Preserving the Windsor Hotel in Garden City

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – The Windsor Hotel in Garden City is a well known landmark but the building is falling into disrepair. One group is doing their best to save it.

There hasn’t been anything inside the landmark for a decade and the top floors haven’t been used since the 70′s.

The Finney County Preservation Alliance is working to save the Windsor Hotel, a 19th century building that was the first of it’s kind for southwest Kansas.

“It was a leap of faith when they put a four story brick building in the middle of nowhere,” said Don Harness, the President of the Finney County Preservation Alliance.

That leap of faith became a success and it is now listed on the national historic register.

“I mean, it’s a focal point. There’s no two bits about it,” said a Garden City resident.

“It’s the backdrop to everyone’s lives. It’s part of the skyline,” said Harness.

Over the years, the building has lost its former charm but with the help of a grant the alliance plans on fixing the roof and preserving the look of that skyline by the end of this year.

“I think there’s support, but there could always be more,” said Brian Nelson, the Treasurer of the Finney County Preservation Alliance. “It takes a long time for these kinds of things to get rolling.”

To boost interest there are tours of the building that give people an inside look at the architecture and the history.

The Windsor Hotel is actually one of the first open atrium style hotels ever built and if they could get it back in working order that would make the Windsor the oldest of that style running today.

With $1.5 million  in the project so far and a possible $15 million more to go, supporters hope the town and all of Kansas can recognize its significance and donate.

“It’ll surprise you what went on and what is happening and what is going to happen,” said Tim Regan, a Garden City resident. “The Windsor will happen.”

Tours of the Windsor are the last Saturday of every month.

To learn more about the hotel and the restoration project, follow this link.

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