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Chestnut Street District – a historic downtown

The Chestnut Street District is located on Main Street in the heart of Hays, KS. Considered the halfway point between Denver and Kansas City, Hays is located along Interstate 70, where it intersects with US Highway 183. The city’s commercial airport provides daily flights to and from Denver.

The Chestnut Street District is the center of the Hays community and follows the original footprint of Chestnut Street prior to 1929, when it was renamed to Main Street. The district is bursting with energy and new vitality. A portion of the district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its restored historical and architectural ambiance creates a culturally unique destination. A cornerstone of the district is the Carnegie-inspired public library, rated as one of the top five libraries in the nation.

While you will no longer find a street named Chestnut, look for one of the three gateway markers memorializing the district as you enter the downtown to know you’ve arrived. Located at the corners of Eighth and Fort, Eighth and Oak, and Seventeenth and Main, each marker was designed and built by local artist, Pete Felten. The Chestnut Street District is home to the oldest arts council in the state and host to several world-renowned artists and their studios.