Bill Jackson and six employees purchase Domestic Laundry building on Douglas

Bill Jackson, one of the new owners of the Domestic Laundry building, says of this vintage photo of the building and all its delivery trucks, "Yep, the laundry business must have been very good back then. I guess there probably wasn't a washer and dryer in every home or maybe not even in hotels."

WICHITA — Wichita’s well-known Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas has a new owner.

“We’ve all loved that building for a long time,” says Bill Jackson, Transitions Group owner, of himself and six employees who bought the building.

Jackson has been leasing space in the building for his ACI Design Studio for the last couple of years.

“A group of my employees who have been with me for a long time — some of them up to 25 years — and myself formed a little LLC and bought it.”

DL 1425, which stands for Domestic Laundry and the building’s address, includes Karen Cundiff, whom Jackson describes as an instrumental player in the Douglas Design District; Brent Dorrah, who runs ACI; Barney Lehnherr; Brendan Hogan; and Jackson’s children Piper Ayala and Josh Jackson.

Bill Jackson says they’d hoped to have another name for their LLC, but “every interesting, fun name was taken.”

Jackson says the Domestic Laundry building is a key piece of Douglas and his group will do what it can to improve its stature.

“That part of East Douglas was always known for its neon signage,” he says.

He points to GLMV Architecture’s prominent new sign just down the street and says his group would like to do something similar.

Jackson says he has pictures of the “cool signage” from the building’s early history and may use that for inspiration.

“We were thinking about maybe looking into the possibility of maybe redesigning the sign that’s up there now.”

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Abode Home to become the Venue at Abode

abodeWICHITA — It’s a tough market to try and lease a 10,000-square-foot building, let alone sell it, so Bill Jackson and his son, Josh, are turning their Abode Home space into the Venue at Abode.

“I don’t even want to admit it, but a couple of years ago I started thinking if this furniture thing doesn’t work out, it would make a great venue,” Josh Jackson says.

So when the furniture store on Douglas just east of Old Town closed about a month ago, he says they decided, “Let’s give it a shot.”

Through the years, Abode hosted various events.

To do it full time, though, Josh Jackson says he has to make a few changes.

For starters, he’s adding bathrooms. A lot of them.

There also will be an expanded prep area for caterers.

“Obviously, we need to beef up our air conditioner,” Josh Jackson says, referring to a steamy fundraising event that was held at the space Saturday.

That event had been booked for months, but there won’t be any more for several weeks until the space is reconfigured.

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