The Bricks of Downtown Hays – a bright future Downtown Hays has experienced a significant transformation during the past decade. Major building renovations and new businesses made the historic area an exciting destination and community gathering space, but there is a need to develop and market Downtown Hays as a unified, cohesive brand, referring to all of Downtown, including the Chestnut Street District. Bricks are a distinguishing part of Downtown Hays, as the bricks are a common design element among the buildings and the streets. The bricks also remind community members of past memories in Downtown Hays or other downtowns - stimulating a positive feeling of nostalgia. Bricks are the one unifying, distinguishing characteristic of Downtown Hays. We are excited about the possibilities the branding of Downtown as a whole offers but we are also very conscious of the history of this area. The Chestnut Street District will not disappear or be forgotten. The Bricks will only be used to enhance and bring more awareness to our wonderful Downtown. Chestnut Street District – a historic downtown The Chestnut Street District is located inside The Bricks of Downtown Hays on Main Street and is the center of the Hays community. The District 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.