HPA & Other Preservation Activities
in Wichita and Kansas

Photo albums

Yearly HPA Road Trip - Abilene 2009

Broadview Hotel  Tour - 2009

St. Francis Hospital chapel Tour - 2009

McAdams/Fultz House Tour - 2008

Yearly HPA Road Trip - El Dorado 2008

Richmond Hill School Project - 2008

Yearly HPA Road Trip - Hutchinson 2007

Yearly HPA Road Trip - Ponca City 2006
Yearly HPA Road Trip - Cottonwood Falls & Emporia 2005

Yearly HPA Road Trip - Wilson and Lucas 2004

Yearly HPA Road Trip - Abilene 2003

Yearly HPA Road Trip - McPherson 2002

Birney Trolley Project - 2001

Wishbone Building Project - 2000 


Yearly HPA Road Trip - 2006

(Click for many additional photos of the Ponca City  trip)

HPA members took their annual road trip a month early in hopes of avoiding the oppressive heat of past trips. And, while the plan for avoiding heat was only partially successful, with temperatures in the 90, the trip itself was a roaring success.

We traveled to Ponca City, Oklahoma, June 10, for tours of the two mansions built by oil baron and 10th Oklahoma governor E.W. Marland.

The first trained geologist to use scientific methods to locate vast oil deposits, Marland had already experienced one boom-and-bust cycle on the east coast when he moved to Oklahoma to rebuild his fortune around 1910. He discovered his first well on the famous 101 ranch, just south of Ponca City, and his second on Kaw Indian land.

This long article covers only a small portion of what we learned on the hour-long tour of the Grand Home and the three-hour guided tour of the Marland Mansion. For more information, you can go to www.marlandmansion.com and click on various links providing history and tour pictures.

By 1916 Marland had amassed a fortune, and his "Grand Home" was built on what became Ponca City’s main street, Grand. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains 22 rooms spread over four levels, providing 16,524 square feet of living – and partying – space.

Outside there were eight acres of formal gardens stretching to the east, a golf course across Grand to the north, and even a three car attached garage.

But size wasn’t the Grand Home’s most impressive feature. That claim goes to innovation. According to a pamphlet published by the volunteer organization that maintains both homes, this 1916 structure had "a central vacuuming system, automatic dishwasher, kitchen exhaust fan, Monel counter tops, and one of the first indoor swimming pools in Oklahoma." In the early 1920s, air conditioning was added to the bedroom of Marland’s wife, Mary.

Covering up most of the beautiful hanging staircase in the Grand Home are HPA's intrepid explorers.

Front row: Bill Ellington, Claire Willenburg, Bobbie Johnson and and Kandi Crenshaw's son;

Second row: Valerie Ellington, Warren Willenburg, Vicki Churchman, Greg Kite;

Back row: Dean Bradley and Kandi Crenshaw.

All photos are by fellow traveler, D. Churchman.


After 12 years of "pool parties, dances, and other festive occasions," as well as continued successful oil finds, Marland decided the 22 room, 16,524 square foot house was not grand enough. He, his wife, and their two adoptive children had visited Europe, and Marland wanted a true palace on the plains.

When completed in 1928, the mansion was more than double the size of the "Grand Home," and no expense was spared to make it as lavish – and modern – as money could assure. The mansion has 55 rooms, taking up 43,561 square feet of space. It had 10 bedrooms, 7 fireplaces, and 3 kitchens, plus an enormous T-shaped outdoor swimming pool, 5 lakes, boathouse connected by underground tunnel to the mansion, and three "out-buildings" the size of many homes. There was a two-story Artist’s home and studio, a 5-car garage with attached two-story living quarters, and stables for the Marland’s horses. The stable is the only structure no longer a part of the Marland estate, and it is in use as an up-scale home by those who purchased it.

Although the mansion and its other structures were made of native limestone, much of the interior was imported. The pamphlet on this home says the walls of the Elizabethan dining room "are hand-cut panels of rare English Pollard Oak, cut from the royal forests of England with special permission from the king." The chandeliers in the ballroom are Waterford crystal, one landing is lighted by a Lalique fluted crystal light fixture, and Marland imported artisans from all over the world to design and decorate the mansion.

But innovation was once again a top priority. This 43,561 square foot home built in 1928 had central heat AND central air conditioning. There was an Otis elevator, lined in leather, which is still in use. And the kitchen off the dining room had a safe to hold the family silver, a steam dishwasher, and an ammonia-powered refrigerator with freezer that could make ice.


Yearly HPA Road Trip 2005

(Click for many more photos of the Emporia Road Trip)

HPA members and guests drove to Cottonwood Falls, Saturday, July 23,  for lunch at the Emma Chase Cafe and a tour the Chase County Courthouse. Then on  to Emporia for a tour of the Emporia Gazette newspaper and museum.

The highlight of the trip was a visit to Red Rock, the home of William Allen White, where they enjoyed excellent presentations by docents who told stories on the furnishings as well as about the house and Allen family. They learned that the house has a ghost and saw the bed where five U.S. presidents had slept.

It was a hot, 100 plus day, but everybody enjoyed the trip in spite of the heat.

Chase County Courthouse


Courtroom in the Chase County Courthouse

Cottonwood Falls main street from the courthouse

This is what happens if you are bad on an HPA excursion

HPA group at the Emporia Gazette

Red Rock, the home of William Allen White