Somehow, McPherson seems to have found the formula. As I looked at a colorful collage at the Clayworks gallery, I thought maybe it represented the answer: A variety of ideas and concepts in the downtown area create a whole that is attractive to both residents and out-of-town visitors. And, as one of the pieces of the collage says, "All things grow with LOVE."
It's obvious that McPhersonites love their town. With its location in the middle of the state, it's also a great spot for a Kansas Staycation.
My PEO group traveled to McPherson this spring for a field trip. We only toured two places and ate lunch at the Main Street Deli. Some of us spent a little time at Twice Told Tales, a second-hand book store which turned out to be owned by a "girl" who grew up in Stafford. (It was a nice surprise. We didn't know it until we walked through the door.) Since we were on a schedule, we didn't have time to explore other stores, including two of my favorites, The Well and The Cook's Nook.
But, if you didn't want to spend all day in McPherson, you could amble on down the road to nearby Lindsborg, about 20 minutes away. (I have done blog posts about Coronado Heights, the Red Barn Studio, and Dala horses in Lindsborg, and there are plenty of other stores and attractions there, too.
Even though McPherson lost its bid in 1887 to become the capital of Kansas, some early entrepreneurs weren't deterred. They wanted to build a bigger and better opera house to replace the city's original structure.
Malm painted the mural above the proscenium arch and designed the decorative stenciling that has been recreated in the auditorium. During a 1925-1929 extensive remodeling of the Opera House, the decorative scheme devised by Malm was largely left intact but some of his work was painted over in an effort to “modernize” the interior.
In 1929, the facility was converted into a movie theater, first called the Empire and later called the Mac. In 1965, the last business to occupy the building was the Trailways Bus Station. However, the building fell into disrepair. In the 1980s, the crumbling structure was facing demolition when a group of citizens organized efforts to renovate the building. Through careful restoration, the interior now looks much like it would have in 1913. But it now has modern amenities, including larger seats, a digital sound system for movies and a concession stand.
Light still shines into the building through colored glass windows.
The restoration took 25 years and cost $8.5 million. Funding came from individual donors, foundations, government and private grants, as well as from State and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits.
The sitter and the boyfriend tried to get them back, but Jo protested so loudly that they eventually gave up and let her take them home, where she buried them in a sand pile. A few years later, her family moved to St. Louis and the "soldier" handles came along. In her later years, she told the story to her family.
Her daughter Sarah Peters of Louisville, Ky., returned the door handles to the Opera House in late 2011. Now the handles are mounted on the original Opera House doors in the Grand Ballroom. The transfer back to McPherson fulfilled her mother's wish: "If you restore the building you can have them back!"
Ellinwood's tunnels during another field trip.)
Another part of the basement has been transformed into the Mary Anderson Arts Center, which functions as a working art studio for artists. The clay room features a kiln and potter's wheels, while the other arts are taught and practiced in the adjacent room. Novice and veteran artists can use the center to host art-inspired camps, birthday parties, women’s groups and more.
We had a wonderful tour guide, Jean Rowland. If you're with a group, I highly recommend a guided tour. You may also take a walking tour on your own for a small fee.
MCPHERSON CLAYWORKS (DISABILITY SUPPORTS)
Disability Supports of the Great Plains' goal is to make life complete for its clients. Clayworks provides an artistic venue for clients to express themselves by making bowls, decorative plates, planter decor, mugs, wind chimes, vases and other pottery, as well as jewelry, stepping stones and stationary, our tour guide, Teresa Preston, told us.
|I purposely kept this photo fairly dark so that the people couldn't be easily identified.|
“When the artists begin a project, they start with something they look at as just a mound of clay, or a pencil, brush and sheet of paper. But as they work with it, it grows, transitions and changes. By the time they’re finished, they’ve communicated their personality and feelings in a way words never could.”
David Olson on The Clayworks website
|These pieces of pottery were completed that day and were ready to be fired. I was struck by the message of the LOVE stickers on the "window" that looked into the work room.|
If art is not your thing, there's also a beautiful golf course that Randy and I visited last year - Turkey Creek. We ate at Tres Amigos Mexican Restaurant for our evening meal and enjoyed that, too!
For more ideas on a Kansas Staycation in McPherson, go to this website.
This looks Amazing! I can’t wait to visit. We are moving to St John in September from Connecticut.ReplyDelete
That's great. Welcome to my neck of the woods! I look forward to meeting you in person.Delete
I ❤️ Your blog!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much!Delete