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Proudfoot & Bird


Old Wichita City Hall

Willis Proudfoot (1860-1928) and George Bird (1854-1953) were partners in an architectural practice in Wichita from 1885 to 1890. They had come from the east to participate in the building boom in Wichita during the 1880s. Proudfoot was born in Iowa and may have attended M.I.T for one semester. He arrived in Wichita in 1885 and was soon joined by Bird who came from Philadelphia. Their first commission was the Administration Building at Garfield University (now Friends University). During their five years in Wichita the firm was prolific, designing seventy buildings, of which only nine are extant.

The work of Proudfoot & Bird was characterized by a  combination of Richardsonian Romanesque and High Victorian styles such as Queen Anne and Shingle, depending on the building. They designed commercial buildings, civic buildings, schools, churches and residences, including their own in the College Hill neighborhood of Wichita. Find a list of Proudfoot & Bird buildings in the National Register. KSHS also has an unpublished collection of research about the firm.

Entry: Proudfoot, Willis & Bird, George

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: March 2011

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.