Westwood Hills takes steps to preserve historic structures that helped land it on national register

Westwood Hills Mayor Paula Schwach at one of the stone entry markers to the city.
Westwood Hills Mayor Paula Schwach at one of the stone entry markers to the city.

In 2013 Westwood Hills was rewarded for its historic architecture by being placed on both the National and Kansas Registers of Historic Places. Now, Westwood Hills is taking steps to make sure some of the touches that define the community stay intact.

Westwood Hills is the only municipality in Kansas in which the whole town lies completely within a historic district. Two stone bridges and 14 entry markers were contributors to the Westwood Hills historic designation. “Westwood Hills is committed to the preservation of the unique contributing structures that are in the city’s public right-of-way,” says mayor Paula Schwach.

Those stone bridges and markers will be repaired with the help of a county grant from the Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund that is in its last year. The $70,000 project will get half its funding from the county grant, which got money from mortgage fees.

The stone bridges date back to the 1930s. The entry markers are somewhat newer but Schwach says they have high visibility because most of them are on Rainbow Blvd. which carries 10,000 cars per day.

All of the stone walls in the city will be repaired. Not included in the current project is the fountain at 50th and Sate Line Road, the slate caps at the entry ways, and the stone at the three city-owned islands.. Those will be addressed in a future historic grant application.