Marcel Breuer House Tour and Martini Modern Party at Wendt Designed and Built House

I'm late in getting this post up! I thought I would show some random photos of the Marcel Breuer designed house we had on tour recently. Built in 1954 and still owned by the original owner this is a fantastic time capsule of a house featuring original Breuer designed furniture as well as other iconic pieces. The photos below show a seldom seen rear angle of the house and deck. Lucky to get these shots before approximately 100 attended the tour.

The photo below is a perspective study of a house being built down the street, inspired by the Breuer house.

The house featured below is the Bob Wendt designed and built house in Town and Country Estates in Prairie Village, KS. Constructed in 1961, this lavish and large 2 bedroom house was a wedding gift. It has incredible hardwood paneling and custom built cabinetry.

Walls of glass everywhere... below the new addition connects nicely with the original house.

Friends enjoying a great day for a Martini Modern House Tour and Party! Below, one of the owners talks about his experience in the house and construction of the addition. This was a great event with great people, great food, great martinis and great architecture!!

To see more Bob Wendt houses check him out on the right...

Do You Remember...? The "Spider" House...

How many times did you drive by this house located on the corner of 68th street and Belinder in Mission Hills, KS. Lovingly or not, the house was called the Spider House, the Grasshopper House and perhaps many other names. Located in a mid-century modern "row" of houses on Belinder, and with land values exceeding some house/improvement values, it was sold and demolished a few years ago. I couldn't locate my old photos, never got inside and have no idea who the architect was (I'm sure somebody out there knows) The new home is modern, energy efficient and very nice.
I get nostalgic and appreciative of the original owners desire to build a house of stone and redwood, a novel and exuberant, passive solar design against convention. Definitely a novelty
then..."turn left at the Spider house" could have been a Landmark example of MCM in the community... Note the butterfly roof...the "outriggers" or "legs" of support beams have been removed.
A few days later, I drove by and found the house gone.

As our friend Dr. Jacob Wagner, Professor at UMKC, would say: " from a historical perspective, we'll never know whether it was important unless the demolition process includes surveys and studies to determine if what is being torn down is important. But from a green standpoint it is a symptom of a larger "fabric" issue within a community." KC Modern passionately believes the "Recent Past" and especially mid-century modern design is the most "at risk" architecture today. The Marcel Breuer house just down the street is "at risk" because of real estate market trends. We often take for granted the things we see everyday.

There are still a few great mid-century modern houses on Belinder. We will feature them in the future. Below is a side shot of the Breuer house.

Spider Mid-Century Modern House - Modern Photo of the Week

Name: "Spider House"
Architect: Unknown
Year Designed: Unknown
Builder: Unknown
Year Built: Unknown
Size: Unknown
Location: Belinder Street, Mission Hills, Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Demolished
Photographer: Robert McLaughlin

We do not know a lot about this house except about its untimely demise. Sorry for the uninspiring photo of this cool design, but I always thought that I would get back on a better day to shoot it. Before I knew it, this one was gone. If anyone has some better photos of this house that was somewhat famous in the community, please let us know.

This butterfly roof design was amazing with a big exposed exoskeleton, big south facing windows and redwood throughout. The original owner actually sold this house to the person who demolished it. Reportedly she could not bear the thought of someone else living there. It did have deferred maintenance issues, but I would have loved to have seen this one brought back.

Unfortunately the value of the land in this Belinder Street neighborhood has made smaller Modern Houses easy targets to be scraped for more Mission Hills McMansions. Architect, John "Jack" Morley's house next door fell to the bulldozer not long after this one. In the 1990s, Don Drummond's personal home diagonally across the street, designed by Architect, David B. Runnells was demolished to give the adjacent house a golf course view. Across the street to the south a Modern Drummond Castilian was remodeled into a hacienda. All of this makes us very worried about the future of the Marcel Breuer designed home just down the street.

THEN & NOW -- Drummond Houses -- From Castillian to Hacienda

As we've done before, we have some vintage photos of Don's houses and thought it would be fun to show how they looked then and how they look now. Unfortunately, some have been altered beyond recognition. This vintage photo was taken July, 1958 for House and Home Magazine.

This house was an award winning Jones and Emmons design ("Case Study" architects from California) for Don called the "Castillian." (for more about Don's California architect connection, see articles on A lavish open one story plan featuring many windowwalls, multiple outdoor terraces and a true sense of modern living. As far as we can tell, there were seven of these homes built in the Kansas City area and one was located in Richmond, MO. This one is located near 68th & Belinder in Mission Hill, KS. (Look for more on Belinder street soon) The house, altered drastically with Spanish styling, was unique for the type in that it had a basement/bomb shelter below the carport. As has happened in other communities throughout the United States, Belinder street has seen many changes over the last few years, many mid-century modern houses have been torn down. Because of this, we have significant concern about the future of a Marcel Breuer designed house down the street (see previous photo of the week).

Modern Photo of the Week - Snower Residence by Marcel Breuer

Name: Snower Residence
Architect: Marcel Breuer
Year Designed: 1954
Builder: Unknown
Year Built: 1955
Size: Unknown sq. ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath
Location: Mission Hills, Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: International Style
Status: ENDANGERED due to the value of the land in Kansas City's most affluent neighborhood
Photographer: Unknown, Taken Circa 1955 (From original owners)

This residence was built by its current owners who commissioned Bauhaus Architect, Marcel Breuer to design it for them in 1954. The owners have painstakingly maintained the original interiors as designed by the architect. The exteriors also remain exactly as they were originally planned. The house was designed as a long and narrow box, housing the living and bedroom spaces, built on a masonry base containing the garage and a family room. Large cantilevers at both ends dominate the design much like Breuer's own house built in 1947, in New Canaan, Connecticut. This may be one of only two Breuer House built West of the Mississippi. It is likely one of the most original Breuer Houses standing today.
See what the house looks like today here!

Modern Photo of the Week - Morley Residence

Name: Morley Residence
Architect: John "Jack" Morley (for his own family)
Year Designed: Unknown
Builder: Unknown
Year Built: Circa Early 1950s
Location: 6735 Belinder Mission Hills, Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: Mid-Century Modern
Status: DEMOLISHED 12-07 to make way for another McMansion
Photographer: Unknown (Photo From Family)

A mid-century modern passive solar, post and beam design with south facing windows, clerestories and wide overhangs. It had mostly wood interior with some interior stone walls used for thermal mass. The exterior was predominantly stone and wood.

For a photo taken shortly before the house was demolished go here.