Building Community

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photos by:
September 16, 2011

With a clean-lined new loft building designed by El Dorado Inc., a fleet of hip galleries, and a burgeoning creative class, Wichita is anything but plains.

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  The new outdoor wall mural in progress by artist Seth Depiesse on Main Street.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    The new outdoor wall mural in progress by artist Seth Depiesse on Main Street.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  Downtown Wichita offers a compelling mix of old—such as a weathered concrete sign by the train tracks at the disused Union Station on Douglas Avenue.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    Downtown Wichita offers a compelling mix of old—such as a weathered concrete sign by the train tracks at the disused Union Station on Douglas Avenue.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  A patio protected by a steel-and-cedar-slat trellis accommodates a meeting between (left to right) contractor Mark Farha, building owners and developers Brock Oaks and David Farha, and owner and contractor Ted Farha.  Photo by: Jake Stangel
    A patio protected by a steel-and-cedar-slat trellis accommodates a meeting between (left to right) contractor Mark Farha, building owners and developers Brock Oaks and David Farha, and owner and contractor Ted Farha.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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  One view of the Finn Lofts' southwest corner includes a cut-out rain screen.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    One view of the Finn Lofts' southwest corner includes a cut-out rain screen.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  A wider look at the screened patio attached to the Finn Lofts.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    A wider look at the screened patio attached to the Finn Lofts.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  Loft B tenants Melissa and Keith Bishop downsized from a 3,000 square foot space to a cozy 720 square foot loft. "We downsized our lives," Melissa says. "We streamlined."  Photo by: Jake Stangel
    Loft B tenants Melissa and Keith Bishop downsized from a 3,000 square foot space to a cozy 720 square foot loft. "We downsized our lives," Melissa says. "We streamlined."

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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  The clean lines and, in Loft R's case, balcony with a view of downtown's skyline suit Robert Vanselow's urbane sensibility. "This was spot on," he says.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    The clean lines and, in Loft R's case, balcony with a view of downtown's skyline suit Robert Vanselow's urbane sensibility. "This was spot on," he says.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  A social creature who seems to know everyone, Loft J occupant Jamil Malone has hosted several "alcohol-themed" parties and manages to wedge as many as 20 people into his studio. The gatherings are like gallery openings, with the walls of Malone's apartment displaying a roving selection of locally produced art.  Photo by: Jake Stangel
    A social creature who seems to know everyone, Loft J occupant Jamil Malone has hosted several "alcohol-themed" parties and manages to wedge as many as 20 people into his studio. The gatherings are like gallery openings, with the walls of Malone's apartment displaying a roving selection of locally produced art.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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  Wichita's OldTown Theatre Grill where you can eat dinner while watching a movie.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    Wichita's OldTown Theatre Grill where you can eat dinner while watching a movie.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  The Fisch Haus collective, home to resident artists Patrick Duegaw and Elizabeth Stevenson.  Photo by: Jake Stangel
    The Fisch Haus collective, home to resident artists Patrick Duegaw and Elizabeth Stevenson.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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  Wichitans satisfy their sweet tooth at the Donut Whole, which serves more than 25 varieties of donuts every day.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    Wichitans satisfy their sweet tooth at the Donut Whole, which serves more than 25 varieties of donuts every day.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  The photography-focused Gallery at Dock 410.  Photo by: Jake StangelCourtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel
    The photography-focused Gallery at Dock 410.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

    Courtesy of: c 2010 Jake Stangel

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  Architect Douglas Stockman says the building's charcoal-and-orange exterior coloring was "intended to reflect the dynamic character of the neighborhood." Here, it provides a festive backdrop to the residents' semi-annual Finn Lofts community party.  Photo by: Jake Stangel
    Architect Douglas Stockman says the building's charcoal-and-orange exterior coloring was "intended to reflect the dynamic character of the neighborhood." Here, it provides a festive backdrop to the residents' semi-annual Finn Lofts community party.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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