Kansas Statehouse after historic preservation was complete.

Kansas Statehouse Preservation & Restoration

State of Kansas Office of Facilities & Property Management
Architectural Design, Interior Design, Planning
Historic Preservation
Topeka, KS
Project type
Black and white photo of the exterior of the Kansas State Capitol showing a large building with columns and a dome.
Kansas Statehouse circa 1898

Restoring The People's House

Considered “the people’s house,” this monument has long been a symbol of ingenuity and the pioneering spirit of Kansans. The goal was to rehabilitate the century-old public monument and add energy-efficient spaces while preserving the building’s iconic character.

Photo shows the Kansas Senate chambers, c2013, after the room was resorted. It features the historically appropriate patterned carpet, decoratively painted walls, historic desks, historic gallery, and 28 restored copper columns.
Photo of the Kansas Senate chambers, circa 1999, with historic senate desks and gallery seating. The photo is intended to demonstrate the non-historic elements such as the red carpet, cream wall paint, and chandeliers.
The project restored the Kansas Senate chamber including significant amounts of decorative metals, decorative paint, decorative plaster, and imported marble and native wood.
Photo shows children standing on a map of Kansas and its counties with a woman sitting at a desk in the background in the Kansas Statehouse visitor center.

Creating more space

We designed a 118,000-square-foot space that houses a visitor center with an orientation auditorium, classroom, and gift shop, as well as spaces for security staff, mechanical equipment, storage, and maintenance facilities. With this addition, the entire basement (ground floor level) was used for office space. A 233,000-square-foot, 550-stall underground garage for visitors, legislators, and staff was added unobtrusively to the Capitol’s North Wing.

Balancing modern office amenities and historic integrity

Completed in 1903, the Kansas Statehouse is more than a public monument; it also houses the offices of the governor, state legislators, and support staff. To restore the building’s grandeur and expand its footprint, we worked with legislative leaders to complete a 14-year, multi-phased restoration project, initiated with a historic structure report and preservation master plan. Inside, we prioritized restoring historic spaces, such as the Senate Chamber, House of Representatives Chamber, Old Supreme Court Chamber, State Library of Kansas, and other public areas. We restored historic materials like marble, plaster, metalwork, and skylights; incorporated new security, life safety, and building code improvements; and seamlessly integrated energy-efficient lighting and MEP systems. Outside, we replaced the copper roof and dome and restored four types of limestone and granite masonry dating back 50 to 100 years.

Photo of the Kansas Statehouse, a grand building with a dome, with a statue in the foreground.

Designing a sustainable historic restoration

Where possible, we reused original materials to reduce waste and minimize costs. Any new materials used were selected based on renewable or recyclable content, durability, cost, and ability to complement or replicate original detailing.

The restoration of this monument significantly impacted the people who work there, the community at large, and the state economy. After the project was completed in January 2014, tourism rates increased by 72% over the next year.

When the State of Kansas had the vision of combining major renovations with a historic renovation, Treanor took up the challenge of merging seemingly conflicting priorities.

Berry Greis, Former Statehouse Architect


  • 2018 Tucker Design Award, Natural Stone Institute
  • 2017 North American Copper in Architecture 10 Year Anniversary Awards (roof/outer dome)
  • 2016 Outstanding Workmanship – Steep-Slope, NCRA Gold Circle Awards
  • 2015 Palladio Award for Commercial, Institutional, Public Restoration/Renovation, Traditional Building & Period Homes Magazines
  • 2015 Historic Renovation Award for Excellence, Kan-Struct Awards
  • 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award (inner dome), Copper Development Association/Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association
  • 2014 Architecture Preservation Honor Award, AIA Central States Region Design Awards
  • 2014 Excellence in Renovation/Preservation Award, AIA Kansas Design Awards
  • 2014 Medallion Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation, Kansas Preservation Alliance
  • 2014 North American Copper in Architecture Award (roof/outer dome), CDA/CCBDA

Project contact

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