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John Sargent House

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    Located at 225 SW Clay in the famous Nickel Plate district, stands the capital city's finest example of the Gothic Revival style and one of Topeka's ten most important residences. The John Sargent House (unequivocally, Sargent House) is one of the finest examples of history within the Ward-Meade neighborhood. The exterior of the house is constructed of limestone quarried in Cottonwood Falls, KS - which was also used on the west wing of the State Capitol Building. A local legend states that the stone was "appropriated" from the Capitol grounds, and coincidentally, the angled entry of the house aligns with the Capital dome. Built in 1882 by John Sargent, the house is one of the few examples of the Gothic Revival style in the state of Kansas, sharing this distinction with the Castle Tea Room in Lawrence and the childhood home of Amelia Earhart in Atchinson. Sargent House has the number 61 carved into the stone above the entrance, which corresponds to Lot 61 on Clay Street. The current numbering system was not in effect until 1885, which then notes the address of 225 Clay.

    John Sargent was born on August 28, 1849 in England, where he learned his trade before coming to the United States in 1870. After initial residency in Cincinnati, OH, in 1873 he entered into service with the US Treasury where he assisted in the erection of several custom houses throughout the Midwest. Sargent moved to Topeka in 1879 to take control of the construction of the west wing of the State Capital building. A few years later he associated with James Cuthbert, forming the Cuthbert & Sargent contracting firm. Their firm would erect the Beloit, KS and Lawrence, KS courthouses, as well as the Spooner Library on the University of Kansas campus. In 1910 Sargent partnered with his son, John Richard, in the Sargent Cut Stone Company. Together they completed Grace Cathedral, the Santa Fe office buildings, the E.T. Crosby, Thomas Page, and H.C. Kibbee residences, the hospital for women at the Topeka State Hospital, and the arch entry at Gage Park. The man who built Topeka, John Sargent, passed on March 16, 1916.