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KU historic district earns national recognition

Mon, 04/29/2013

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Historic District is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service has announced.
 
The district comprises the heart of the Lawrence Campus and was added to the Register of Historic Kansas Places in February.
 
The only campus historic district in Kansas, it covers the period of 1863-1951. The district includes buildings such as Watson Library, landmarks such as the World War II Memorial Campanile and landscapes such as The Hill, which graduates walk down during Commencement.
 
“This national designation reflects the historic importance of Mount Oread as a center for teaching and scholarship. It will also help preserve the campus for future generations of Jayhawks who will call KU home,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
 
The district was created with support from the Historic Mount Oread Friends, which provided $21,000 in funding for the drafting of the nomination. Members of the organization worked with the Campus Historic Preservation and Heritage Advisory boards to define the district in consultation with Rosin Preservation, Treanor Architects and landscape historian Carol Grove.
 
To be eligible for inclusion in the state or federal registers, properties must generally retain their historic appearance, be at least 50 years old and have demonstrated significance, either historically or architecturally. Historic districts generally must be contiguous. Inclusion in the registers makes properties eligible for state and federal financial incentives, such as tax credits.
 
The KU historic district was nominated for its local and statewide significance in the areas of education, architecture and landscape architecture.
 
The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties, while the Register of Historic Kansas Places performs the same role at the state level. Properties included in the National Register are automatically listed in the State Register; however, not all properties listed in the State Register are included in the National Register.
 
See the nomination form here and a map of the district here.

 



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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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