Mass Street and more


All you need is love

Will Dietz and his fiancée, Melanie Freeman, had planned to get married March 21 at Danforth Chapel, followed by a blowout celebration with nearly 200 guests at The Oread hotel. When COVID-19 thwarted those plans, Dietz, e’00, g’08, scouted a site at Sesquicentennial Point, overlooking Clinton Lake and the Wakarusa Valley, and the two took their vows in the company of 20 close friends and family—as well as dozens who “joined” the couple via a Facebook Live feed of the ceremony. “Love is love,” Freeman-Dietz says, “and a new, perhaps smaller, concept for the wedding is not going to change that.”

Rock Chalk Review | Strong Hall doors

Pay heed

Rock Chalk Review | Strong Hall doors

Mills and Johnson/Photographs by Haines Eason

All who enter Mount Oread’s halls of academe are in for a fine pleasure, thanks to labors of love by carpenter Jeremy Mills and painter Clint Johnson, who took advantage of a campus emptied by pandemic to rebuild Strong and Snow halls’ historic, custom-made doors. “Once our guys saw what we were working on, they jumped right in and wanted to do this for the University,” says facilities director Shawn Harding. “They knew they had the talent to get it  done right, and we had confidence in them.” Jayhawks with passions for woodworking and paint-matching will relish reading about project details in a story by Haines Eason, communications coordinator for the Office of the Provost.

Rock Chalk Review | 1900 Barker
1900 Barker/Photograph by Dan Storey

Sweet spot

Taylor Petrehn has an affection for old laundromats—and carbs. The three-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Baker renovated an abandoned laundromat nearly five years ago to open 1900 Barker Bakery and Café in Lawrence, and construction is now underway for his second project, Taylor’s Donuts, in the old College Corner Laundromat at 19th and Louisiana, across from Lawrence High School. Expect to see a variety of hand-crafted doughnuts, classic coffee and an early-morning rush of students.

Rock Chalk Review | Downtown dining
Photograph by Steve Puppe

Downtown dining

After a rocky start following its early summer implementation, the concept of reconfigured Mass Street parking that allowed for on-street dining, beverages and shopping finally blossomed in August, as pandemic-weary business owners scrambled for safe and attractive ways to woo long-lost patrons. After one or two showed others how to make the odd new arrangement work, many bars and restaurants took full advantage of the setup, creating elaborate decks atop reclaimed angled-parking spaces—turns out oil-stained concrete isn’t the ideal setting for wine-and-cheese reunions—and fashioning cozy enclaves on bustling sidewalks. Although authorization for the city’s Mass Street reconfiguration is scheduled to expire Oct. 31, the expense and effort put into the al fresco arrangement suggest the potential for curbside cocktails through the duration of COVID-19’s unhappy hour.

“See Lawrence”

Rock Chalk Review | Burcham Park poster

Artwork by Mary Remboldt Gage

Lawrence artist Mary Remboldt Gage’s “Burcham Park” is one of 12 local vistas featured in “See Lawrence: Parks and Green Spaces,” an exhibition featuring several alumni that runs through December at the Lawrence Public Library. Inspired by iconic posters that promoted America’s national parks during the Great Depression, Gage, c’81, g’01, organized the show with support from Lawrence Magazine. To learn more, visit

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