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Delano Neighborhood Plan

Delano Plan Advisory Committee

The next Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, Monday, January 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the MAPC Conference Room, 2nd Floor, The Ronald Reagan  Building, 271 W. Third Street. 

Meeting Calendar

​Delano Neighborhood Plan Update

Although plans for community investment have been considered since 1989, there remains much to be done. Douglas Avenue has been redeveloped and is widely considered a tremendous success, yet the vacant Union Pacific rail corridor lays dormant, the Arkansas Riverfront is underdeveloped, vacant parcels and underutilized surface parking areas abound, and access to public space is fragmented. 

Reasons for Enthusiasm  Between Douglas and First Street, adjacent to McLean Blvd, a new residential building and an advanced learning library are under construction. And a hotel and mixed use residential building are slated for development. Wichita leadership wants to expand urban investment from the east side of the river to the west, including a renovated or redeveloped Lawrence-Dumont baseball stadium. There are many directions the community can turn. Showcasing the neighborhood's unique identity, leveraging existing assets, and creating cohesion can move Delano forward. 

Delano’s Turn: Directions West of the River  presents urban design ideas for the future of the Delano district in Wichita, Kansas. Fifteen Kansas State University mid-level students, enrolled in an intensive 8-week Community Planning and Design studio, completed the work during the summer of 2017. The studio was co-led by Associate Professor Blake Belanger and Associate Professor Howard Hahn.

Conceived by the studio professors and the Wichita Downtown Development Corporatiion, the idea for the project emerged from discussions in late 2016. Goals of the collaborative service learning studio included providing students with first-hand experience working with a community, generating creative ideas for advancing the dialogue about planning the future of Delano, engaging residents and stakeholders and responding to their input, and supporting the mission of the project partners. In contrast to a singular master plan, the collection of ideas presented in Delano’s Turn provides a multitude of ideas that can be compared, evaluated, prioritized, and perhaps hybridized.

Delano’s Turn is presented in two Volumes. Volume 1: Design Proposals begins with background, primary dilemmas, intent, methods, and process. In the following four chapters of Volume 1, we present specific urban design strategies for activating existing assets, showcasing Delano’s identity through sense of place, and increasing connectivity and cohesiveness. Volume 2: Critical Maps and Index contains over 80 maps documenting existing conditions, dilemmas, opportunities, and conceptual strategies.

Delano's turn: Directions West of the River

​Delano Plan Advisory Committee Minutes & Agendas

2018-01-22 Agenda.pdf2018-01-22 Agenda
2017-11-27 Minutes.pdf2017-11-27 Minutes
2017-11-27 Agenda.pdf2017-11-27 Agenda
2017-10-23 Minutes.pdf2017-10-23 Minutes
2017-10-23 Agenda.pdf2017-10-23 Agenda
2017-09-25 Minutes.pdf2017-09-25 Minutes
2017-09-25 Agenda.pdf2017-09-25 Agenda
2017-08-28 Minutes.pdf2017-08-28 Minutes
2017-08-28 Agenda.pdf2017-08-28 Agenda

More Information

Delano Neighborhood Plan

Contact Matt Williams
P: (316)352-4864 
Email Matt Williams

Birds-eye view of early Wichita and Delano. Delano was well-known for its saloons and "bawdy houses."

Courtesy of Wichita Public Library

Early residents were able to settle in the Delano area as a result of the 1862 Homestead Act which required a payment of only $50.00 to take up residence on 160 acres of land. From these early settlers, Delano developed as a separate city. Delano was named after Columbus Delano, Secretary of the Interior under President Ulysses S. Grant.

In 1872, the Delano area experienced noticeable growth associated with farmers bringing in wheat by wagon, cattle being driven across Lawrence family land and the opening of a new toll bridge at Douglas. In 1871, Jennison and Walker's Hotel and Saloon were opened. Red Beard and Rowdy Joe established themselves on the west bank in 1872, and new businesses developed along what was to become Douglas. For a brief period, Delano had a post office, but it was closed when Delano became annexed into Wichita in the late 1870's.

By 1885, new settlers began buying lots for homes and much of the land in Delano became desirable for residential uses. Within Delano, the earliest settlers were the brothers Enoch, Frank and Almon Dodge; Robert Lawrence; John McCormick; Otto Martinson and Judge Baldwin. The new Franklin School was completed in 1886. The Dodge family home was built in 1887 as were the Martinson and Lawrence homes. The Garfield University was built in 1887 (later renamed Friends University - est. 1898, after a brief period of vacancy). The construction of the watch factory at St. Clair and Douglas was completed. Schuyler Crawford grocery store opened at Maple and Seneca. Many of Delano's streets were named after early settlers and their children. Exposition was named after the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.

While the boom of 1884 was an exciting time for the west Wichita area of Delano, the City soon experienced economic recession. Many of the original settlers and early businesses went bankrupt. By 1889, the city had lost nearly half of its population. By the beginning of the 20th Century, oil and manufacturing development in the Wichita area generated another building boom which lasted until the Depression years. Shortly thereafter, Wichita would become known as the Air Capital of America because of its airplane manufacturing industry, with a portion of the industry based in Delano. World War II brought renewed prosperity to Wichita. The aviation industry soon became the dominant industry in the city during the war.

Certainly the colorful and rich history of Delano provides an essential element for the future of the neighborhood - a rich history and cultural heritage to be drawn upon, preserved, and promoted.


The Delano neighborhood is one of the oldest and most well established neighborhoods in the City of Wichita, and is located to the immediate west of the downtown area of Wichita. The neighborhood boundaries include: the Arkansas River on the north and east, Meridian and US 54 Highway on the west and south respectively.

The Delano neighborhood is in a state of transition. Once known for its quality of life and thriving business, it is now facing increasing pressure from outlying areas, changes in business and demographics. US 54 Highway stopped running along Maple in the 1950's and Lawrence Lumber, a major construction retailer, left in the 1960's. The last hardware store left the West Douglas Strip in the early 1990's. Some stores have closed; others have been replaced with "thrift" and low budget stores. Declining home ownership and quality of housing combined with excessive industrial and commercial zoning caused many residents to worry about the fate of the area.

Fortunately, there are a lot of positive things about the Delano neighborhood. A diverse mix of retail still remains. The neighborhood contains an impressive array of established community institutions (i.e. Lawrence Dumont Stadium, the Masonic Home and Friends University), active civic organizations, churches, activity centers, parks, historic structures, homes and other businesses exemplify the richness and diversity of this area. The new Exploration Place science musuem coupled with the proposed development of the River Corridor have provided a catalyst for the revitalization of the Delano Neighborhood.

Active members of the neighborhood and the City of Wichita recognized that the time was right to take a look at the neighborhood. Weaknesses had to be identified and addressed. Neighborhood strengths needed to be enhanced. It was time to start planning and to position the Delano neighborhood for a healthy and successful future.

Planning Process

In early 1999, the Delano Neighborhood Association, the Delano Business Association and the Delano Clergy Association developed a partnership - referred to as the 3D - to focus on improving the neighborhood.

This group, working with staff from the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department, developed an outline of goals and objectives for neighborhood development and revitalization. Area residents and business owners have been exceptionally vocal in expressing their needs and concerns, with active participation in neighborhood meetings. In 1999, the City of Wichita was successful in obtaining a neighborhood revitalization planning grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing to assist in the preparation of a neighborhood revitalization plan for Delano.

Law-Kingdon was retained in early 2000 to develop the neighborhood plan, working with a steering committee comprised of members of the Delano Neighborhood Association, the Delano Business Association, the Delano Clergy Association, Friends University, the Masonic Home and other concerned stakeholders.

Utilizing the initial SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities & threats) and community visioning work initiated by the Delano community itself, several public workshops were used as opportunities to discuss problems and issues in the area and assemble ideas for its future.

Both walking and driving tours of the neighborhood were conducted by the consultant team. Photographs were taken and base maps drawn. The existing environment of the study area was considered including storefronts, key historic homes and structures, the street and pedestrian environments, circulation patterns, and the condition of housing stock and infrastructure.

Although there was a great deal of pre-planning work that had been established with respect to preliminary (SWOT) and community visioning work (see Neighborhood Assessment & Analysis), the consultant designated one workshop to re-validate this work and ensure that no other opportunities or issues were overlooked. At a May 2000 workshop meeting, participants were asked to identify the most important key issues raised during the SWOT process. The following is a list of these key issues:

  • Down zoning
  • Housing improvement and code enforcement
  • Preserving existing historic homes and other potentially significant structures
  • Business improvement and diversity in the area
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • More community services and other needed recreational activities

During the same workshop meeting, a vision statement was outlined with specific goals. Three subsequent neighborhood meetings were held to generate resident input to the plan. This planning process resulted in this Neighborhood Plan containing a framework for physical improvement, for new development, and for redevelopment opportunities. Neighborhood goals, recommended actions, and partnerships are also outlined in this plan.

More Information

Contact Scott Wadle
P: (316) 352-4855
Email Scott Wadle

Historic Delano
Email Historic Delano

Delano Neighborhood Association
Email Delano Neighborhood Association

Delano W Douglas Ave Bicycle Parking Plan

Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan

The Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan was initiated by Delano residents and business owners who identified a need for public bicycle parking in order to help prevent damage to property and traffic hazards that result from bicycles that are inappropriately parked due to a lack of public bicycle parking spaces. The Plan is a guide for the provision of public bicycle parking along West Douglas Avenue. It recommends public bicycle parking locations, configurations, designs, and funding methods.


On May 27, 2014, the Wichita City Council approved resolution 14-150 endorsing the Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan with the 2014 updates.

In 2013, the City of Wichita applied and was awarded federal Transportation Alternatives Program funding from the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to purchase and install 24 bicycle racks as part of Phase II. The federal funding requires a local match of 25% of the project costs.

In 2011, the City of Wichita utilized Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant frunding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund the purchase and installation of the Phase I bicycle racks (26 racks total).

2013 Update

The City of Wichita is working with a stakeholder Steering Committee to review and identify any necessary updates prior to the implementation of Phase 2. Below is a listing of events related to the update process.

August 20, 2013 - Delano Neighborhood Association
The proposed updates were presented to the neighborhood association for their review and feedback

September 24, 2013 - Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board
The recommended updates are tentatively scheduled for review and action by the Board to recommend endorsement by the Wichita City Council.