Spencer Museum of Art

The collection expanded significantly in 2007 when the Spencer Museum of Art assumed stewardship of approximately 8,500 ethnographic objects from the former University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology.

The Museum closed to the public in April of 2015 for the first major renovation since the building’s opening. The transformation includes an enlarged, light-filled lobby with a new flexible gathering space; expanded and enhanced teaching and learning spaces; increased storage for works on paper; improved access through an in-gallery elevator and staircase; and a two-story, floor-to-ceiling window overlooking historic Marvin Grove.

Saralyn Reece Hardy, Museum Director, invites you to, “Experience our transformed galleries, explore our redesigned website, or participate in our programs. However you choose to connect with us, astonishing possibilities await you.” Visitors seem to concur, one recently sharing this on Trip Advisor: “Art lovers should stop here! An interesting collection and well worth a visit. I am guessing way too many people in the area do not realize what a gem they have.”

We encourage you to plan your own visit to the Spencer very soon. Admission is free and the galleries are open daily except Monday. Visit their website, www.spencerart.ku.edu, for exact hours and more information.

Content provided by www.spencerart.ku.edu
Image courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas

Historic Union Pacific Depot and Lawrence Visitor Information Center

Whether you’re visiting Lawrence for the first time or you’ve lived here for years, stop by the historic Union Pacific train depot and Lawrence Visitor Center. Located at 402 North 2nd Street, in North Lawrence, across the Kansas River Bridge from Downtown Lawrence, friendly volunteers are ready to help you make a plan to explore Lawrence.

From driving directions to dining options, self-guided tour brochures to local hiking and biking maps, you’ll find it here. Need info on KU? Or a John Brown of Kansas historic tour brochure? The Visitor Center has it!

Learn a little of Lawrence’s volatile pre-Civil War history, while you’re there. View the free, 25-minute docudrama, “Lawrence: Free State Fortress.” This film about Lawrence’s turbulent beginnings and Quantrill’s Raid is shown on weekends every hour, on the hour, and weekdays by request. Copies of the film are available for purchase.

And the depot has a history of its own. During its post-Civil War rebuilding, one of Lawrence's main goals was to establish itself as the railroad hub of the Midwest. Union Pacific spent $40,000 buying lots in North Lawrence and announced that it would build a new passenger depot. The 1889 building design blends proportions and forms of French Vernacular architecture with the robust masonry exterior of the Richardsonian Romanesque.

For townspeople, the depot instantly became the hub of community activity. It was the point of departure and return for soldiers during World War I and World War II. The years took their toll on the depot and freight service was discontinued in 1984. However, Union Pacific and the City of Lawrence aggressively fought against plans to tear down the depot.

The building was saved, restored and re-opened as the Lawrence Visitor Information Center and public meeting facility in 1996. Over 20 years later this historic depot still serves visitors and residents of Lawrence. Come visit, take a look at the beautiful gardens with sculptures by local artists, and find out how you can explore Lawrence.

And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, contact Stephens Real Estate. Our agents know the Lawrence market and are ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

North Lawrence

Lawrence lies on both banks of the Kansas River, locally known as “the Kaw.” Each part has its own character. North Lawrence played a part in Lawrence’s pre-Civil War political struggles and is still a distinctive and dynamic community within the city today.

Before the 1903 flood, North Lawrence included four blocks west of what is now North 2nd Street. Nearly one-third of North Lawrence was added to the channel of the Kaw River by that disastrous flood. Thanks to the Bowersock Dam flooding is no longer the threat it once was.

The Lawrence Visitors Center is located in the historic Union Pacific Train Depot at 402 North 2nd. Volunteers will give you tips on what to see and do during your visit.

Motorcycle enthusiasts will want to check out Slowride Roadhouse Bar and Grill. Kansas City Ride Guide magazine gave it a nod in an article about the scenic rides around Lawrence and Douglas County.

North Lawrence can also claim “the most iconic bar in Kansas” according to Thrillist.com. Since 1953, Johnny’s Tavern has been the place to go for hamburgers and “the longest running tap in Lawrence.” A more recent addition to the area is the Levee Café with a nice outdoor dining space when the weather is nice. It’s open for breakfast and lunch Tues. to Sun., and dinner Thurs.-Sat. (We at Stephens highly recommend it. Mary Holt, wife of Stephens’ own Evan Holt, is the owner/operators of this fun cafe.)

A charming cluster of vintage, antique and home furnishing stores sit near the intersection of 7th and Locust Streets. There are several shops to browse including Tooter and Tillaye’s, Amy’s Attic, and The Art House.

North Lawrence has a great jogging, mountain bike, walking and dog-walk trail, recognized in Outside Magazine as one of the best in Kansas. The Lawrence River Trail is located on the north bank of the river and runs along the top of the levee on the outskirts of town. This crushed stone 9 mile trail offers views of nearby farmland and the river as well as downtown Lawrence, on the opposite bank.

If it’s been a while since you crossed the bridge for a visit to North Lawrence, we recommend you explore that area again. And when you’re ready to buy or sell a home we recommend you give Stephens Real Estate a call. Our agents know the Lawrence market and have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you.  Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Lawrence will surprise and please you with all the options for arts and culture


Photo by John Clayton

The arts have been essential to this town since some of the first settlers arrived, packing brass instruments to form a community band. From visual to experimental, Lawrence continues to back the arts because this town knows that what’s good for the arts is good for the community. Come enjoy this rich connection to a flourishing arts environment.

Start with the Lawrence Arts Center, just a block from Massachusetts Street. Here you’ll find 20 to 25 art exhibitions a year. The best in contemporary art is also offered through art talks, live performances and more. Locals of all ages enjoy the classes for dance, printmaking, jewelry, ceramics and arts-based pre-school education. Artists-in-Residence in ceramics and printmaking bring new perspective with their shows and classes, while internationally known artists add a richness that reflects the Lawrence community.

Spencer Museum of Art, located on the University of Kansas campus, has changing exhibits as well as seven galleries displaying selections from the permanent collection of more than 45,000 works of art. Special exhibitions drawn from the collection or touring from other museums are displayed in four additional galleries. The collection spans the history of European, North American, and East Asian art.

The Lied Center of Kansas, located on the west side of the University of Kansas campus, has a busy calendar of events that range from Broadway productions and world-class artistic performances to KU School of Music and the KU Department of Dance productions and recitals of budding artists. The Lied Center serves KU, its students, the Lawrence community and greater Kansas as a catalyst for the arts, creativity and engagement.

Theatre Lawrence works with volunteers to create and deliver extraordinary theatre and educational programs that engage community members of all ages and backgrounds. Theatre Lawrence hosts a season of performances, concerts series, art exhibits and more.

The arts community comes together every month to offer special exhibits, receptions, amazing artwork and more on the last Friday of every month. Final Fridays include activities for kids, exhibitions designed to challenge adults, music, dance and theater for all ages. This overview just taps the surface of what Lawrence has to offer if you’re looking for arts and culture. Come to Lawrence ready to play. And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, contact Stephens Real Estate. We’re ready to help. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Liberty Hall

Lawrence is known for its charming downtown area full of historic buildings with interesting stories, and Liberty Hall definitely has a story. After being destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt in 1911, in the Beaux-Arts style with an Imperial Roman façade. This impressive structure may be over 100 years old, but is still a thriving business in downtown Lawrence.

LIBERTY HALL as we know it today has hosted a variety of live events ranging from Willie Nelson to Wu Tang Clan, in an intimate setting with a state of the art concert hall sound system. Liberty Hall has been voted Lawrence’s Best Music Venue several times. It has acted as a community-meeting house since 1856, and hosts regular screenings and lectures that promote culture and civility in Lawrence, KS.

LIBERTY HALL VIDEO is located directly on the corner of 7th and Massachusetts Street and boasts an enormous collection of DVD, VHS, and Blu-ray titles for rent. Liberty Hall Video has a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and great prices. Enjoy two-for-one rentals every day, or sign-up for the Uranium Option: unlimited rentals with no late fees for just a small monthly charge.

LA PRIMA TAZZA is a European style coffee house that serves the best in Fair Trade coffee and specialty drinks on Massachusetts Street. They claim it is home to the most experienced and loveable baristas in downtown Lawrence. La Prima Tazza has been voted Best Coffee in Lawrence, and is the perfect spot to work on a project, chat with a friend, or contemplate life’s big questions over a hot brew.

LIBERTY HALL CINEMA shows the latest in first-run independent, foreign, and art house films on two screens. Liberty Hall Cinema also offers monthly creative special screenings of classic and soon-to-be-classic films on the big screen. They offer a traditional movie theater concession stand with the addition of beer, wine, and cocktails.

Liberty Hall’s website, libertyhall.net, is where you can find the information above along with Showtimes, Live Event Details and more. Stephens Real Estate appreciates what this locally owned business offers. We are also locally owned and operated; have been since 1978. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us when you’re ready to buy or sell your home.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315