Penumbra International, LLC. has been working on a riverwalk design for the current Century II
location in Wichita, KS. This process includes determining the character of the riverwalk,
and the development of an overall site plan.
A new riverwalk reimagined for historic downtown Wichita is the first step of the Penumbra International's Riverwalk Project. For the first time in more than 150 years, visitors will be welcome to get up close and experience downtown Wichita along the Arkansas River from a world-class public space. By building the riverwalk, the project partners are transforming this under utilized site into a community gathering space and a compelling opportunity for redevelopment.
This Project will be an extension of our community. When a downtown works well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. They can be the settings where celebrations are held, where exchanges both social and economic take place, where friends run into each other, and where cultures mix. They are the "front porches" of our public institutions where we can interact with each other and with government. When cities and neighborhoods have thriving downtown spaces, residents have a strong sense of community; conversely, when such spaces are lacking, people may feel less connected to each other.
Just like our neighbor city, Greensburg, KS this development can be completed as a sustainable community. In 2008 Greensburg residents developed a 'Sustainable Comprehensive Plan' for the city’s next 20 years that would focus on cost-effective energy efficiency and on operating with 100% RE. This has resulted in 42% energy savings, with 13 community buildings saving a combined total of $200,000 in energy costs per year. We plan to do the same.
Riverwalks are really great public places. They are recognized and valued in their cities and towns as places with their own special flavor that relate to and nurture the larger community and bring the public together.
Downtowns play a critical role in the health of most freestanding small cities. River fronts are complementary as well as a key linkage to its Main Street, and in many ways this general area comprises the “heart and soul” of the community. Increasingly communities have recognized that there is a need to revitalize these traditional downtown commercial districts since a healthy, viable downtown district is fundamental to a city’s economic health, heritage and civic pride. Given the importance of downtowns in contributing to the livability of our communities, how do riverwalks, riverfront plazas and urban parks fit in as key components of downtown revitalization?
Researchers on the linkages of parks and economic development have concluded that there are no great cities in North America or elsewhere that do not have great park, recreation and cultural amenities. There are many intangible or subtle benefits that result from these amenities. For instance, riverwalks and trails connect people with places and enhance the beauty of urban centers. These “quality of life” features are increasingly seen as means for stabilizing and revitalizing even distressed areas of our communities. In many successful communities, parks, trails and walkway corridors are the primary organizing elements that shape development, create livability, preserve property values, and provide the infrastructure to promote health and fitness.
Research is now beginning to empirically document the positive economic impacts from quality of life resources such as riverwalks. A survey of commercial and real estate executives has reported that parks and recreation enhancements are very important in attracting new business. Small business owners in particular have made this point, and rank the proximity of riverwalks as one of the highest priorities in choosing a new location for their business. One reason for this trend is some emerging lifestyle changes in our new workforce. This younger workforce is looking for more quality of life features in the cities they choose to work in. Research has shown more demands for ready access to recreation on a “just-in-time” basis for many younger workers, and they want options to be close at hand. Cities that want to be successful in our “New Economy” are taking notice of some of these workforce tendencies.
The riverwalk will welcome people from all walks of life to experience the power and beauty of Wichita, Kansas.
Learn more about our plan below.
Learn on the River at the Penumbra Riverwalk
The First and most important transformation for Downtown Wichita would be the re-purposing of Century II into the International Air & Space Museum. Wichita Kansas is known as the “Air Capital of the World” partly because of aircraft pioneers such as Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech and Bill Lear who began their projects in the city. The aircraft corporations Stearman Aircraft, Cessna, Mooney and Beechcraft were all founded in Wichita.
The International Air & Space Museum would be a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. It will also allow for hands-on, interactive simulations throughout the museum. Almost all space and aircraft on display would be originals or replicas of famous planes throughout history. Working closely with other institutions around the country we would also be able to bring in different traveling exhibits from places like the Smithsonian.
Another feature would be the utilization of the former downtown library structure, to the Oceanic History Aquarium. Oceanic History Aquarium would feature prairie marine life and paleontologists skeletons of the marine life when Kansas was part of the Great Interior Ocean. These features will be displayed around the museum.
Get lost in halls of wondrous fishes and exotic marine mammals. Be swept under the tides of various salt and freshwater scenes with the most unique and intriguing marine life found in the world. An assortment of species that live anywhere from the cold rushing river waters to the flourishing coral reefs found along tropical shores.
Stay on the River at the Penumbra Riverwalk
Be sure to stay at the new 700 room hotel and convention center with a space eye observation wheel. This hotel is complete with convention enter, exhibition space and performing arts center. A prime location in the beautiful city of Wichita This brand new hotel and convention center will offer comfortable accommodations in the heart of Downtown Wichita. Just minutes from Intrust Bank arena, the new Windsurge Baseball stadium, Wichita's historic Old Town & Delano District. You will discover all that Wichita, Kansas has to offer. After a fun-filled day exploring area attractions, relax on your own private balcony and enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Arkansas River.
Just a short horse drawn hansom cab or water taxi ride from the Riverwalk Hotel and Convention Center takes you to Wichita's famous Castle on the River. Riverside Castle (aka Campbell Castle, aka Crumm Castle) is located at 1155 N. River Blvd. and is one of Wichita’s most recognizable homes. It was built in or around 1888 by Colonel Burton Harvey Campbell and based on the design of an actual Scottish castle. The 28 room was built by Colonel Burton Harvey Campbell between 1886 and 1888 To date, over two million dollars has been spent renovating the Castle and has served as a vibrant bed & breakfast known as The Castle Inn Riverside.
This amazing Property will be the perfect place to stay the night, hold an event, or possibly become the new location for The Great Plains Renaissance Fair. Also if you looking to travel back in time be sure to visit the authentic Pub at the Castle located in the basement. They will serve quality British beers (plus Guinness & a rotating domestic beers), single malt scotches, wine, and hand-crafted cocktails. Along with drinks, we serve delicious Euro-style food. Select items change with the seasons.
The new downtown Convention Center will boast a variety of meeting and banquet event space along with planning options that can accommodate groups of various sizes.
The Performing Arts Center is designed to provide front-row realism with total sound performance whether it is being used for a production or lecture. The Convention Hall will offer the flexibility of retractable loge seating, which then provides open floor space for exhibits and banquet functions.
Dine on the River at the Penumbra Riverwalk
One signature feature of the Riverwalk will be at the Top of the Town of Wichita. Situated on the top floor of the New hotel will be one of the hottest rooftop restaurant in the world. Enjoy delicious dishes from this restaurant, and have a drink with a view. The unrestricted 360-degree views of the beautiful landscapes, of the spanning downtown and Midwest prairies. The beautiful outdoor vibes is the perfect spot for a buzzing Summer’s night. The ambiance is completed with the hottest DJ’s, piano or acoustic entertainment Wichita has to offer. With a refreshing variety of drinks to suit all tastes: The bar will serve local, as well as a array of wines, liquors, beers, and cocktails.
Shop on the River at the Penumbra Riverwalk
The International Market will feature Fresh Meat, Vegetables, and other consumables in core area with American and ethic foods, as well as clothing items. The River walk will feature dining options as part of International Market Experience with a large Food court with options from around the world. A Large Greenhouse will be part of the International Market For growing local fresh fruits and vegetables.
Retail on the River will be Wichita's premier outdoor shopping and entertainment destination and the only designer outlet center in the area. With more than 100 designer outlets, retail, dining and entertainment options, The Retail on the River will offers something for every style, age and price range. As part of the Retail on the River, there will be the Legoland Discovery Center Wichita, an indoor family entertainment center. This attraction includes Lego rides, a soft play area, a 4D cinema and a retail store.
Fun on the River at the Penumbra Riverwalk
The star of the Riverwalk would be the Gondola rides to cross the Arkansas river to Delano and the Baseball Park.
Our Observation Wheel will also accommodate great views of the city skyline.
Enjoy the ''Rolling on the River" Roller Coaster. There is absolutely nothing to compare with the thrill of having a roller coaster ride. Imagine roaring down every drop and curve with the Arkansas River siting right next to you.
THE TIME IS NOW!
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