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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Fourth and Broadway Historic District
Reference Number 16000703
State KS
County Crawford
Town Pittsburg
Street Address 401-424 N. Broadway, 105 and 121 E. 4th Sts.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/11/2016
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, COMMERCE
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The Fourth and Broadway Historic District in Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas is locally significant under Criterion A in the area of Commerce, and Criterion C in the area of Architecture. The district is located at the prominent intersection of Fourth Street and Broadway, in the center of the original plat for the Town of Pittsburg. The streets at this intersection were the first to be graded and developed after Pittsburg was founded in 1876, and they have continuously served as the anchor for the business district that subsequently developed along Broadway. Pittsburg's growth was spurred by coal mining and zinc smelting. By the turn of the twentieth century, Crawford County was the largest coal producing area of the state, and Pittsburg was recognized as the center of the coal region.1 Buildings in the historic district include a pair of large office buildings which were occupied by many of the prominent mining companies in Pittsburg, as well as their financers and lawyers. The district was also home to numerous long-standing businesses that reflected the strong social and economic stature of Pittsburg in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There are seven buildings within the district boundaries: five are contributing and two have already been listed in the National Register. Together they form one of the most intact concentrations of historic buildings in Downtown Pittsburg. The only non-contributing resource is a bank drive-through which was installed in 1957. It is a non-contributing structure. All of the buildings in the district were built for commercial use and they utilize common commercial building forms and architectural styles that were popular from the mid-1800s into the first quarter of the twentieth century. Most buildings in the district take the common form known as a two-part commercial block, and many of those have some ornament that is typical of the Late Victorian Style. Classical Revival styling became popular after the turn of the twentieth century; the Commerce Building, a three-part vertical block constructed in 1908, provides a refined example of the early Classical Revival Style. Contributing buildings include two of the largest historic bank and office buildings in the community, the Commerce Building at 401-403 N. Broadway, and the First National Bank Building, at 105 E. 4th Street. Two other buildings have already been recognized for their historic significance; the Colonial Fox Theatre and the Hotel Besse were both individually listed in the National Register in 2008. Two of the smaller buildings in the district have housed the same local businesses for decades. The Baxter Building at 405 N. Broadway has been home to Crowell's Drug Store for more than 100 years, and 412 N. Broadway has been occupied by Harry's Cafe since at least 1940. The period of significance for the district runs rrom ca. 1886, when the oldest building in the group was built, to 1966, when the National Bank of Pittsburg relocated to a new building. All of the contributing resources in the district are in fair to good condition, and all are clearly recognizable to their period of significance.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria