Commercial Buildings in Downtown Ft. Scott, Ks.
"Located on higher ground above the Marmaton River to the north and northwest, the Fort Scott Downtown Historic District is located in the center of the business district of Fort Scott, Kansas (pop. 8,297). Fort Scott is the county seat of Bourbon County, Kansas. Throughout much of its history, Fort Scott was served by three main railroads: Missouri Pacific, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, St. Louis and San Francisco. Because of the railroads and the natural resources of the surrounding region, the town developed a number of industries in the late nineteenth century and some important companies in the early twentieth century that supported the local economy. The Fort Scott Downtown Historic District includes the central core area of the historic commercial district that developed from 1863 until circa 1970 when an Urban Renewal program demolished a number of commercial buildings to the north and east. Historic district boundaries are based on previous historic preservation survey and recommendations by the staff of the Kansas Historic Preservation Office.
Most of the extant historic buildings have identical setbacks with the building fronts extending to the sidewalk. Brick is the primary building material with some stone, concrete block, and concrete. Generally, buildings are one, two, and three stories tall with several taller buildings anchoring the end of blocks. Most of the buildings in the district are two-part and one-part commercial blocks. As defined by Richard Longstreth, the two-part commercial block is the "most common type of composition used for small and moderate-sized commercial buildings throughout the country." These buildings feature a distinction between the storefront level and an upper zone. Most storefronts have symmetrically arranged facades with large display windows flanking a central entrance. The one-part commercial block has only a single story which is similar to the storefront of the two-part commercial block. These commercial buildings generally have low-sloping or flat roofs behind raised parapets. Also, the downtown streets were paved with locally manufactured brick during the period of significance and constitute a significant resource."