Historic homes of Lawrence

Lawrence, Kansas is known for its well-loved, well-known University of Kansas …but did you know it has several blocks of impressive and distinct historic homes? This pocket of historic architecture even has a few cobblestoned streets still beautifully intact. I love driving up and down the neighborhood of these unique homes ranging from the following styles:

  • Folk-Victorian
  • Queen Anne
  • English cottage
  • Craftsman
  • Colonial Revival
  • Italian Renaissance
  • Victorian Baroque
  • simple Utilitarian Frontier
  • Vernacular style of early 1860’s.

I learned about these homes when we first toured KU and discovered there’s a walking tour with pamphlet about the homes. Because of the winter weather, we did a driving tour instead. Each home is so uniquely different from the other.

In preserving the integrity of the neighborhood, the residents were inspired to petition that the city did not replace the original paved streets. The latter enhances this area even more and really impressed us as we drove around taking pictures.


There are 12 city blocks which make up this area called Old West Lawrence Historic District. The charm of these homes could not be ruined by the dreary day and weather conditions.

When Quantrill’s Raid in 1860 ransacked a large area of Lawrence and burned a large area to the ground, this quaint city lost many of its historic homes. A link is attached below explaining Quantrill’s Raid an Quantrill’s Raiders. This led me to the discovery of the term “Jayhawker”. I know KU’s mascot is the Jayhawk but I never knew why. Read the link below on jayhawkers.

Whether you know this Civil War and period history or not, you should enjoy a drive- by or walking tour of these historic homes and just appreciate the visual beauty of the integrity of the area. The restoration and preservation efforts of its residents is admirable. “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!”



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