Congratulations! After a rigorous application process, the Vickers building in Haysville has been added to the National Register of Historic Places after previously being added to the Register of Kansas Historic Places.

Located at 140 N. Main Street, the Vickers Petroleum Service Station was built in 1954 and is the first service station in the nation to feature the architecturally significant ‘batwing’ design. The batwing concept, developed by architect John M. Hickman, was at the forefront of the Futurism style. Mr. Hickman, who apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at the University of Illinois, also designed downtown Wichita’s Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center and Wichita State University’s Ablah Library. The feeling evoked by the property reflects its period of significance. With its bold geometric form, the service station easily embodies the character of Post-War Modernism. Having two historic gas islands in front of the station, the property is easily distinguishable as a service station.

The Vickers Station is of historic importance for more than oil industry history and first-of-its-kind architecture. When an F4 tornado cut a trail of destruction through the center of Haysville in 1999, the original exterior masonry of the Vickers Station was one of the few structures on the east side of Main Street left intact. Prior to the tornado, the building sat vacant for many years, but the community was inspired to preserve Vickers Station after seeing the destruction throughout town. In 2007, the interior was remodeled to serve as office space and is now home to the Haysville Chamber of Commerce.

On the Register, the Vickers Station is included in a sub-category called Roadside Kansas, which the Kansas Historical Society describes as a broad genre that includes "automobile service stations, car dealerships, drive-in restaurants, roadside attractions, and other businesses that served the motoring public." Other Roadside Kansas sites include the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, and the J. Arch Butts Packard Building in Wichita.


May 3, 99 Tornado damage



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