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Founded: 1887 Population: 393 (2010)
School District: USD 299
Elevation: 1500 feet
ZIP code: 67648 - Area code: 785
Latitude: 39° 03' 19" N
Longitude: -98° 32' 08" W
Lucas, a farming community of 393 people, is known as the "Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas". The World’s Largest Souvenir Travel Plate welcomes you to town, and traditional Post Rock limestone architecture enhances neighborhoods and downtown businesses.
Lucas is home to a thriving downtown, the volunteer built and ran, Lucas Area Community Theater, a 3-D, state-of-the-art movie theater, and some wonderful art experiences. The theater is used for weekend movies, school events, concerts, plays and other community events.
The World Famous outsider art environment, the Garden of Eden
has been an attraction since 1907, built by Civil War Veteran S.P. Dinsmoor.
Over 150 three story concrete structures show the pioneering spirit of this
town that embraces art by everyday people. The Garden of Eden is listed in
the National Register of Historic Places, also consists of a stone "log cabin"
home and a mausoleum where Mr. Dinsmoor and his first wife are buried.
Bowl Plaza is a public restroom with "Bling"! This restroom, created by professional artists and local volunteers under the guidance of the Grassroots Art Center, is a "One-of-a-Kind"! It was designed to be an art attraction, adorned with mosaic work on both the interior and exterior surfaces of the structure. Bowl Plaza won an award in 2014 as the 2nd Best Public Restroom in the United States in a contest by the Cintas Company. This public art building draws thousands of visitors yearly from around the world. In 2018 this public restroom received an international award for the Quirkest Restroom in the World.
Miller's Park From the 1930's until the early 1960's Roy and Clara Miller of Lucas traveled the United States and brought rocks back home and used them to build miniature mountains and buildings.
The mountains represent some of their favorite places like, Pikes Peak in Colorado, and the buildings were replicas of Lucas businesses and churches.
The sculptures were sold after the Miller's deaths in the late 1960's, and
have been sitting in a field at Hays for 40+ years.
The Kohler Foundation obtained the collection in late 2012 and had them moved back to Lucas and restored.
The sculptures now sit just east of the Garden of Eden and are open to the public year round.
The Grassroots Art Center curates permanent and temporary exhibits of art work from over 22 self-taught, outsider, visionary yard environments from across the Midwest. Usually these artists are over 65 years of age when they begin to create and continue for 15-25 years until they die. They use all types of recycled materials such as metal, cardboard, aluminum pull tabs, wood, computer motherboards, electrical wire, and even chewing gum.
You can visit the Florence Deeble Rock Garden and Garden of Isis as part of the Grassroots Art Center tour.
While in Lucas don't miss The Worlds Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Museum. Be sure to see the World's Smallest Mural, mini golf course, Carhenge, circus wagons and more.
The Switchgrass Art Cooperative features local artists, Kansas made goods, vintage clothing and an art thrift section The refurbished building also hosts public music events and art classes, because art is for all.
Lucas is nestled in the heart of Post Rock Country and the Smoky Hills region of Kansas. It is located in Russell County at the junction of K-18 and K-232 highways just six miles north of beautiful Wilson Lake, the "Clearest Lake in Kansas". Winding around Wilson Lake from Wilson to Lucas is the Post Rock Scenic Byway.
The byway kiosk at the west end of the Wilson Lake Dam tells the history of the limestone used in the area and the towns of Lucas and Wilson. Watch for Chelsey, Janea, Bill, and Leo D., (Leo D. is just off the byway on K-18 highway), the four "Faces in Limestone", as you travel the byway north of the Wilson Lake Dam to Lucas.
Lucas has an active PRIDE Program that has many ongoing community projects. As you look down Main Street you will see these projects in the flower planters, benches, mini park, flag pole, city park playground, Lucas theater, baseball park improvements, and the community bulletin board.
Lucas is a small, but busy town that is home to over 30 businesses, an elementary school and citizens who work hard to keep the community dynamic and growing.
THIS WEBSITE FUNDED IN PART BY THE CITY OF LUCAS