West Lawrence

Explore Old West Lawrence

From its beginnings in 1855, the Old West Lawrence neighborhood was different than other Lawrence neighborhoods. This was a wealthier area inhabited by more socially and politically prominent families. These families wanted their homes to be more than just a shelter, they wanted a large fashionable home.

Today, a walk or drive through the six-block neighborhood carries one through an area that has been developing for nearly 150 years. The oldest homes survived Quantrill’s Raid in 1863. The newest ones reflect the architectural styles of the 19th century. Amazingly, the vast majority of houses have not changed in outward appearance since they were built.

The Old West Lawrence Neighborhood was the first national historic district designated in Kansas. A stroll through the its streets, some of them the original brick, takes one on a journey through simpler times–( the hitching posts) the variety of styles, the mixing of old and new (with the stop signs and electricity poles). Each house, old or new, has its own unique story to tell.