Davidson Opera House - Fort Scott Downtown Historic District - Fort Scott, Ks
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 37° 50.521 W 094° 42.377
15S E 349866 N 4189658
Quick Description: This is a three story red brick and stucco building located at 2 North Main in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2012 9:50:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMG0TB
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 1

Long Description:
From the National Register Application:
(visit link)

"First National Bank-Davidson Opera House, 1874, 1886, ca. 1915, ca. 1980, Italianate style. Inventory: 011-1830-00042 Status: contributing.

Description: This is a rectangular three-story Italianate-style brick commercial building with a corner bay facing the intersection and a five-bay front facing Main Street. It has a flat roof and parapet. Although the first floor front has been altered, the upper floors retain substantial architectural integrity. There is a projecting molded entrance surround with an arched head and a molded storefront cornice. On the second and third floors, paired masonry openings flank a central window opening. These have smooth-cut stone sills and flat brick arches. There is a prominent projecting ornamental pressed metal eave cornice with brackets and dentil molding. Similar window openings and the cornice continue along the south (Wall Street) facade. There is a rear entrance at the southwest corner of the building with three display window bays.

Alterations include a contemporary storefront entrance facing Main Street with paired metal entrance doors and stucco infill with contemporary windows in the east and south display window bays. The entrance has a contemporary semicircular awning and the windows had contemporary shed awnings. Windows on the upper floors are 111 double-hung sash that appear to be replacements with aluminum storm windows.

History: On May 7, 1874, the Fort Scott Weekly Monitor reported that A. C. DaVidson has been busy perfecting all the arrangements for the erection of what will be the pet and pride of Fort Scott. The report commented that Davidson's opera house building was situated on "one of the choice locations in town." The opera house was an important cultural and community center for residents of Fort Scott for nearly forty years. The town's position as a rail center made it a convenient venue for stage productions traveling from Kansas City to other metropolitan locations.

The building housed the First National Bank on the first floor and the Opera House on the upper floors. Originally, there were offices in the raised basement and two offices on the second floor in the Main Street front. This facade was recorded in a photograph (circa 1900). The stage occupied the rear of the second floor to the west. There was a major remodeling of the opera house in 1886 with J. W. Keplinger acting as the main contractor. After the First National failed in 1908, the Kansas State Bank moved into this storefront. The building was last used an opera house in 1914 because of the growing popularity of moving pictures. George W. Marble purchased the building, removed the opera house, rented the second floor for attorneys' offices, and lowered the bank floor to street level in 1915. This storefront was recorded in a circa 1920 postcard view. The Kansas State Bank merged with the Fort Scott State Bank in October, 1917 and then with the Citizens National Bank on March 12, 1924. Later in 1975, the Citizens National Bank erected a new bank building, but the bank continues to be a prominent business in the community.

Integrity: The building retains sufficient architectural integrity to be listed as a contributing resource."
Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Fort Scott Downtown Historic District - Fort Scott, Ks

Link to nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

2 North Main Ft. Scott, Ks. 66701

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

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