Jump to Navigation

National and State Registers of Historic Places

Union National Bank Building

Picture of property 104 S Broadway
Wichita (Sedgwick County)
Listed in National Register 2012-02-03

Architect: Vizthum and Burns
Category: commerce
Thematic Nomination: African American Resources in Wichita, KS

Built in 1926, the 14-story Union National Bank building is a classic example of a tall, concrete-framed, Chicago-style office building. The building was financed by the Edith Rockefeller McCormick Trust of Chicago, designed by K. M. Vitzthum and J. J. Burns Architects, and constructed by Wichita builder George Siedhoff. It took just eight months to complete the building at a cost of $200,000, and upon its completion it was the tallest building in Kansas. The building is particularly significant as the location of a student-led sit-in in 1958 at the Dockum Drug Store on the first floor. With support from the local NAACP chapter and leaders such as Chester Lewis and Vivian Parks, a group of young African Americans peacefully protested the drug store's discriminatory policies for three weeks. Their efforts convinced the Dockum company and the associated Rexall corporation to change their policies in stores throughout Kansas. Although rarely recognized, this protest inspired other sit-ins in Oklahoma City and across the country. The building is nominated for its architectural significance and as part of the "African American Resources of Wichita" multiple property nomination for its association with the 1958 sit-in.



New Search