As soldiers and sailors returned home from World War I, KCK's legislature and constituents elected to honor local veterans with the construction of a building, which would support a range of civic activities. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall would serve as a convention center, hosting anything from athletic events and conferences, to concerts. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Years after, IAA was commissioned to analyze the building, provide recommendations for repairs and accessibility upgrades and document and supervise extensive exterior restorations and renovations. An additional phase of the project involved upgrading the support facilities for the interior ballroom and meeting spaces, including a new elevator and support spaces.
Our team began by addressing the building exterior where work included masonry repairs and tuck-pointing, restoration and renovation of the brick facade and terra cotta cornices, a complete roof replacement and select window replacements. Following this, site improvements were made in order to comply with ADA accessibility requirements. Our team followed the Secretary of Interiors guidelines for historic preservation, taking special care to duplicate the building’s original elements and preserve its character. A second phase of the project involved replacing exterior wood double-hung type windows, the majority of which are original to the 1924 structure and are in serious disrepair. IAA was asked to investigate their condition, as well as that of several doors, and provide a report summarizing what action would best resolve the situation. Original wood elements were replaced with aluminum historic replica alternatives. Due to varying window frame proportions and challenging existing conditions, IAA worked closely with the window manufacturer and general contractor to match each existing window as closely as possible. Many of the doors, including the nine original wood entryways, were restored and refinished also. The most recent phase of the project revolved around adding modern functionality and accessibility to the interior of the building. One of the most commonly used venues within Memorial Hall is the third floor ballroom. In order to make this space more accessible for all guests, a new elevator was added. Additionally, the venue lacked private spaces for preparation. Contemporary lounges and suites where guests are able to get ready prior to an event were added. Lastly, IAA designers updated finishes within the ballroom itself, as well as elevator lobbies between the first and third floors, enhancing the user experience and making modern an historic cultural site.