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Sternberg Mansion; Wichita, KS

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posted by Ken Elliott alias kendahlarama on Sunday 6th of June 2010 04:45:02 PM

Best viewed LARGE size. This drawing of the William Henry Sternberg residence at 1065 North Waco Avenue appeared in the 1887 Wichita City Directory. The house is still standing today (09/2010) and looks much the same except for maintenance and upkeep on the structure and the south chimney is temporarily down due to structural instability. Sternberg Mansion is the only one of the "Fabulous 10" homes (see photostream for the Fabulous 10 flyer) to survive from Wichita's economic boom of the 1870s and 1880s. The house incorporates a variety of Sternberg design elements also seen on other Sternberg-designed Sternberg-built homes such multiple ornate chimney flues that corbel down through the second and/or first floors, diamond designs within the slate roof, a zig-zag "V"-shaped design at the very apex of the roof, one and only one half-moon window in the entire structure and located on the 3rd floor, an asymmetrical roofline broken with multiple dormers and pitches, a triangular porch roof over the main entry way with a square porch over that, second and third story windows held together with decorative designs which give the appearance of a two-story enclosure, multiple fuctional porches on the first and second levels and decorative porches (too small to be functional) appearing on the 3rd level, a fourth floor dormer with windows, uncovered stairs entering into the home, large heavy carved double front doors, a plethora of decorative gingerbread ornamentation, two-story bay windows separated with bands of fishscales between the first and second story and many other features common to Sternberg. William Henry Sternberg was a highly skilled and popular builder during Wichita’s boom years of the 1870s and 1880s. Mr. Sternberg came to Kansas from New York in 1875. He grew up on a family farm in Norwich, New York helping his father in the family saw mill, felling and hauling trees, cutting lumber, woodworking and working as a carpenter on local homes and buildings. As years passed and Sternberg continued working as a contractor and a carpenter, his skills in building grew and he became well-known throughout New York State for his elegant and innovative building designs, his integrity, work quality and prudent approach to costs. People far and wide knew of his reputation for quality and knew him as a fair man in dealing with customers. Partly as a result of his reputation for being a fair and honest man in addition to his first-rate work as a builder, he was elected Mayor of Norwich for a period of several years. Although comfortable with his life in New York, Mr. Sternberg increasingly heard about Wichita, Kansas ~ a rapidly growing nucleus on the plains. Indeed the growth bubble (from the late 1870’s until about 1890) was so significant that Wichita was by some estimates the fastest growing city in the country! At one point, the absolute value of real estate transactions in Wichita ranked it the third highest in the nation in terms of dollars transacted. This was behind only New York City (#1) and Kansas City (#2). People were speculating on land and buildings and making handsome profits in return. “In the first five months of 1887 real estate transactions totaled $34,893,565 according to Dunn and Bradstreet’s reports. Wichita was third in the nation in total real estate transactions. Only New York and Kansas City were ahead of Wichita (in terms of volume). Chicago was fourth having $33,173,950 in transactions.” However, in terms of the dollar value of real estate transactions per capita, Wichita was first in the country for a period of several years in the mid-late 1880s, because New York City and Kansas City had much larger populations to produce a similar amount of real estate transactions. The volume of real estate transactions going on in Wichita was a little surprising to say the least (shocking may be a better word) because in the 1870s,1880s and 1890s, New York City was the largest city (population-wise) in the country. Kansas City was around the 75th largest city of the top 100 cities in the U.S. and Wichita didn't even figure into the top 100 largest cities until the 1920 census! In terms of population numbers, New York boasted 1,206,299 in 1880. Kansas City came in at 55,785 in 1880 and Wichita came in 4,911 in 1880 but had more dollars of real estate being transacted per person than a city 10 times its size (KC) or even 250 times its size (NYC)! With its new found wealth, Wichita was progressive in its early days and news of its budding wealth traveled the country. Evidence of its progressive spirit was noted with much fanfare on May 23, 1873 when Wichita’s first regularly-scheduled electrified street cars (trolley cars) began shuttling people between the bustling downtown and the outskirts of the city. Three years later, Wichita installed several hundred nighttime electric street lamps throughout downtown, while still retaining some of its existing gas and “vapor” lamps. Then, in 1882 Wichita began installing an underground water system with corner hydrants for fire suppression. In this year, Wichita contracted with a St. Louis firm for laying a 14-inch main, six inch supply pipes and a total of 60 hydrants throughout the city. This system was finished, tested and in operation by Spring of 1883. Spying an opportunity for building, Mr. Sternberg moved his family to Wichita and after only a few months, was successfully bidding contracts, hiring workers and constructing buildings at a frenzied pace. The economic bubble of Wichita in the 1880s was perhaps the most dynamic growth spurts of any city in American history. Wealth sprung up practically overnight. Land offices implemented numbering systems and pecking rules for the crowds frequently waiting outside to get in. Not uncommonly, people camped out overnight in front of the land offices to get an early ticket for the next day. Indeed, wealth was fast and easy and people such as William Griffenstein, George Pratt, Bertrand H. Campbell and John O. Davidson displayed their newly found wealth by building palatial mansions of the highest quality and most extraordinary craftsmanship. When Wichita’s well-to-do wanted homes or buildings, W.H. Sternberg was the builder of choice by a wide margin. The 1888 book, Portrait and Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kansas (Chapman Brothers; Chicago, 1888) in which Sternberg is noted, states about him: “Ninety brick stores in Wichita stand as monuments of his skill and industry, besides numberless other buildings, probably twice as many as have been put up by any other contractor in the city.” Not long after coming to Wichita, Mr. Sternberg used a marketing approach – common today, but relatively unheard of at the time, called a “spec home”. The spec home he built was his own (drawing above) and it was a huge 7,500 sq. ft. showcase home that contained virtually every ornamental and stylish feature that he and his crews could muster. He located his home on the most elite street in Wichita at the time ~ Waco Avenue (as it was to become). Before Waco became the “elite street” of Wichita, city planners named it “Waco Street”. As elegant mansions continued to appear on Waco, property owners in this well-dressed district became dissatisfied with the designation of “Street”, so local residents petitioned the City and officially had the name changed to “Avenue” to be more in keeping with the fashionable tone of the neighborhood. Today, the official name of "Waco" is actually "Waco Avenue". Mr. Sternberg reckoned that showcasing the capabilities and ornate building skills of the construction trade would draw customers to him, and it proved to be a very successful technique. Even back in 1886 when he completed his Victorian gingerbread mansion people acknowledged it was something extraordinary. His worthy showcase mansion was written up in the newspapers as well as the 1888 Portrait and Biographical Album of Sedgwick, County, Kansas as follows, “The residence of Mr. Sternberg, a handsome and costly structure, is beautifully located on a rise of ground commanding a fine view of its surroundings. Within and without it bears the evidence of refined tastes and ample means, and it is universally admired by all who have occasion to pass it.” Even before the Sternberg’s mansion was finished, the newspaper was remarking about its exceptional characteristics as the September 6, 1886 edition of the Wichita Beacon commented, “Mr. Sternberg is building for his own use a fine residence on the corner of 10th and Waco Streets. Judging by the foundation it will be one of the largest and finest in the city.” Within weeks after finishing his home at 1065 North Waco Avenue, Mr. Sternberg was flooded with requests to build other fine mansions for Wichita’s “polite society”. And in 1887 and 1888, Sternberg and his crews built first-class mansions and buildings all over Wichita as quickly as they could. The Sternberg Mansion at 1065 North Waco Avenue is historically significant because it represents the height of elegance, style and Victorian housing dreams at the height of one of the greatest sustained economic booms in American history . . . it was the height of pure style and “refined tastes” on “Wichita’s Fifth Avenue,” when money was easy and the future was indeed bright. That the Sternberg Mansion is historically significant is demonstrated in part by the fact that it is listed on the: (1) National Register of Historic Places, (2) the Register of Historic Kansas Places, and (3) the Wichita Register of Historic Places. But there are additional reasons that speak for the historical significance of the Sternberg Mansion . . . The house at 1065 North Waco Avenue and its builder W. H. Sternberg are historically significant for a number of “firsts”. Sternberg set precedence in building design at a time when style and social status was highly important and people had the money to express it. Sternberg (unlike other home designers and builders of the day) built custom features into his homes that allowed the occupants to enjoy their home more, such as low rise stairs, windows at the apex of the home which create strong upward movement of air through the home and staircases that turn allowing access while maintaining privacy. In addition to an extensive use of smaller more intimate porches in his homes and particularly romantic highly corbelled chimney flues, Sternberg was also the first builder in Wichita to construct a very practical laundry chute into a home (the first home in Wichita to have a laundry chute was the Pratt house at 1313 North Emporia). The idea of such a feature so that people didn’t have to climb up and down stairs was new and unheard of in 1887, but Sternberg believed a home should be both beautiful and comfortable. It was new and trend-setting features such laundry chutes, ornate porches, better ventilation, floor plans and walls that visually enlarged the home yet kept personal areas private and his ability to create exceptional milled gingerbread work that brought acclaim and respect to Sternberg. Other builders simply didn’t offer such features, and most didn’t have the expertise to do so. In early Wichita before there were wood millworking shops with millworking equipment, local saw mills would attempt to create ornate millwork on ordinary saws and equipment for example by holding the wood pieces and cutting curves. But more often than not this didn't work. Pieces frequently broke or were cut the wrong way and when a final piece was struck, the wood was often quite rough especially in curved areas - not meeting Sternbergs standards for high quality millwork. In New York state where Sternberg grew up and worked for many years before coming to Wichita, he is credited with being the first person to build a Mansard-style roof. The concept was made popular at the 1855 Worlds Fair in Paris - which reports indicate Sternberg attended. A mansard roof is a French style that allows more unencumbered space on the attic level than a traditional pitched roof does. Although not an architect by training, Sternberg often had considerable input into the design and layout of the homes he built. Indeed Sternberg publically advertised himself as an architect. Many of his customers, unaware of the need for an architect at the time when deciding to build a house, would contact Sternberg first when they wanted to build and then it was Sternberg who would usually contact an architect of his choice and advise the architect on what the home-owner wanted and could afford. So the architect (if there was one) would frequently follow Sternberg's ideas and designs. Sternberg was the first recorded builder to and use an “outside” (New York) architect purely for style and design in a Wichita residence. The house, designed by Stanford White and built by Sternberg was the Charles R. Miller residence at 507 S. Lawrence Avenue (now Broadway Street). Stanford White although building a national reputation would a few years later would receive national acclaim for his designs including Madison Square Garden in New York as well as many homes for the Vanderbilts, the Astors, Joseph Pulitzer and other notables of the day. The design and construction of this Sternberg-built home that Stanford White-designed was eye-catching and charming to Wichitans of the day and the local Wichita Beacon in April 18, 1883 commented about the house, “It will be of brick, 40 x 44 feet in area, with basement eight feet, two stories above that, and a ten foot mansard attic. The basement will be used for a steam heater, laundry, coal, etc. The facades will be broken by swells, bay windows and porches. It will be one of the finest in southern Kansas.” Obviously, Sternberg felt that for some exceptional projects, local architects were not up to the task, and Sternberg liked the press attention. What's more and another “first” for Sternberg is that he was the only builder during the 1870s-1880s working in Wichita to have also built major public and private buildings in at least two other states. No other builders in Wichita at the time are known to have done anything outside the area. In addition, he’s the only builder during Wichita’s boom period to have his works from three states (Kansas Missouri and New York) listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally his 30 years of experience in the lumber business grading qualities of woods and knowing the particular characteristics of various woods allowed Sternberg to build with exceptional quality. Arguably he provided the highest quality and was the most highly skilled builder of the day in Wichita. An article from November 2, 1969 in the Eagle-Beacon newspaper noted the quality of the Sternberg Mansion, “It was built to last with joists of 2 by 8-inch timbers, and wood- work of pine so hard it will not take a regular nail and one interior wall that is 15 inches thick.” Indeed modern-day carpenters have remarked when doing remodel work on Sternberg Mansion that “when hammering, nails, they bend before they go into the wood;” even today the wood still prefers to bend nails.” For Sternberg’s own residence and for other first-class houses, Sternberg selected only the highest grades of lumber, had them cut extra thick and insisted they be cut to maximize the wood grain for the particular use of the wood. Sternberg was a dedicated builder ~ he loved woodworking and building and he was still bidding and building up until about a month before his death (1906). Mr. Sternberg’s passion for Wichita, Kansas wasn’t just a passing affair when the boom period ended, either. After moving to Wichita in 1875, he remained in Wichita for 31 years until his death in August, 1906. His two sons continued living and working in Wichita for many years after their father’s death and almost the entire family including W. H. Sternberg is buried in Wichita. The current owner is pursuing an additional status of “National Historic Landmark” for the Sternberg Mansion ~ identifying it as a structure worthy of national attention, partly based on the fact that Sternberg built structures throughout the country that today are designated historical, but in addition, historic information indicates that Sternberg built a fair amount of temporary housing for people moving to the area to take part in various land rushes. Not uncommonly, people would move Wichita (as it was the largest major town close to the Oklahoma border) or between Wichita and the Oklahoma border sometimes two to three years in advance of a land rush. Tens of housands of people did this and land rushes were opened several different times (there wasn't just one land rush). Sternberg was directly involved in helping with housing for these people getting ready to take part in a land rush and thereby helping to settle the western frontier. Of the surviving local homes and buildings that W.H. Sternberg built or contributed to, not all are protected with historic designation. Following are some of the structures that Sternberg and his crews constructed. Note the Carey Hotel (originally called the "Carey House but now the Eaton Apartments) and Garfield University (now Friends University) had multiple contractors. Sternberg wasn’t the sole contractor on these two buildings, but he did contribute significantly to their erection (such as the ornamental stonework, window headers, windows, doors and interior carpentry). These two buildings (the Eaton and Friends) are protected on historical registers. It was somewhat unusual in Sternberg’s day with buildings as large and lavish as the Carey Hotel or Garfield University to have only one contractor do all the work. To Sternberg’s credit, however, he was the sole contractor on the Sedgwick County Courthouse. List of Confirmed Sternberg-designed and built structures: 1)Alfred W. Bitting residence - Wichita 2)Finlay Ross residence - Wichita 3)Sternberg Mansion - Wichita 4)High School building - Wichita 5)Expansion of the Occidental and renovations to it - Wichita 6)County Poor House – 1886 in Wichita - Wichita 7)Garfield Memorial Hall (corner of 1st and Water) - Wichita 8)Carey Hotel (carpentry all doors, windows and interior woodwork) - Wichita 9)Sedgwick County Courthouse - Wichita 10)First Ward School - Wichita 11)City Hall and Government Building in Springfield Missouri - Springfield 12)Gettos Block Building in Wichita – Wichita (SW corner of Main & Second St) 13)Second Ward School in Wichita 14)Garfield University (Friends University Administration Building) - Wichita 15)The Methodist Church in Guilford New York 16)The Chenango County Poor House in New York 17)The Methodist Episcopal Church in Norwich New York 18)The residence of Charles Merritt in Norwich New York 19)The store of John O. Hill & Company in New York 20)The residence of Warren Newton in New York 21)An elegant mansion for himself in New York which had the first Mansard roof – Norwich, NY 22)New Telephone Building (on North Market immediately south of Hose House #1) - Wichita 23)New Baptist Church (begun in September 1883 in Wichita, Kansas) - Wichita 24)Ferrell’s Brick Block (opposite the Post Office) in Wichita 25)The house and two lots adjoining Mr. Barnes on North Lawrence Avenue – enlarging it and raising it to occupy himself - Wichita 26)The new Masonic Temple (formerly the YMCA building) - Wichita 27)Masonic home and the limestone buildings on its grounds - Wichita 28)Four story brick building for W.H. Porter @ 211 – 213 E. Douglas - Wichita 29)Additions to the Masonic Home (June 1904) - Wichita 30)Congregational Church (October 1885) - Wichita 31)Naftzger Building (three stories high, corner of St. Francis and Douglas 50’ X 140’) - Wichita 32)Central Power Station of the Wichita Electric Railway Company (June 1890) - Wichita 33)The Little-Reed Building - Wichita 34)Two homes for Kos Harris - Wichita 35)Four homes on the 1200 block of North Waco Avenue – Wichita 1231 North Waco Avenue – Russell Harding Superintendent MO Pacific Rail Road 1235 North Waco Avenue – Robert A. Hamilton – 1891 (Manager of Whittaker P H). 1235 North Waco Avenue, W E Reeves 1230 N. Waco Avenue – Mr. George B. Chapman in 1891 and Miss Sarah Chapman in 1891 (Chapman & Walker) 36)One brick home on University Avenue – Wichita (1813 W. University Avenue in Wichita, Kansas) 37)The Hydraulic Mills - Wichita 38)The old Post Office and Federal Building - Wichita 39)Two old frames on the west side of Main belonging to Emil Werner to put up a two story brick building with a 50 foot front - Wichita 40)Residence of C.N. Lewis in Wichita - Wichita 41)Residence of Albert. W. Oliver in Wichita - Wichita 43)Residence of Aaron Katz in Wichita Katz Aaron, prop Philadelphia store, r 420 s Main 44) Residence of Mark J. Oliver at 1105 North Lawrence in Wichita 45)Residence of Hiram. Imboden in Wichita 46)Residence of M.W. Levy (1st and Topeka) - Wichita 47)Residence of Peter Gettos in Wichita – Wichita (255 N. Water) 48)Residence of Reuben H. Roys in Wichita - Roys Reuben H, atty 217 e Douglas, r 1127 n Lawrence 49)Residence of Finlay Ross in Wichita - Wichita 50)Residence of William H. Whitman in Wichita 51)Residence of Jacob Henry Aley @ 1505 Fairview in Wichita 52)Residence of Robert E. Gutherie on Third Street in Wichita 53)Residence of J.R. Van Zandt in Wichita 54)Residence of George Pratt (now the Pratt Campbell Mansion on Emporia in Wichita) 55)Residence of C.W. Bitting (corner of Pine and Lawrence) - Wichita 56)Residence of A.W. Bitting in Wichita - Wichita 57)Residence of Judge James L. Dyer in Wichita 58)Residence of Charles M Jones in Wichita 59)Residence of Dr. G.E. McAdams in Wichita 60)Residence of Charles Smyth in Wichita 61)Residence of Dr. J. Russell in Wichita 62)Eads Block Building - Wichita 63)Smyth & Sons Block Building - Wichita 64)Fletcher Block Building - Wichita 65)Union Block (corner of Douglas and Water) – Wichita 66)Temple Block Building - Wichita 67)Bitting Block Building / Bitting Building (corner of Market and Douglas) - Wichita 68)Elliott’s Store - Wichita 69)Peter Getto’s Store - Wichita 70)Finlay Ross’s Furniture Store (corner of Main and 1st Street 119 & 121 N. Main) - Wichita 71)Roys Block at the corner of Lawrence and Douglas - Wichita Roys Block 217 219 227 and 229 e Douglas 72)Market Street Block (August 1887) – Wichita Count: 75 structures Sternberg confirmed either built or did significant work on. The 6 buildings below (all still standing) are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Sternberg either designed, built or both: 1)Sternberg Mansion 2)Friends University Administration Building 3)Sedgwick County Courthouse 4)Eaton Hotel (formerly the Carey Hotel) 5)Occidental Hotel Building 6)Methodist Episcopal Church in Norwich New York (brick) In all W. H. Sternberg built hundreds and hundreds of buildings and homes in Wichita alone after moving here in 1875. Other homes and buildings he is known to have built before coming to Wichita include: (1) the Methodist Church in Guilford, New York, (2) the Chenango County Poor House in Norwich, New York, (3) the Methodist Episcopal Church in Norwich, New York at a cost of $47,000, he later completed the beautiful case inside this church for the church organ, (4) the residence of Charles Merritt in Norwich, New York at a cost of $35,000, (5) the store of John O. Hill & Co. at a cost of $23,000, (6) the residence of Warren Newton in New York and (7) “an elegant mansion for himself” which had the first mansard roof in the town. Mr. Sternberg was a remarkable man. In 1888, Chapman Brothers in Chicago, Illinois printed an expensive first-class volume of notable persons in Sedgwick County, Kansas ~ a sort of “Who’s Who” of the time. At the time, Wichita was growing so fast, the value of real estate transactions during the 1880s ranked Wichita third largest city in the country behind only New York and Kansas City. The book, entitled “Portrait and Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan.” Contained “Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County together with Portraits and biographies of all the governors of Kansas, and of the Presidents of the United States.” Mr. Sternberg is listed on pages 190 – 191 in the Album. His biography notes: “William H. Sternberg, who is one of the prominent citizens of Wichita, arrived here in time to assist in the building up of the town, the growth of which has been phenomenal. He has been one of the most interested witnesses of its progress and development, and no unimportant factor in bringing it to its present proud position. As a man of influence, public spirit and liberal, this brief record of his history will be more than ordinarily interesting to those who are identified in any way with the business or industrial interests of one of the leading cities of the West.” In addition the biography noted that, “Ninety brick stores in Wichita stand as monuments of his skill and industry, besides numberless other buildings, probably twice as many as have been put up by any other contractor in the city.” Sternberg is credited in Masonic history books as being one of three key individuals whose work and labors were instrumental in reviving the early (and struggling) Masons movement in Wichita particularly by giving the Masons a grand and wonderful place in which to conduct their activities. W.H. Sternberg was an active and devoted member of the Mason's movement in Wichita and even though Sternberg didn't originally build the Scottish Rite Temple, after the somewhat impoverished Mason's acquired it, he undertook and completed extensive renovations to the interior of it (without any expectation of compensation at the time - although the Masons did later compensate Sternberg for his work on this building). And as always, whatever the job, W. H. Sternberg was noted for work of the finest quality and expertise. Mr. Sternberg had a reputation for only hiring the best workers which sometimes was hard to do as the building boom created quite a shortage of workers, never-the-less, he was known for the fact that he and “his workmen should be persons of the highest skill and reliability.” In 1888, just two years after. Sternberg personally built and constructed his own “showcase” mansion for himself, it was written up in the Portrait and Biographical Album as though it was undeniably a special residence in Wichita . . . . “The residence of Mr. Sternberg, a handsome and costly structure is beautifully located on a rise of ground commanding a fine view of its surroundings. Within and without it bears the evidence of refined tastes and ample means, and is universally admired by all who have occasion to pass it.” Today, historical authorities who know the Sternberg Mansion lay accolades on it for its style, its authentic representation of Victorian influence, its extreme ornamentation and its first-rate quality throughout. The following is an excerpt from the City of Wichita’s Historic Landmark website (www.wichitagov.org/Residents/History/Listing51-60) about the Sternberg Mansion: “William H. Sternberg, a prominent builder during Wichita's economic boom days of the 1880's built his own resi- dence in 1886, incorporating the Victorian penchant for "gingerbread" millwork with this extravagantly gabled Queen Anne-styled home. This house is one of a few remaining homes of this elaborate style in the city and is regarded as a quintessential product of the late Queen Anne residential design and stylistic features. From its native stone foundation to the four corbelled brick chimneys with their decorative flues, the house served as a showcase for the builder's trade including colored glass window panes, stained glass windows in the ornate stairway, several fireplaces and combination gas/electric chandeliers. The two and one-half story residence also has porches projecting from each of the three main elevations.” A quote in the Wichita Eagle-Beacon from Wichita’s Historic Preservation Officer, Marian Cone on April 10, 1977 stated about the mansion, “The Sternberg Mansion…is unusual in that its eclectic style incorporates all the elements Stern- berg could fabricate…Sternberg used his own home as a sort of ‘model home,’ a tangible ex- ample of his expertise for prospective customers… it is the only remaining Queen Anne-style man- sion of its size in the city and it is a magnificent example of architecture…The use of exterior wood in patterns is most unusual as are the var- iations of the use of colored and plain glass. The leaded and stained glass windows on the landing of the very ornate staircase are most unusual in that they are of a geometric pattern not common until the 1920s.” Yet another article about the Sternberg Mansion in the Eagle-Beacon in November 16, 1976 states, “The house, built in 1886 by William H. Stern- berg, one of Wichita’s foremost builders during the city’s early boom days, is the only remaining Queen Anne style mansion of this size in the city. It is seen as a magnificent example of Victorian architecture, with most of the original detailing and gingerbread on the exterior, a large walnut staircase, wood paneling, and six fireplaces.” And Mr. Sternberg located his first-rate mansion in Wichita’s finest district at the time (on Waco Avenue). Yet another article appearing in the Wichita Evening Eagle on August 3, 1933 comments, “in the early ‘70s (1870s)…Waco avenue was ‘the elite’ street. Waco avenue in the very early day was considered to be the best residential street and many believed that when the city grew large it would be the choice residence district of the city.” Indeed, W. H. Sternberg was an extraordinary person in Wichita at a time when the rest of the country was curiously taking note of this fast-growing prairie town. His work as a contractor, his involvement in civic groups, his reputation for doing the highest quality work possible, his reputation for being hard-working and fair to all, his diligence to hire only the most highly skilled workers and his pioneering ideas in building style and function bestowed to the people of Wichita and beyond an authentic Victorian legacy to be enjoyed by all for generations to come. Your comments, ideas, thoughts and/or stories about this drawing or this place (Sternberg Mansion) are greatly appreciated and welcomed!



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