Stop demolition and rehabilitate Docking State Office Building in Kansas

Stop demolition and rehabilitate Docking State Office Building in Kansas

October 6, 2022
Signatures: 408Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Plains Modern

The Honorable Laura Kelly, Governor
State of Kansas

The Honorable Rick Billinger, Chair
Joint Committee on State Building Construction

Dear Governor Kelly and Senator Billinger, 

Docking State Office Building, Kansas’s first modern state office building, a midcentury architectural gem, and a sound structure according to a 2020 report, was added to the National Register of Historic Places January 20, 2022, as “an exceptionally intact and unique example of Modern Movement architecture applied to a public office building.” 

But National Register listing is not enough to save Docking from the wrecking ball.


Docking State Office Building

Governor Kelly, your administration is advancing a plan to demolish and replace the 14-story office building. The State Finance Council voted before national listing that Docking be "renovated to encompass three floors of office and meeting space." Therefore, the resources and responsibilities of its historical status were not considered in the approved plan. 

Governor Kelly, your administration is proceeding despite the State Historic Preservation Officer finding that the project will “destroy the historic building and cause it to be removed from the National Register of Historic Places.” 

Governor Kelly, your final order allows demolition, despite state statute attesting that “preservation should be among the highest priorities of government.”  

Governor Kelly, statute also requires you to determine whether "prudent and feasible" alternatives exist to demolition. Documented prudent and feasible alternatives exist, evidenced by the Kansas legislature’s 2021 appropriation of monies for full rehabilitation.

What we lose if Docking is destroyed:

  • A national landmark, prime example of modernist architecture, and piece of living history for future generations
  • Central, efficient space for thousands of state workers, forcing the public and elected leaders to travel to state offices around Topeka and the taxpayers to foot the bill for leased space, estimated conservatively at $5 million per year
  • A solid building made of concrete-encased steel, limestone, and marble; Docking will be difficult and costly to tear down and state consultants determined it a good candidate for rehabilitation
  • In the landfill, Docking wastes natural resources; standing, Docking represents more than 30,000 tons of embodied CO2; enough energy to circle Earth by car more than 4,000 times will be wasted in its unnecessary demolition and almost 11,000 tons of CO2 will be emitted in new construction of the proposed structure
  • Any semblance that Kansas preservation law is anything but a sham when designated, state-controlled buildings are concerned

Therefore, the undersigned petition you, Governor Kelly, to reverse the final order to demolish Docking State Office Building.

The undersigned also petition the Joint Committee on State Building Construction to devise a Docking rehabilitation plan that preserves the structure’s historical integrity, the taxpayer’s investment in this building, and saves Kansas tax dollars for years and years to come.  


Support now
Signatures: 408Next Goal: 500
Support now