Do You Remember...?

Do you remember this unique home? Loved it or hated it, it became a modern landmark for over twenty years...while driving on Hwy I-35 just west of downtown, you could see this modern house that for many years stood sentinal over the city's westside. I met the owner back in 1980-81, but cannot remember his name. I recall it being said that he was the designer/builder...does anyone know the name of the architect, designer, etc? I would love to hear from you...
The ground floor was a garage, support plinth was storage on different levels with a staircase and elevator for more convenient access to the living spaces. The roof top deck was breathtaking to me probably because of the "open" feeling, especially prior to the railing installation...I'm weird about heights and though I loved the interiors and could imagine a winter evening inside looking at the distant traffic and Christmas lights, I found it unsettling on the rooftop deck, like being on a heliopad on top of a building.

These photos were taken when the property had changed hands to developers and they were using the house to market the views and intending on demolishing the house. It was torn down a couple of years ago to make way for a five house development of "historic styled" city homes. I may be wrong about the details but for years not many developers would invest in this area. In the last 10 years the area has had renewed interest with many people seeking an urban lifestyle. The Westside area has some very unique architecture, from century old small brick homes, looming shingle style mansions to "Dwell" style houses. This house as a landmark has been replaced with a large, less dramatic modern house just to the south.
Below: Looking south, Crown Center on the left, the World War I Memorial and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed BMA Tower (now One Park Place Condiminiums) and so much more were easily seen from what was truly a viewing platform.
Here's to people with an idea and the guts (and money) to get it realized!

Do You Remember ...Mission, KS

Do you remember this little gem of a building? I stopped by about a year and a half ago, wondering if the building would be impacted by the city's upcoming flood control plan. I met the staff working there and they assured me the owner of the building said it was safe and not threatened. Well...the building was razed two weeks ago...a friend asked if I had noticed it was torn down...

Above and below- Great views of the building straddling the creek, probably couldn't build it today! The creek takes a hard turn to the north behind the building.

Below-Indoor view of lobby, front door is to the left.

I drove by and this is what I found...this was a cool building completed in 1965 as a Credit Union for Shawnee Mission School Teachers and designed by an educated hand... with the massing of the entry/foyer and the scale of the span over the creek. The employees didn't know the architect or builder names. Another example of mid-century modern architecture being the most at risk for demolition. The city of Mission, Ks. has seen a few MCM buildings demolished in the last few years...Mission Center and the "Circle" building to name a couple.

The Cover Boys of Modernism

What a photo! I wish I was a fly on the wall for this photo shoot.

Can you name all of the Design Stars of Modernism in this photo from Playboy Magazine without looking? Perhaps their chairs give you clues to their identities. The furniture from left to right is, Herman Miller Serving Cart (unknown model), circa 1950s; Dunbar 5480 "A" Cane Back Chair, 1954; Knoll 70 "Womb" Lounge Chair, 1948; Knoll 421 Small Diamond Chair, 1950; Herman Miller DCM Chair, 1946; "Caribe Hilton" Open Armchair, 1949.

And the Cover Boys of Modernism from left to right are, George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Jens Risom. Some were life long friends, others were serious rivals and competitors. Bertoia worked for Eames at one point, but had a falling out. Saarinen and Eames designed the groundbreaking designs for the New York MoMA's Organic Design in Home Furnishings. Eames and Nelson were the primary designers for Herman Miller.

The egos that must have filled the studio while taking that picture. How did they get all of these Design Heroes in the room together? Or did they get them together. Maybe it is two or more photos joined together. There is a peculiar gap in the middle, but that could be the photographer planning ahead for the gutter of this two page spread.

A while back I purchased this July, 1961 issue of Playboy Magazine that contains this article and photo spread and I think it is the best Playboy centerfold ever. This is Modern furniture P O R N. I told my wife that I just bought the magazine for the pictures, not the articles.


Do You Remember...the first time you saw the movie, "The Day The Earth Stood Still"? I sure do...I watched it on our black and white television, in the living room of our house in Tulsa, OK, the winter of 1960. "We have come to visit you in peace and goodwill", said Michael Renne, as Klaatu the alien, in this 1951 science-fiction thriller. It was scary in a strange way, somehow the aliens were more reassuring than the humans... We went to the Leawood Theatre, in Ranchmart Shopping Center, the other day to see "Marley and Me".(Don't go see this movie unless you love to cry. As a pet owner, I thought "Old Yeller" was bad, this movie takes the cake)
Inside the refreshment area of the theatre was the owner, Wade Williams' collection of memorabilia from the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and standing behind velvet ropes was Gort himself... ...The alien's huge, silent but deadly robot He hardly did anything the whole movie but stand like a sentinel, and it still scared the heck out of me. I must say it was cool when he melted the soldiers' weapons with his ray-beam.
I grabbed the camera and here is a shot of Gort and one original of many posters used for marketing the show. The poster is mounted in a wall frame and some of the frame obscures the edges. Interestingly, on the poster the studio depicted Gort like King Kong, carrying away Patricia Neal who was conveniently attired in lingerie...there is no scene like that in the movie...
Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!