Every cool city, large or small, has an arts district. It’s a place with multiple art galleries, cool shops and restaurants, and a central square of a sort where people can hang out and get some sun and enjoy open-air celebrations.
Wichita doesn’t have such a place.
Consider the Hyde Park area, bordered by Hydraulic, Washington, Douglas, and Kellogg — just south of the Douglas Design District. The area is bordered by The Greteman Group, GLMV Architects, Devlin Rod & Custom, The Anchor, Meddy’s, and Old Town. It has Central Standard Brewery with outdoor seating, and a rather large public park, Hyde Park, almost center in the area.
The area abounds with commercial spaces for rent, has living areas, modular shipping container offices, the important Wichita Children’s Theater and The Ketch Program for important inclusiveness. Amazingly, it has an art supply shop in City Blue to keep the artists in supplies. Also adding to the cool factor, Kerosene Skate Shop, Functional Glass Art Shop, the new Hot As Love Tattoo Shop and a new art gallery next door called Art House 310.
Creativity is already exploding in this area.
With some tax incentives, relaxed zoning laws, and new blood at City Hall there should be no reason why the Hyde Park Arts District couldn’t become a reality. Anyway, that’s what’s been rolling around in my head. With this we could make Wichita really pop and add a new and important destination to our growing city.