For over one hundred and forty years, the social, civic, and commercial center of Newton & North Newton, Kansas has been located among the buildings and streets that make up the cities' downtown. From the "roaring cattle-town" period of the 1870s to today, downtown Newton has been the place where generations of business owners, residents, civic leaders, professionals, and visitors have met, traded, socialized, worshiped, and engaged in the myriad of everyday activities that form the basis of a vital community.
Built and cared for in various stages and to various degrees over time, the buildings of downtown Newton form the physical and cultural contours of the city. While there is diversity of individual structures, collectively the downtown buildings work to establish Newton’s character. They act together to form the unique architectural community that defines what we mean when we say, "downtown Newton."
The downtown corridor contains two designated Main Street Historic Districts, each listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The districts encompass a remarkable collection of historic buildings that stand as tangible links to Newton’s past. Of equal importance, the central business corridor remains the primary focus for development activities in the future. The downtown districts are more than just indelible physical expressions of the community’s heritage; they are the basis of future aspirations for downtown. They represent investments that residents and city leadership have agreed are worth protecting.