Archive for Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leavenworth receives This Old House honor

July 2, 2009

It’s only fitting that the first city in Kansas be recognized as having some of the country’s best historic homes.

Leavenworth recently made a list of 51 cities across the country with the “Best Old-House Neighborhoods.” The list, compiled by the magazine This Old House, honors neighborhoods that have “promising futures and homes that truly deserve a long-term commitment.”

“Think of Leavenworth as small-town America with an edge,” touts the magazine about Leavenworth. “Home to heroes (from Fort Leavenworth, the oldest U.S. Army facility west of the Mississippi) and villains (from the well-known federal prison), this sleepy Missouri River city of 35,000 has six residential areas recognized as National Historic Districts. Each has big, beautiful houses on tree-lined streets that belie the city’s institutional reputation.”

A city was named in each state in North America and one in Canada for this issue of the second-annual list that hit newsstands June 29. The magazine was on a search to find unique, tight-knit neighborhoods that might typically not be found on someone’s radar.

All the selected neighborhoods fit the following criteria: architectural diversity, craftsmanship of the homes and the preservation momentum in the area, as well as neighborhood amenities including walkability, safety and community.  

“Locals describe Leavenworth as a warm, family-oriented community, with top-notch schools and safe, walkable streets,” the magazine states. “Many residents are young professionals who commute to nearby Kansas City, Missouri (40 minutes away), or retired Army officers drawn to Leavenworth’s relaxing pace after years of service.”

Leavenworth’s oldest homes are generally brick Greek Revivals dating back to the 1850s. Other styles that can be found include Italianate, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne and bungalow.

In addition to prices that range from $40,000 to $400,000, the magazine’s reasons for someone buying one of Leavenworth’s old homes is the Kansas Income Tax Credit that gives homeowners a 25 percent reimbursement credit for restoration or maintenance on homes in the National Historic Districts.

For more on Leavenworth’s old-home neighborhoods or to see other cities that made the list, go to


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