McPherson Community Center Wins Kansas Preservation Alliance Top Award

Exterior of McPherson Community Center

September 30, 2021 • Taylor Clark • Uncategorized

We're celebrating the McPherson Community Center receiving the Kansas Preservation Alliance 2020 Medallion Award for Excellence!


Every year, the Kansas Preservation Alliance (KPA) awards the Medallion Award for Excellence to a preservation project that exemplifies the alliance’s mission to the preservation of Kansas’ heritage through education, advocacy, and alliances with like-minded individuals.


“Receiving this award is one of the highest honors in the field of preservation. It is a true privilege to be recognized by the Kansas Preservation Alliance for this project, which is one of the highlights of my career,”  says Mike Seiwert, Project Manager.


The Community Center has been an important gathering place for the City of McPherson since 1928. The gymnasium was the home court to the McPherson Globe Refiners basketball team, the first-ever Olympic gold medal champions. The Center’s theater stage has seen many local and traveling performances since it’s construction in the 1970’s.


The gymnasium retained its original footprint, so the capacity remained the same and accommodates an official-sized basketball court with room for a small amount of floor bleachers. The gymnasium mezzanine remains the same size and offers seating for about 300 spectators on wood steps.

The original gymnasium grand windows were retained and refurbished with all new glass. Energy-saving, operable interior storm windows were installed that both reduce glare and protect the original sashes from impact damage.


The theater size was somewhat reduced and new restroom facilities were added in some of that space. The stage area was redesigned from the original, raised stage floor, to meet the design guidelines of the State Historic Preservation Office in order to more effectively retain the stage/audience spatial relationship. The north end of the theater now incorporates storage for the tables and chairs needed for community events. This newly envisioned multi-purpose room can accommodate about 250 persons.

In the lobby and the theater, the original light fixtures were saved and reused. All of the original pendant light fixtures in the theater were refurbished, rewired, and reinstalled. These globes feature a delicate silkscreen floral pattern that was very popular when the Center was first opened in the 1920’s.


The project was completed and opened to the public in 2019. This project was accepted to the National Register of Historic Places and the Register of Historic Kansas Places.

TESSERE was honored to provide architecture, historic preservation, interior design, construction administration, and project management for the project.