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Kim (1917, 5,690 feet) is on the site of a farming village, founded around 1893, which failed because the settlers knew little about dry-land farming. Olin D. Simpson started the present town when he built a post office–store on his homestead and named it for Rudyard Kipling's boy hero. Today, Kim is surrounded by acreage reclaimed from the Dust Bowl as the Comanche National Grasslands.

As is true of some other tiny, poor towns, Kim's most impressive structures are masonry monuments to the WPA. The County Garage (1938) and the Kim High School and Kim Elementary School (c. 1939, WPA), 425 State Street, are constructed of local sandstone. The school complex consists of a pair of flat-roofed classrooms flanking a two-story, hip-roofed gymnasium, which now houses the Kim Activity Center. The vernacular Romanesque Revival gym with its random stone coursing looks as if it might have been a project to teach masonry techniques to novices. The more refined classroom buildings have stepped parapets and facades that hint at Art Deco.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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