky Zone and Leap. Both parks offer healthy playtime for kids, adults and families. Did someone say “high-flying fun”? From tikes to teens, Leap Trampoline Park has your child’s next birthday bash covered with a free jump area, rock wall climbing, dodgeball and more. Be sure to check out their weekend pricing, Toddler Time and Cosmic Night events.

Sky Zone is a great place to work on your coordination, play a game of SkySlam (trampoline basketball) or simply just find a new way to get active. Special attractions include the Warrior Course, Freestyle Jump, Ultimate Dodgeball, SkyJoust, Foam Zone and Free Climb.


Sky Zone

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Sky Zone @sz_topeka

GAGE PARK A staple attraction for visitors seeking an outdoor escape, Gage Park is perfect for family getaways. Home to the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center, Helen Hocker Theater, Hill’s Pet Bark Park and Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center, the park already has many forms of entertainment to choose from. But Gage Park predates all the aforementioned attractions. The history of the park begins in 1899, when the heirs of Guilford Gage donated 80 - acres of land west of Topeka between 6th and 10th Streets. In the years to come, 80 additional acres would be donated, making Gage Park the biggest park in Topeka. In addition to being the largest park in Topeka, Gage Park provides more diverse attractions than any other park. Including

its many lures, the park offers a play park comprised of fun jungle-gym equipment as well as Animaland, featuring concrete animals and creatures for kids to climb on. There’s a shoe (think the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe), rhinos, a boat with two walruses and a giant anchor, an elephant, an octopus, a pair of kangaroos, a giant blue whale, an alligator, two gorillas, a tortoise and hare and a pair of camels. If the kids haven’t tired themselves out, take them to the vintage carousel. This grand old carousel was built in 1908 and houses a Wurlitzer style band organ. Take a stroll through the Reinisch Rose Garden. This lush outdoor paradise features more than 5,500 plants and 400 varieties of roses. The flowers are in bloom from May

to October each year. Tulip Time, an annual celebration of spring florals, brings blooms that fill the rock garden the second and third weeks of April. A short walk from the Rose Garden is the Logan Test Garden, a reflecting pool and the Doran Rock Garden. The annual flowers in the Rock Garden are at their best June through August. Across from the Blaisdell pool is a quaint amphitheater. In the warm months enjoy musicals, concerts, plays and more. Gage Park also plays host to many annual events including India Fest, a fundraising event that celebrates Indian culture through traditional food, dance and more. Plan your outdoor escape to Gage Park today!

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LAKE SHAWNEE Beautiful Lake Shawnee is one of the capital city’s star attractions, full of picture-perfect scenery, fun recreational activities and helpful amenities. This ever-evolving lake is perfect for your family’s next outdoor excursion in Topeka. In 2017 Expedia.com dubbed “Relaxing at Lake Shawnee” the best thing to do in Kansas. Citing the “babbling brooks, boating, swimming” and more as a major draw, the travel website touted the lake’s picturesque setting and many family-friendly events that take place annually. Lake Shawnee offers both fun on water and land. Take the family for a ride on the water at Adventure Cove. Paddle boats, water trikes, canoes and kayaks are available to rent; rates are by the half hour. In addition to fishing, sailing and swimming, your family

can visit the 1,100-acre park surrounding the lake. Explore foot trails, a golf course, a marina, tennis courts, shelter houses, ball diamonds and a campground that has 140 sites and is visited each year by people from 48 states and several countries which features 30 and 50 amp hookups and a dump station just across the road. Lake Shawnee hosts an 11-acre arboretum and 9.5-acres of beautiful gardens. In April, the Ted Ensley Gardens comes alive with color during Tulip Time! With over 50 varieties of tulips in bloom not only at Lake Shawnee but all over the city, this annual celebration draws in visitors from all over the country. Although you can find beauty at the lake year-round, Tulip Time, and springtime in general, is prime selfie season at the lake. So, go ahead and choose that perfect filter and get snap-happy!

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HEARTLAND MOTORSPORTS PARK GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING! Topeka is not only the capital of Kansas, it’s also the capital of the Midwest motorsports scene. Topeka boasts the fastest track in the world at Heartland Motorsports Park. What’s more, Heartland Park Topeka stands out as one of the world’s finest, multi-purpose racing and entertainment destinations. Located on the south side of Topeka, Kansas, the facility covers approximately 750 acres and provides ample room for its many racing and motor sports venues. The facility features a championship, NHRA-sanctioned 1/4-mile drag strip, four-level sponsor-suite tower, a 2.5-mile road course with four different configurations, a 3/8-mile banked clay oval, a 22-acre asphalt pad for autocross and drift events. A world class motocross track was also added to the complex in 2016. The 23-acre paddock area features a mix of asphalt parking and access roads as well as grass parking and camping areas for car shows, swap meets and other large footprint events.

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Heartland Motorsports Park has been a staple in the Topeka area for over 30 years by bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the community each and every year. Since 2016, the updates and renovations that have been done to the facility have been tremendous. Consequently, Heartland Motorsports Park’s 2019 season is expected to be one of the busiest to date. Along with the coveted NHRA Menards Heartland Nationals coming to Heartland Motorsports Park on June 7-9 of this year, Heartland is also welcoming many other nationally recognized events. The Mustang Club of America is bringing a national event cleverly named “Stampede to The Heartland” to Topeka on July 17-21. This event will include activities on the drag strip, road course and autocross pad as well as a car show to celebrate Mustang’s 55th Birthday. If racing on two wheels is more your style, Heartland has the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association national event coming to their facility on June 28-30. During the event, rider’s will

compete towards a national championship in one of the largest vintage motorcycle racing groups in the world. 2019 brings what is arguably the most diverse event to Heartland to date. The 24 Hours of Lemons will be here on August 24-25. What makes this group so interesting is that, to compete, the car has to cost less than $500 total. This gives everyone an opportunity to be involved, without much of an investment. The 24 Hours of Lemons race is a 14-hour road course event where teams can have multiple drivers compete throughout the day, and the vehicles are like nothing you’ve ever seen before! With over 56 days filled with road course racing, Heartland Motorsports Park definitely stays busy, but that’s not all that they have going on at the facility. Heartland is bringing the American Sprint Car Series to their 3/8 Mile Dirt Oval in 2019. Dirt will be flying on May 17, June 22, July 20 and August 24 in Topeka, which is more Sprint Car events than they’ve ever hosted.

Since Heartland is known for their drag strip, it’s only right that they get back to their roots in 2019. The facility is hosting 13 open Test & Tunes where race cars and street cars alike can enjoy some fun while seeing just how fast their car is in the quarter mile. Heartland is also heavily promoting that their 9 Summit Series ET Bracket Races will also include the opportunity to Test & Tune if bracket racing isn’t your cup of tea. With the many other renovations Heartland has completed in the last few years, the 3-year old 2.1-mile Motocross track has been the talk of the town. The facility is excited to host the Kansas Motocross Championship Series twice in 2019, on May 11-12 and November 2-3. Heartland Motorsports Park truly has something for everyone, racers and spectators alike. They invite you to come out to any of their 144 days of ast, fun-filled events!

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TRUCKHENGE “We just like to have a little fun out here,” Ron Lessman, owner and operator of Truckhenge, said. Truckhenge, which is located on Lessman’s property just outside of Topeka, 4124 NE Brier, is an eclectic mixture of art ranging from sculptures to graffiti painted trucks standing vertically and everything in between. Truckhenge was created in 2000 after Lessman was told he either needed to use the trucks or move them off the property. The idea of making the trucks into mechanical monuments came from other sites throughout the United States like Cadillac Ranch in Texas. “We may have been born of conflict, but we were raised on humor and creativity,” Lessman said.

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Lessman began his unconventional art project by standing the trucks vertically and anchoring them with 25 tons of concrete each. Lessman, who didn’t have much interest in art growing up, soon after began painting, sculpting and creating all other types of art in his free time outside of his work on the farm and slowly over the years transformed his property into what it is today. “People ask what my biggest motivation is, boredom I just got bored,” Lessman said. In addition to the vast array of art spread throughout the property, a 25-acre pond sits on the back part of the property where visitors are invited to swim and fish. Lessman also built a stage that is used for public and private concerts, fundraisers and other types of events.

“I’d like to get a few more parties going on or more events on the pond,” Lessman said In 2011, Lessman was the winner of the Arts Connect Non-Traditional Arty award for his work on Truckhenge and his other art throughout the property. Around 3,000 people from all over the country visit Truckhenge each year free of charge. Make your way out to Truckhenge for the bohemian style art, the fishing or just for the fun of it. While you’re out there keep an eye out for the friendly peacocks that roam the property. Remember, this attraction is on private property. So, before you plan your trip to this unique family farm, be sure to call ahead: (785) 234-3486.

COMBAT AIR MUSEUM For over 40 years the Combat Air Museum has served as an educational institution dedicated to the preservation of U.S. military aviation history. Located at the Topeka Regional Airport on Forbes Field, it is one of a handful of major aviation museums in the United States to be situated on an active air base. The museum has on display 41 military aircraft, from WWI to the present day, in addition to multiple static displays of missiles, rockets, aircraft engines, artifacts and dioramas. Volunteer tour guides are available to interact with those guests who want a little extra information on the historical treasures on display.

The Air Heritage Gallery features more than 50 paintings, models and numerous photographs and prints depicting combat aircraft flown by the military since WWI. After viewing the museum collection guests will enjoy checking out a well-stocked gift shop and interacting with museum volunteers. Open January and February: Monday-Sunday: Noon to 4:30 p.m., with no new visitors admitted after 3:30 p.m. Open March through December: Monday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with no new visitors admitted after 3:30 p.m.

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Before Evel Knievel became the legendary daredevil we all know, he was just a kid from Butte, Montana. Knievel, who was born Robert Craig Knievel on Oct. 17, 1938, was always an adrenaline junky who was drawn to thrills and spills of all kinds. At a young age, the aspiring daredevil witnessed Joie Chitwood’s Thrill Show, an automobile stunt driving exhibition where drivers would perform jumps, spins, rolls and stunts. Chitwood, who Knievel credits as his inspiration, started as a welder modifying race cars right here in Topeka, Kansas. After witnessing the Chitwood Thrill Show, Knievel quickly went to work on his new passion. He went home and removed the garage door and set it up as a ramp to jump his bicycle. This was a young Knievel’s first taste of the daredevil lifestyle, thrilling the neighborhood kids with his bike jumps. It didn’t stop here for the young Knievel. In fact, it was where the icon first began to develop the persona of the high-flying daredevil on two wheels. Knievel has always lived his life dangerously, even as a young man. After a string of trouble with the law and a police chase on his motorcycle, Knievel ended up in jail. He was given an ultimatum of join the Army or go to prison. He liked to live dangerously but he wasn’t stupid, and Knievel joined the army in the late 1950s. After returning home from his service in the Army, Knievel held a string of different occupations. At one point he owned, coached and played for his own semi-pro hockey team, the Butte Bombers. He also started his own hunting and fishing service, sold insurance, worked for a mining company and operated a Honda Motorcycle dealership. After these failed business attempts, Knievel thought of his next opportunity and that’s when he remembered the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show he saw as a boy. This is when Knievel came up with the idea of his own motorcycle thrill show and thus the legend was born.


The Evel Knievel Museum at Historic Harley-Davidson is the ultimate collection of Knievel memorabilia. The museum features the bikes that launched the fearless daredevil through the air. See the beat-up and broken helmets that saved Knievel on more than one occasion. Get a close-up look at the fully restored Mack truck and trailer that includes Knievel’s living quarters. Climb onto a motorcycle and feel what it’s like to fly sky high just like the legend did on the virtual reality jump over police SUV’s. The Evel Knievel Museum is a tribute to the Godfather of Extreme Sports and is just like the larger-than-life daredevil himself… Big, bold and of epic proportions. EvelKnievelMuseum.com

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FORE!!! Looking to work on your back swing? Practice your putting stroke? Get your birdy on? Look no further than the capital city. Topeka is home to several premier golf courses and resorts. So, bring your clubs and enjoy a day on the fairway! GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness With multiple locations within Topeka and Shawnee County, GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness is not only reliable but extremely convenient. Locations include Berkshire, North Topeka, Prairie View, Shawnee Country Club and Western Hills. There is also a hitting range at the Safari Golf locale. In addition to the golf course, attendees can enjoy various fitness classes and an open gym. Many locations even offer a 24/7 fitness center. Cypress Ridge Golf Course Cypress Ridge offers its golfers of all ages and abilities a great challenge at its 6,200 yards course. Its rolling, hilly landscape also provides a great workout. Conveniently located one and a half miles west of the Wanamaker corridor, on the western edge of Topeka, Cypress Ridge is a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

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Lake Shawnee Golf Course While enjoying a day at the lake be sure to stop by for a round of golf at the Lake Shawnee Golf Course. Designed by Larry W. Flatt in 1972 and updated by Craig Schreiner, the course offers an excellent game of golf with a beautiful view of the lake. Its 6,300yard course plays a par-70. Firekeeper Golf Course Nestled across the road from Prairie Band Casino lies Golfweek® magazine’s #1 course you can play in Kansas and the only Top 100 Resort Course in the Heartland. Firekeeper has been heralded by top professionals and amateurs alike. Boasting both bent grass fairways and greens, Firekeeper can play from 4,500 yards to 7,500 yards. Its beauty is captured in the natural rolling terrain of the Kansas prairie. Firekeeper is a golfer’s bucket list destination.

Firekeeper Golf Course @firekeepergolf

Cyprus Ridge Golf Course @sncoparksrec

Firekeeper Golf Course @firekeepergolf

Lake Shawnee Golf Course @sncoparksrec

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NOTO Arts District

Aaron Douglas Mural Oakland Mural

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Tragic Prelude

Brown v. Board of Education Mural The Great Mural Wall of Topeka


Searching for a unique pop of color? Check out these Topeka murals!

Tragic Prelude and State Capitol Murals Perhaps one of Topeka's, if not the entire state of Kansas', best known murals is the "Tragic Prelude" by John Steuart Curry located at the Kansas State Capitol Building. It depicts Curry's interpretation of the controversial abolitionist John Brown and the anti-slavery movement in Kansas Territory. At the center is Brown with a Bible in one hand and a Beecher's Bible (rifle) in the other. Other murals by Curry inside the Capitol include "Kansas Pastoral."

Oakland Murals If you venture over to Oakland, a close-knit neighborhood in East Topeka, you'll find a mural that serves as a beacon of community pride. Created by artists Maria Guzman and Jamie Colon, the mural is a symbol to the Latino community in Topeka. The section spotlighted above features Colon's grandparents, Domingo and Antonia Lopez, prominent figures in the Oakland area.

NOTO Arts District Murals The North Topeka (NOTO) Arts District is home to a multitude of art, including various murals and outdoor art installations. View Jennifer Bohlander's elephant mural and Greetings from Topeka postcard, Isaiah Zagar's mosaics "Ragazagar" and "Wizard of Oz," Rev. January Kiefer's "Wall of Healing" and many, many more!

Aaron Douglas Mural The Aaron Douglas Mural celebrates the life of the Topeka-born muralist, illustrator and scholar. Painted on a large wall by local high school and college students and residents of Topeka's Tennessee Town neighborhood, the mural is a reproduction of one of four panels of "Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction" that Douglas completed in 1934 for the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library (now the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture).

Brown v. Board of Education Mural Some might not know that Topeka was the backdrop for the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education which deemed segregation in the U.S. school system unconstitutional. The mural, completed in summer 2018, conveys themes of diversity, equality, inclusion and justice. Artist Michael Toombs directed the painting of the 130' x 30' wall along with a team of artists and thousands of members of the community. View the mural in its entirety across from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site at 1515 SE Monroe Street.

Like all art, murals have the power to convey a meaningful message. Moreover, they’re very telling of the city they inhabit. And more often than not, murals tell the unique history and culture of an area. They even have the power to give new life to an area with their loud colors and imaginative design. If you ask me, there’s no better way to explore and enjoy the full scope of a city’s local color than to visit the local murals.

The Great Mural Wall of Topeka Located in Chesney Park, the Great Mural Wall started as a community based and driven mural arts initiative by the City of Topeka and area neighborhoods. To quote Atlas Obscura: "Pass by this sprawling piece of public art and you’ll instantly be given a visual history of Topeka." Started in April of 2007 by the Chesney Park NIA, mural continues to grow to this day. Panels are painted each spring and summer. Community members and visitors alike are welcome to participate in making the Great Mural Wall of Topeka the largest mural in Kansas!

Some Honorable Mentions There are an abundance of murals in Topeka - too many to name in just one article. But some honorable mentions we'd like to include are the Constitution Hall Mural, the Mulvane Artlab recycled mosaics, the mural by Andy Valdivia at The Amigos of Marlo Cuevas-Balandran Activity Center Inc. and the multiple murals at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. To find these murals go to ArtsTopeka.org/Murals.

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NEW TOP CITY A wealth of change is taking place in Topeka. From budding businesses to new exciting exhibits, the capital city promises many new experiences for its visitors in 2020.

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Iron Rail Brewing Iron Rail Brewing

Cyrus Hotel @cyrushotel

Cyrus Hotel Among Cyrus Hotel’s many offerings is the street level, flagship restaurant and outdoor space. Although it conveys a modern design concept and is a state-of-the-art facility, the hotel and restaurant will honor the unique history of the area in name and guest touchpoints throughout. It offers 109 rooms and suites, as well as various meeting spaces. What’s more, Cyrus Hotel is the perfect place for your next event or meeting and is ideal for weddings. The hotel also plans an extensive list of events and programming calendar that will cater directly to the Topeka community. The goal is to provide compelling programming that the locals find highly relevant (and fun!) for years to come.

Camp Cowabunga

Iron Rail Brewing Sit up and take notice craft brew lovers, Iron Rail Brewing is here. So named for the capital city’s rich historical ties to the railroad, Iron Rail Brewing is the newest brewery and restaurant to hit downtown.

Camp Cowabunga Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center's Camp Cowabunga where “an African adventure awaits” features wildlife including African Lions, Red Pata Monkeys, African Painted Dogs and African Elephants. Along with the wildlife, there will be interactive educational exhibits and interpretive graphics.

General Manager and native Topekan Mike Babb lends his 10 years of culinary expertise to Brewmaster Don King’s knowhow in all things craft beer to deliver a foodie and craft brewing experience like no other. Whether you’re after lunch, dinner or drinks, Iron Rail Brewing has a unique homestyle menu, which includes Babb’s famous BBQ, with a fully stocked bar ready to fulfill your cravings.

Camp Cowabunga promises to be unlike any other Africa exhibit in the world thanks to its unique concept that allows guests to participate in activities that take place on real safaris such as a trail that reflects the safari landscape, various animal tracks, and a variety of natural sounds that will make the overall experience as realistic as possible.

Open since November 19, 2018, Topekans and visitors alike are now able to enjoy both a quality dining experience and local craft beer brewed right on Kansas Avenue (705 South Kansas Avenue to be exact).

The camp was created as a tribute to the safari experience through Gary Clarke’s eyes. Clarke is the Zoo’s director emeritus and has been on numerous safaris. It is his unique vision and enthusiasm that has led to the creation of Camp Cowabunga.

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(785) 266-3499

OUR OFFICE 1824 S. Kansas Avenue Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 266-3499 www.RentRMS.com

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Johnny’s Tavern


PT’s Coffee

Southwest Topeka is home to a new entertainment destination for both locals and tourists alike to enjoy. Wheatfield Village has become the new hangout for those looking to go out on the town. Complete with multiple restaurants, a theater, hotel and even apartments, the site promises new dining, entertainment and hospitality options for those discovering the capital city. The future hotel, TowneSuites by Marriot, will house 88 rooms as well as various meeting and event spaces. Restaurants already open include PT’s Coffee, SPIN! Pizza and Johnny’s Tavern. The new theater, run by B&B Theaters, features nine screens for viewers’ entertainment.

B&B Theaters

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The Weather Room @cyrushotel

RowHouse Restaurant @rowhouserestaurant

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Chez Yasu

The White Linen @TheWhiteLinen


Don’t get us wrong. We love local holes-inthe-wall and food trucks. But when you’re dressed to impress and want to sample the finest foods in Topeka, look no further than these dining establishments. Chez Yasu This authentic French restaurant in the center of Topeka features a French country atmosphere and casual yet elegant dining. Clean, classic, with hints of home, its fine white table cloths, tasteful dish patterns and minimalist food presentation lets the meal’s rich bouquet take center stage. Some of their must-have entrees include the beef short ribs, rack of lamb, duck, seafood crepes, quiche and salmon. Chez Yasu offers a full-service bar and extensive wine list. Chez Yasu is open for lunch Monday Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday, 5 to 8:30 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. RowHouse Restaurant Nestled in downtown Topeka, RowHouse Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant that offers an eclectic selection of American and international contemporary cuisine. Intimate, elegant and cool, this local eatery is a perfect location for parties of 2 to 12; each dining room is inviting and unique. The evening prix-fixe “tasting” menu is seasonally driven and changes weekly, it’s also available a la carte and able to be tailored around your time and budget. Many of the menu items are made with local ingredi-ents—often from the RowHouse garden. Rowhouse offers several options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free patrons. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served Wednesday 6 to 8 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

The White Linen Located in the historic Columbian Building, The White Linen is a French contemporary influenced res-taurant that serves new and traditional American dishes in addition to an assortment of French cuisine. Owner Chef Adam takes pride in providing exotic ingredients and dishes, such as truffles imported from Italy and braised rabbit. It should also be noted that each meal comes with a complimentary glass of champagne. Guests that request the chef’s table will receive a bottle of wine and a sampling of eve-ry item on the menu, which culminates into a small portioned 12-course meal. The chef’s table seats anywhere from two to six people. Tables at The White Linen are available by RSVP only. Dining hours are 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with private parties available on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Weather Room Located inside the newly opened Cyrus Hotel, The Weather Room is a modern steakhouse helmed by Executive Chef Rida El Azri Ennassiri and is a must-visit dining destination for travelers and locals in the heart of downtown Topeka. Elegant yet down-toearth, The Weather Room caters to a variety of palates, offering a range of shareable dishes, a house-cured charcuterie program, hearty meats and fresh seafood options. The thoughtfully curated menus place a heavy emphasis on local purveyors, featuring specialty cheeses from Jason Wiebe Dairy, preserves from Rees Fruit Farm, delicate spices from Moburts and meats sourced exclusively from the Midwest region. The beverage program, developed to perfectly complement the steakhouse fare, features an extensive wine list with both domestic staples and international varietals; hyperseasonal beer selections from local breweries including Iron Rail Brewing, The Blind Tiger Brewery and Happy Basset Brewing Co.; and specialty cocktails that incorporate unique twists on classics like The Weather Room Old-Fashioned, complete with a housemade bourbon barrel-aged by the restaurant and the option to have the drink “smoked” tableside. The restaurant is open daily, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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PENNANT The Pennant is a dining sensation that should not be missed. Debuting in March 2018, the restaurant shook up the Topeka dining scene with its gourmet bar food and various forms of entertainment. The establishment offers fun for the whole family. Take the kids to enjoy the bowling alley and vintage arcade, while the adult crowd samples the merchandise in the beer garden.

If you take a closer look at the building itself, you'll find various treasured reminders of its history. Diners can admire the original tile from Jenkins Music Shop, formally located on the first floor, and when visiting the second-floor patrons can take a moment to appreciate a commemorative mural which, in addition to depicting key moments of Topeka's history, pays homage to The Pennant's namesake, the Pennant Cafeteria, which was once located on the second floor. While The Pennant carves out its own legacy, it will continue to honor the history of Downtown Topeka.


68 | Topeka


The Pennant utilizes local partners to develop the menu. This includes spices from Moburts, local greens from Salem Farm, and gluten free buns from Shana Cake. Chef Pedro Concepcion has also set his sights on working with the local Farmers Market to craft future dishes. Some of The Pennant's signature menu items include: Smokey Apple A pork belly burger covered in hickory smoked cheddar cheese and oven baked apple chips. Feel the Beet A beet quinoa patty piled with brussels sprouts beet relish and creamy herb goat cheese sauce. Mac and Cheese Bites Mac and cheese bites served with chipotle ranch. And for dessert diners can indulge in a signature shake, like the Praline Delight, or a drunken shake, like the Silly Jelly Donut (contains strawberry vodka).




One of Topeka Restaurant Week's favorite restaurants, The Burger Stand at College Hill made BuzzFeed’s list of “Weird FastFood Menu Items You Can Only Get in Certain States.” While the Kobe Burger and Duck Fat Fries may sound “weird,” those menu items barely scratch the surface of this establishment’s unique menu.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Slammin’ Salmon Spin Burger Salmon patty, topped with house-made spinach and artichoke dip, balsamic marinated tomatoes and seasonal greens. Caul-It-Curry Cauliflower, spinach and chickpea patty topped with vindaloo sauce and seasonal greens. Thai Turkey Ground turkey patty, sweet & spicy Thai peanut sauce, white onion and crunchy Thai noodles. Shepherd’s Pie Waffle Fries Crispy waffle fries covered in traditional lamb meat shepherd’s pie. Truffle Fries Fries tossed in truffle butter and parmesan cheese. Poutine Fries Fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Cheese Fries Fries topped with bourbon cheese sauce and bacon. Some of these menu items are only available for a limited time. The Burger Stand at College Hill has new specials every month.

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Celebrating Our




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The Topeka CounTry Club



P E K A C.C EST. 1905

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“I’m going to play at home. I love to be at Topeka Country Club. It’s where I grew up. That’s one - Gary Woodland course I’d play every day.”

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The Topeka CounTry Club www.topekacc.org

2700 Sw buchanan, Topeka, kansas 66611 | (785) 354-8561

SPECIAL CARE FOR SPECIAL PETS Tender Loving Care Pet Nursing Hotel provides the best out-of-home care available for ailing, elderly, or recovering pets. We provide customized, credentialed, compassionate care in a comfortable, home-like setting. Call or go online to make your reservation today!

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HOURS OF OPERATION: 11am-10pm Everyday For All Locations

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SW Wanamaker Rd & SW 29th St • Villa West Shopping Center

785-271-5151 LAKE SHAWNEE 3310 SE 29th St SE 29th St & SE Beach Dr • Aquarian Center

785-266-5353 FLEMING PLACE 1033 SW Gage Blvd SW Gage Blvd & SW 10th St • Fleming Place Shopping Center

785-271-5402 HUNTERS RIDGE 4745 NW Hunters Ridge Cir Hwy 75 & NW 46th St • Hunters Ridge

785-783-5599 WEST LAWRENCE 4821 W 6th St W 6th St & Wakarusa Dr • Westgate Shopping Center

785-841-5252 74 | Topeka



A shopping experience that is all together better Voted Best of Topeka Shopping Center in 2019 Topeka Capital-Journal Best of Topeka

...at Fairlawn Plaza Shopping Center Anchor Gold Custom Jewelers A+ Learning Center The Barber Shop California Nail Salon The Classic Bean* Copeland’s Gymnastics The Dance Factory* Dee & Me Hobbies Dillons* Eagle Auto Wash & Detailing Salon* El Mezcal Mexican Restaurant*

Emeralds Massage & Bodywork Fairlawn Plaza Shopping Center* Fitrition Gym Grandma Wock’s Catering & Eatery Hallmarks Cards ‘N Such Hearing Life Audiology Home at Last Furnishing The Hub Boutique Jazzercise The Juice Stop Kiku Steakhouse of Japan*


The Lazy Toad Sports Bar Little Caesars Pizza Merle Norman Cosmetics Office Max Orion Education Center The Pink Suitcase* Potwin Pottery Red Door Decor The Scrub Hub Apparel Reuter’s Shoe Repair and Orthopedic Footwear

Subway Sweet! Baking & Candy Making Supply The Topeka Art Guild Gallery Walgreens* Wet Heads West Salon Whirled Hair Design Yak ‘N Yarn Needlework The Yoga Room *Voted Best in the 2019 Topeka Capital-Journal Best of Topeka


Welcome to the neighborhood

You matter to us. That’s why we work hard to provide excellent care for your family. U.S. News & World Report named us a best hospital in the region, and we’re designated as one of only three Magnet® facilities in Kansas. Plus, our collaboration with Mayo Clinic connects their acclaimed specialists with our local experts to tackle even the most complex conditions, right here in Eastern Kansas. Whether it’s helping you stay healthy, visiting with a specialist, or caring for you in an emergency, we’re here for you. Our list of accomplishments is long, but it’s our commitment to you that really sets us apart.

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2020 Relocation Guide  

2020 Relocation Guide  

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