By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
The Salina structure formerly known as St. John’s Hospital is one step closer to gaining national historic status.
During its meeting on Saturday, the Kansas State Historical Society’s (KSHS) Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review approved the nomination of the former St. John’s Hospital to the National Register of Historic Places. According to Patrick Zollner, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for the KSHS, the nomination is now being forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for the federal government’s consideration and, hopefully, approval of the former St. John’s facility being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Additionally, the state board’s approval automatically places the former St. John’s facility on the Register of Historic Kansas Places, Zollner added.
The state designation enables the owner of the property, the Sunflower Development Group, to apply for state rehabilitation tax credits, in its efforts to develop the property. Should the federal designation be approved, federal tax credits also could be available.
“This is an important step in the project moving forward,” said John Burger, Assistant City Planner.
He said the current plan is to develop the property into senior living units.
During its July 23 meeting, the Salina City Commission voted 5-0 to support pursuing both the state and federal designations. Burger said that during its July 18 meeting, the Salina Heritage Commission also lent its support to pursuing state and federal historic designations for the property.