Category Archives: Developments

Are Parkstone’s buildings truly brownstones?

Brownstones at Parkstone at College Hill.

Brownstones at Parkstone at College Hill.

Parkstone at College Hill is on schedule to open its brownstones to the public at the Symphony Showhouse May 31. But some are wondering, are those buildings actually brownstones?

“You know, the term ‘brownstones,’ I went round and round with it,” developer Mike Loveland says. “I educated myself. I tried to define what a brownstone was.”

He says his research shows the term originated with some row houses in north Chicago that were named brownstones because of the color of the stones used on the buildings. And Loveland says the dictionary defines a brownstone as “a dwelling faced with reddish brown sandstone.”

A traditional brownstone like those found in Chicago and New York.

A traditional brownstone like those found in Chicago and New York.

“That’s what we’ve got on ours,” he says.

Part of it, anyway. There’s stone on the lower level of Parkstone’s first phase of brownstones. (Check out Kansas.com’s gallery of Parkstone construction photos and artists’ renderings.) In places, it goes up to the second level. The rest of it is siding.

“The term brownstone gets used kind of like row home or town home,” Loveland says. “There’s all kinds of different looks.”

Regardless of the amount of stone on the buildings, Loveland says, “They’re really unique to Wichita.”

Also, he says, construction isn’t complete.

Yet to come? A front porch, fencing, overhangs, paint and other things Loveland says will give the brownstones their distinctive looks.

“These are going to be fabulous,” he says. “You are just not going to believe it.”

So what does he say to the critics who think the buildings look more like apartments than brownstones?

“Are they buying one?”