This past weekend we attended a wedding in Garden City, KS, and on the way back we decided to drive through Greensburg. This is the town that was completely destroyed by an EF-5 tornado May 4, 2007, and instead of closing its doors became the “greenest” city in the world. They have rebuilt using the LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) program set by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) as the foundation for any new building. So far Main Street has been developed with retail shops, a bank, the school, City Hall, and the Kiowa Community Center.
One of the best stories behind a building in the town is the Arts Center that was named in honor of the day that changed the town forever 5.4.7 Arts Center. This building was designed and built by students at the University of Kansas through the Studio 804 program. Overall it was a very positive experience to drive through the town that has come up from the ashes, and see new building happening all around keeps the growing town looking ahead instead of behind. This year the former Twilight theater will be rebuilt and re-open showing first run movies, and the “Big Well” is just about finished, and it will re-open the deepest hand-dug well in the world on May 26th.