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Wichita in the 90's

Nearly 20 years ago, the 90's were a much different time in Wichita. There was no Intrust Bank Arena, and people certainly weren't out playing Pokemon GO on the weekends (Though they may have been playing Pokemon Yellow on their Gameboys.) In any case, Wichita has come a long way since the 90's. Here's a look at life was like for Wichitans back in the day.

Implosion of the Allis Hotel, 1996

Implosion of the Allis Hotel,

The 17-story Allis Hotel was built in 1930. It was the tallest building in the state of Kansas for many years, and it was the finest, too. (It's said that Elvis Presley even stayed there!) It featured an art deco design modeled after that of New York's Waldorf Astoria.

The hotel closed in 1984, and by the 1990's, the building had fallen into a state of disrepair.  

There was much dispute over whether or not to save the building, with strong advocates on both sides of the issue. Rather than make the necessary repairs to the building's structure, a divided vote ultimately decided to demolish the building.

In September of 1996, the fate of the Allis was sealed: Implosion. The space where the building once stood is now greenspace in Downtown Wichita.

Kansas Comes To Kansas, 1996

Kansas Comes To Kansas

Via Ultimateclasicrock.com.

Just as it is today, Riverfest was a pretty big deal in the '90's. In 1996, Kansas (the band) came to Kansas (the state) to perform at the Riverfest. The group played for its fans of the state for which it was named. The set list was as follows, according to setlist.fm:

I Can Fly, Paradox, Hope Once Again, Black Fathom 4, Song For America, Mysteries and Mayhem, Lamplight Symphony, The Wall, Hold On, All I Wanted, People of the South Wind, Portrait (He Knew), Fight Fire With Fire, Play the Game Tonight and Point of Know Return. These were followed by and encore featuring Dust in the Wind and Carry On My Wayward Son. 

Pretty cool, huh?

Major Tornadoes, 1991

The Wichita area saw some major tornadoes during the 1990's. The April 26, 1991 tornado is among the most memorable.

This day saw 55 tornadoes throughout the U.S., and though folklore suggests that tornadoes don't cross where two rivers meet, Wichita was not exempt from the severe weather.

Parts of Clearwater, Haysville, southeast Wichita, Andover and McConnell Airforce base were destroyed by the tornado, the strongest of the 55 reported that day. Measuring an F5, this twister left a path of destruction in it's wake. 

Miss USA Crowned at Century II, 1993

On February 19, 1993, Kenya Moore was crowned Miss USA.

The ceremony took place and was filmed at none other than Wichita's Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

The program was broadcast nationally, Putting Wichita, Kansas on the map (and the TV) all over America. 

Today, Century II hosts concerts, live performances, stage shows, tradeshows, banquets and more. The facility features five separate performance spaces. 

Discovery Zone

Discovery Zone

Via conectedisolation.com.

If you were a child in the 90's or if you had a child in the 90's, you very likely spent a significant amount of time at Discovery Zone.

This was a giant playland for kids to climb around in and enjoy, and quite frankly, it was awesome.

The frequent hangout for kids and their parents didn't see the turn of the millennium, however, as the establishment closed in 1999 when a bankruptcy permanently shut its doors.

It was located at 7500 E. Kellogg, and was responsible for a lot of great memories for Wichita's 90's kids. 

The Kansas Coliseum

The Kansas Coliseum

Via sandifercontrols.com.

As previously stated, you couldn't see a show at Intrust Bank Arena in the 90's because the facility wasn't built until 2010. Instead, patrons saw concerts, sporting events and shows at the Kansas Coliseum, which was located just outside of Wichita on I-135 in Valley Center. (Directly across from Hartman Arena.)

The coliseum closed and is now a facility of Wichita State University's NIAR (National Institute of Aviation Research.) 


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