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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Hoke Building

Picture of property 25 East First Avenue
Hutchinson (Reno County)
Listed in National Register Aug 4, 2011

Architect: Not listed
Category: vacant/not in use; animal facility; professional; specialty store
Thematic Nomination: Commercial and Industrial Resources of Hutchinson

The Hoke Building was commissioned by Hutchinson real estate speculator and agri-businessman James S. Hoke and built in 1910. It is a four-story commercial block with retail shops on the lower level and office spaces on the upper levels. Its construction corresponded with the city's transition from farm town to agricultural and industrial powerhouse. As Kansas farmers turned to wheat as a cash crop, Hutchinson found itself in the center of Kansas wheat country. The Hoke Building provided office space for a growing list of wheat-related businesses and organizations. Among the original occupants was the Hutchinson Board of Trade, a grain exchange founded in 1910. In addition to Hoke's real estate office, the building housed eight grain company offices in 1912. The building also housed agricultural industries that were non-grain related, including a lab operated by bacteriologist Martin Dupray that developed animal inoculations and tested water and feed. Following the death of James Hoke, the building changed ownership several times until the Great American Life Insurance Company bought the building in 1952. The building was nominated as part of the "Commercial and Industrial Resources of Hutchinson" multiple property listing for its local commercial significance.

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