Some of the city’s oldest structures are still standing on the brick-lined streets of Old Town Wichita. The Spanish Revival Orpheum Theatre is representative of the elegant buildings raised during the city’s oil boom of the early 20th century. Wichita’s original City Hall, a monumental Richardsonian Romanesque-styled structure built in 1890, is now a museum, while The Neoclassical Union Station was converted to office space. For the most part, the buildings that form the Great Plains skyline are of modern vintage.
The Keeper of the Plains is a 44-foot high Native American sculpture that is the symbol of the city. Situated downtown at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers, the steel statue is illuminated by the Rings of Fire. Wichita is the birthplace of two of America’s iconic food chains: White Castle and Pizza Hut. The original Pizza Hut building now resides on a patch of Wichita State University real estate. The iconic Coleman Lantern was also born in Wichita and its origins can be explored at the Coleman Museum.
With an inventory of 90,683 single family homes, new Wichitans mostly find those attractive home values in single family homes for sale. By contrast, there are 4,166 multi-family properties and 2,997 apartments. Other options in the Wichita residential mix number 1,136. Investors and business owners can find 5,999 commercial properties and 1,426 pieces of real estate zoned for mixed use. The Midwest manufacturing center offers 1,125 industrial properties.
Wichita Transit covers the city real estate with regular service on 17 bus routes. All buses are wired for Wi-Fi and sport bike racks.
Wichita educates more public school students than any district in Kansas. The 90 schools are augmented by more than three dozen private institutions. Wichita State University is a public research college with five campuses in the city.
Healthcare is the second largest sector of the Wichita economy and the city’s hospitals provide primary care for much of central Kansas. The service area for the 8-building acute-care Wesley Medical Center reaches even further.
According to FBI statistics, property crime is almost twice as likely in the biggest city in Kansas than in the surrounding rural countryside – 1 in 20 in Wichita to 1 in 37 in Kansas. The rates for violent crime are 1 in 101 in Wichita and 1 in 256 in Kansas.
The Wichita Art Museum is the largest of its kind in Kansas and heads the roster of 33 city museums. Also on that list are the Museum of World Treasures, for a sampling of the earth’s curiosities, and the Mid-America All-Indian Center, which delves into aspects of Native American history. The city’s Final Friday art gallery crawls tap into the city’s cultural scene each month. Wichita has its own symphony orchestra, and Music Theatre Wichita draws national acts to its summer musical programs. Wichita puts on major air shows in alternating years: the Wichita Flight Festival for civilian aircraft and the McConnell Air Force Base Open House and Airshow for military airplanes. Every year comes Riverfest, the largest festival in Kansas, with aircraft rides, food and family fun.
Outdoors, the Sedgwick County Zoo entertains more visitors than any other Kansas attraction and the city-owned Botanica, The Wichita Gardens offers 24 themed display gardens. Wichitans have a passion for Wichita State University Shockers basketball team and also fill the stands for the National Baseball Congress World Series, the championship for amateur baseball in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, held in Wichita since 1935.
Old Town has emerged as the go-to spot for dining, entertainment and shopping. The Old Town Farmers’ Market is a Saturday morning tradition April through October. The Old Mill Tasty Shop has been dishing chocolate malts from its soda fountain since 1932 – pair it with a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich.