This downtown plaza gateway project began with an exchange of ideas. Our team at Architect One sought to honor that exchange with a coworking space that encourages idea sharing and innovation.
We want to create economic impact for the community through the exchange of commerce that will occur at the available retail shops and restaurants located in the gateway.
We want to inspire meaningful conversations through the social exchanges that occur on a rooftop patio space, overlooking the plaza and beautiful downtown Topeka.
And we want to provide more opportunity for people to call this wonderful place home through the familiar exchange of family that will occur in the residential space available.
All of these ideals become a reality through our unique concept: Plaindealer Exchange.
In 1886, Nick Chiles moved to Topeka with $15 in his pocket. Though his entrance into the community was meek, his stamp on the community was anything but. Nick Chiles went on to become the most prominent African American businessman in Topeka. His ventures included the Chiles Hotel, an establishment which was housed in the building still standing at 116 SE 7th Street.
Chiles is best remembered for his role as editor and publisher of The Plaindealer, the nation’s longest-running African American newspaper, originally published in the block of buildings on 7th street.
Plaindealer Exchange is inspired by Nick Chiles’ newspaper. The name Plaindealer infers straight shooter, above the line, and operating with high integrity. All of these are attributes of the organizations involved in the renovation of this historic district of Topeka. It is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Nick Chiles and an opportunity for his life’s work to be fulfilled in a space built with equity and accessibility as a focus. The term “Exchange” pays homage to similarly named buildings in major centers of commerce throughout the United States: Chicago, Memphis, Omaha, San Antonio, New York, St Louis, Charleston, etc. “Exchange” buildings were historically significant in commerce and business activities and became the regional and national symbols and centers of enterprise and entrepreneurship. It was with this historical influence, and the opportunity to create a new center of enterprise and entrepreneurship in Topeka, our team proposed the designation of this project to be the “Plaindealer Exchange”!
Plaindealer Exchange is ready to serve as the gateway to the downtown plaza.
Status: Concept not selected
Posted: June 4, 2019