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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 Stangel.
    The new outdoor wall mural in progress by artist Seth Depiesse on Main Street. Photo by 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 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.
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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 Stangel.
    One view of the Finn Lofts' southwest corner includes a cut-out rain screen. Photo by Jake Stangel.
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  A wider look at the screened patio attached to the Finn Lofts.  Photo by Jake Stangel.
    A wider look at the screened patio attached to the Finn Lofts. Photo by 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 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.
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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 Stangel.
    Wichita's OldTown Theatre Grill where you can eat dinner while watching a movie. Photo by 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 Stangel.
    Wichitans satisfy their sweet tooth at the Donut Whole, which serves more than 25 varieties of donuts every day. Photo by Jake Stangel.
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  The photography-focused Gallery at Dock 410.  Photo by Jake Stangel.
    The photography-focused Gallery at Dock 410. Photo by 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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