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...

Spring Modern Martini Event- Gould Residence

The Spring Martini Modern Event was a wonderful Sunday afternoon party...the weather was fair, the food was good with smooth martinis and most of all, wonderful hosts and great people in attendance. Over 50 people came to enjoy touring this unique house on a gray day just after a snowstorm, quite a testimonial for the interest people have in modern design and lifestyles.

Below: Bob and Karen Gould explaining some of the many ideas and concepts used in the house.

Once we acknowledged our hosts and the crowd moved toward the dining area to hear Bob and Karen speak, I couldn't get very good photos of them.

Everyone had a lot of fun meeting new people and seeing old friends, I know I did! Please make sure we have your email address by going to and contacting us so we can notify you of future events. We plan on another Martini Modern in the next few months and look forward to seeing you there.

Spring Martini Modern - Bob Gould Residence - Now on March 21, 2010

Our Winter Martini Modern has officially become a Spring Martini Modern. As most of you know, we had to postpone our tour of Architect, Bob Gould's home due to the wintry weather back in February. Well, the rescheduled event is quickly approaching and it has become a party to celebrate the first full day of Spring. So join us on March 21, 2010, 4:00-6:00 PM.

Celebrate the end of Winter, the beginning of Spring and the Equinox with Modern Friends and tour this amazing Mission Hills home designed and owned by prominent, local architect Bob Gould. The clean lines, spectacular arched and vaulted ceilings will delight you. This 1950's home has been transformed!

If you registered for the cancelled Winter Martini Modern, you do not have to register again. We have reserved your registration for this event.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Historic Kansas City Foundation.

Register Now!

Winter Martini Modern - Bob Gould Residence

Well we are little late getting this posted up on the blog. Our blogging staff has been overloaded with distractions like real work lately. Please join us if you can. This home is a sleeper. It has a traditional Mission Hills front with a surprise Modern interior and back facade.

JOIN your KCMODERN Friends and tour this amazing Mission Hills home designed and owned by prominent, local architect Bob Gould. The clean lines, spectacular arched and vaulted ceilings, a curved wall separating the dining and kitchen area, and the "Cube" in the family room set the tone of amazement throughout this 1950's home.


Happy New Year from All Your Friends at KCMODERN!

I took these photos over the Christmas Holiday as the snows started to build up and drifts began to grow. This particular area on the roof of our mid-century modern ranch is a drainage point for two gables and prone to wind drifts during snow and heavy wind. I wanted to share what I thought was a lovely snow veil cantilevered from the roof.

The icicles grow...somehow a metaphor for the year as it goes by...
We wish you a Happy, Healthy and Abundant New Year!
...We were talking the other day about upcoming events for 2010 ( check back soon for announcements on our late winter events) when we reflected on 2009 and the fun we had...Here is a short list of our efforts:
In February, there was "Memphis in Missouri, " an open event at the home of our friend Rod, showcasing his collection of Ettore Sottass designed furniture and decorative accents, along with other great 80's artists and designers.
In March we hosted a modern tour for the architectural students from Iowa State University and our friend and professor of architecture, Dan Naegele.
KCModern co-hosted an April tour of architecturally important houses, Louis Curtiss, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Jones and Emmons, Clarence Kivett, Bruce Goff, Edward Tanner and Barry Byrne, (see previous posts) for the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy Spring Meetings, including reception dinners at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Bott and Sondern-Adler houses.
In April, we planned and recorded an audio/visual oral history of Ted Seligson, architect FAIA/educator, preservationist and wonderful man.
In June we partied with our first "Martini Modern" at the wonderful home in KCMO designed by William S. Beckett. Part of the proceeds from the event was for the benefit of the Historic Kansas City Foundation.
In August we began our co-sponsored film events with the AIGA.
September was the David B. Runnells House Tour and reception at the "All-Climate Home" with our special guest Jill (Runnells) Grose.
November was our "Showcasing Green" Event at the Studio 804 designed house in KCKS.
At this time we are in the process of seeking not-for-profit status.
This will help us in our quest for continued research and advocacy for modern architecture and preservation of our modern assets...
As we build our calender of events, please let us know what you would be interested in... and look forward to a fun filled and educational KCModern 2010... We wish you the very best the New Year has to offer!

Martini Modern Recap - The House - Kemper Residence

Kemper Residence

The residence that Architect, William S. Beckett designed for his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, James and Mildred Kemper, in Kansas City used much of the same design vocabulary as the Raymond Evans Residence in Beverly Hills. The exterior materials were redwood, brick, glass and stucco. Like the Evans house, the Kemper Residence uses curved walls for architectural effect, with the entry door falling between the curved wall and the orthogonal house.

In true California fashion, many of the exterior materials were used on the interior to blur the inside-outside relationships of the house. The interiors were done with a fireplace and some exterior walls in brick, juxtaposed against plaster and redwood walls and ceilings. The house also featured some of Beckett’s signature built-in millwork room dividers.

Mildred decided to add on to the house after the birth of their fourth child in 1956. The Kempers hired local KC Architect, Ward Haylett and an addition was completed somewhere around 1960. The resulting addition on the back of the house allowed every child to have their own bedroom and bath. As part of the addition, a covered exterior space was enclosed to add a new large dining area.

As with many Beckett designed Houses, the Kemper home was photographed by Julius Shulman, but the photographs that remain were test shots of the late construction phases of the house taken on 10/20/1952. One can assume that Shulman photographed the home while here shooting photos of one of the other Beckett designed projects, either one of two Commerce Banks, or the Cricket West shop on the Country Club Plaza. These Kansas City projects were photographed by Shulman and are published in his three volume tome, Julius Shulman Modernism Rediscovered. No Shulman photos were found of the finished Kemper home.

Front Terrace

Back of House

Addition Circa 1960

Side Terrace between the House and Garage

Tree Circle in Back Terrace

Back Sidewalk

Back Terrace

Siding and Window Detail

Side Yard

Liriope and Pavers

Martini Modern-William S. Beckett, Architect

Great reviews came in on our Martini Modern House Tour and Party hosted June 14. The house built for Mr. and Mrs. James B. Kemper in 1953 was designed by case-study era architect William S. Beckett. (See William Sutherland Beckett) Ironically, the tour and party occurred on his birthday, so we dubbed our signature martini, the "Beckettini." Approximately 75-80 people enjoyed the wonderfully maintained home, the great weather, and being with others who appreciate great architecture.
After extensive research, Robert created a home guide full of history. Carrie and Bob prepared tasty nibblings and we hope a good time was had by all. A sincere thank you to our special host, Scott Francis. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Historic Kansas City Foundation. . .All photos by Annie Lane.
Preparing for the party. . .

Last call for the KCMODERN Martini Modern Party and Tour: William S. Beckett, Architect

Name: James Kemper Residence
Architect: William Sutherland Beckett
Year Designed: circa 1951-52
Builder: Unknown
Year Completed: 1953
Size: Unknown
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Type: Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Excellent

Last call for the KCMODERN Martini Modern Party and Tour: William S. Beckett, Architect. You can safely RSVP and pay in advance at:

Online ticket sales end at noon on Sunday, June 14, 2009. The remaining tickets will be available at the door on June 14 at 4:00 PM, the day of the event.

William S. Beckett, Architect - Shoor Residence

Name: Shoor Residence
Architect: William Sutherland Beckett
Year Designed: 1951
Builder: Unknown
Year Completed: 1952
Size: 1000 sq.ft. (2 bedrooms and1 bathroom)
Location: 12336 Deerbrook Lane in Brentwood, California
Type: Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Standing in unknown condition
Photographer: Julius Shulman

Beckett did a low budget house of 1000 square feet for $11,800 in 1951-52 at 12336 Deerbrook Lane in Brentwood, California. The flat roofed Shoor Residence was a very small two bedroom, one bath home on a steep lot. The exterior of the home featured a forty foot long glass wall looking out at a private terrace and the canyon below. That juxtaposed nicely with the much more solid stucco wall facing the street. The most prominent features of the interior were a freestanding triangular plan fireplace that tapered as it rose to the ceiling and built-in cabinetwork which divided the open plan. This house was featured with photos done by Shulman in the book Quality Budget Houses by Katherine Morrow Ford and Thomas H. Creighton. This is also the only William Becket House listed in the most recent version of An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles by David Gebhard and Robert Winter.

Offices of William S. Beckett, Architect - Case Study House Era Architect - Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Name: Offices of William S. Beckett, Architect
Architect: William Sutherland Beckett
Year Designed: circa 1949-50
Builder: Unknown
Year Completed: 1950
Size: Unknown
Location: 9026 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California
Type: Office
Style: Modern
Status: Standing in unknown condition
Photographer: Julius Shulman

William S. Beckett began his professional career as chief designer for Sumner Spaulding, the architect of Case Study House #2 for Arts + Architecture magazine. Around that time he was also on the faculty at the University of California.

By 1949, William S. Beckett had opened his own architectural practice in Los Angeles. In 1951, he designed his own architectural offices located at 9026 Melrose Avenue. The magical black and white Julius Shulman photographs of this building were widely published in the architectural press. The building garnered him an AIA National Honor Award, First Award in 1952, one of only three given nationwide that year. This prestigious award made his reputation as one of the architects of the stars and Beckett set off on a career designing many celebrity homes in Beverly Hills and other exclusive neighborhoods in LA. The new posh international style modernism of the office set the tone for his designs for his A-list clients. This small modern office building is still standing today.

William Sutherland Beckett, Architect - Raymond Evans Residence

Name: Raymond Evans Residence
Architect: William Sutherland Beckett
Year Designed: circa 1951
Builder: Unknown
Year Completed: 1952
Size: Unknown sq.ft. (4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms)
Location: 1255 Angelo Road, Beverly Hills, California
Type: Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Excellent
Photographer: Unknown

Another Early success for William S. Beckett was a house design for Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Evans at 1255 Angelo Drive in Beverly Hills. Evans was known for writing Oscar winning musical masterpieces such as Doris Day's Que Sera Sera, Dinah Shore's Buttons and Bows, and Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa. Completed in 1952 it was built of redwood, brick, glass and stucco on the exterior. The interior was done in plaster and cork walls and asphalt tile flooring over a radiant heated concrete slab. In plan the most dominant feature was a pair of solid curving walls-- one curve facing the front entry court and the other facing a private terrace at the rear of the house. A signature triangular fireplace was included here as well. The house which had an enclosed bridge connecting the main living areas to the sleeping pavilion was well documented in Architectural Record, Record Houses 1956. Mr. Evans lived in the house for 55 years until his death in 2007. The rather small house recently sold and the asking price was 9.995 million.

Please join us for a tour of Kansas City's only Beckett designed house this Sunday, June 14, 2009, 4:00 to 6:00 PM at 6612 Wyoming, Kansas City, Missouri. Admission is $20 in advance with reservations made at A featured Martini and other beverages will be served. A portion of your admission will go to the Historic Kansas City Foundation.

KCMODERN Martini Modern Party and Tour: William S. Beckett, Architect

KCMODERN will host a Martini Modern Party and Tour at the home of Scott Francis. Come tour this 1953 Modern home designed by California Case Study Era Architect, William Sutherland Beckett for the James Kemper Family. Beckett was best known for his Modern Celebrity Homes in Beverly Hills for A-listers like Charlton Heston.

Please join us for this fun event on Sunday, June 14, 2009, 4:00 to 6:00 PM at 6612 Wyoming, Kansas City, Missouri. Admission is $20 in advance with reservations made at A featured Martini and other beverages will be served. A portion of your admission will go to the Historic Kansas City Foundation.

More info about William S. Beckett and updates about this and other events can be found at or call 913.262.5056.