The Kansas Cooperative Council, the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation and the Kansas State Fair have partnered in creating the Capper Project.
The Capper Project will create a tribute to the great work of Arthur Capper in rebuilding the historic House of Capper to its original glory and to develop and build the Capper Cooperative Park to celebrate the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922 which allowed for the creation of cooperatives in the United States.
“The Capper Project allows us to bring the House of Capper back to its original grandeur as a center piece for the Kansas State Fair, this combined with the development of the Capper Cooperative Park will bring recognition and honor to the great work of Arthur Capper, former Kansas Governor and US Senator” said Mary McCurry, Chairman, Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation. “This partnership between the Kansas Cooperative Council, the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation and the Kansas State Fair is a new day for the Kansas State Fair, for understanding the economic impact of the Fair and for paying tribute to the work of cooperatives across Kansas and the United States in the Capper Cooperative Park.”
The Capper Cooperative Park, a walk-through park, will be developed in the green space to the north of the House of Capper to tell the story of the work of cooperatives in the United States.
“The Kansas Cooperative Council is excited to partner with the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation and the Kansas State Fair on this historic project. The Capper-Volstead Act, spearheaded by Arthur Capper, was instrumental in the early successes of not only Kansas cooperatives, but co-ops across the nation,” said Brandi Miller, President/CEO Kansas Cooperative Council. “The Kansas Cooperative Council board is looking forward to a space on the fairgrounds that tells the rich history of cooperatives and the continued impact they make on our communities.”
Bryan Schulz, General, Manager, Kansas State Fair said, “The House of Capper has been an integral part of the landscape on the Kansas State Fairgrounds since its inception. Attendees to the Kansas State Fair, and many off-season events, have enjoyed the space which has served as a presentation venue, Fair time display venue or just a place to get out of the sun. We are so looking forward to having the House of Capper back in operation thanks to our many wonderful partners and rededicating the venue during our 2022 Kansas State Fair.”
The boards of all three organizations have stated they have put their full support behind the project with the goal of funding and completing the project to allow for a celebration of the 100-Year Anniversary of the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922 to take place during the 2022 Kansas State Fair.
The House of Capper has historical significance on the Kansas State Fairgrounds as the place where many local, state, and national political figures announced and launched their campaigns.
The original building was paid for entirely by Arthur Capper and built to his design. The rebuild will pay full respect to the original architectural design of the building, while incorporating all current ADA and building regulations.
The Capper Cooperative Park in its conceptual design will consist of one two-sided stone park designation sign, five or six two-sided stone wall-storyboards to tell the story of Arthur Capper and cooperatives in the United States, a paved walking path through the park moving from one storyboard to the next and leading to an entrance to the House of Capper.
Landscaping and lighting will be included to accent both the park and the House of Capper.
The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation is playing a pivotal role in the success and execution of the renovation and beautification of the Kansas State Fairgrounds.
The Kansas State Fair board creates project priorities and works with the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation and their partner organizations like the Kansas Cooperative Council to bring private funds to the table for renovations, rebuilds, improvements and beautification of the Kansas State Fairgrounds.