Ness County Bank Building is a four-story, 18,700 sq. ft. stone building upon its completion in 1890, was called, “The finest and most imposing structure west of Topeka.” It became also known as the “Skyscraper of the Plains”. In 1972, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Instead of sand, crushed and ground limestone were used as an aggregate for the mortar to insure an exact match with adjoining stone.
The window fenestration is generally grouped in threes with second floor windows enclosed in enormous semi-curricular arches which rise from the first floor line and provide a striking accent to the facade.
The pyramid roof structure is flanked by four cut-stone spires. Tower stonework shows the fine craftsmanship of the 1880s.
In 1984, after ten years of vacancy, and at a point critical to its preservation, the rapidly deteriorating monument was purchased by the Foundation. The Foundation enlisted the help of both engineering and architectural firms to determine the necessary steps to prevent further deterioration and to structurally stabilize the building. Following their recommendations: a new roof was installed; exterior stone was re-pointed; gutters and downspouts replaced; windows re-glazed; unwanted material removed; and building and grounds were cleaned. In 1988, the west portion of the main floor was remodeled In 1989, a donation came as a “Gift of Lights” to the building. This imposing structure, outlined in lights during the Christmas season, is an inspirational vision worth the traveling just to experience. One of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture.