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...

Kansas City Homes and Gardens September/October Issue-1991 Drummond Stroll

Speaking of magazines, I found this one in a pile of stuff I saved. It featured a neighborhood tour and get together we had in was the first effort to tour and promote the houses of Ninety-Eighth Place. It couldn't have been better when in 2005 we had a KCModern Tour of the neighborhood (the houses never looked better) and hosted our special guest, Don Drummond. I talked to him the other day and he said to tell everyone hello...he'll be 95 this October and still seems spunky on the phone. I apologize for the quality, the pages have seen a few storms...Click to enlarge the pages.

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.


SHOWCASING GREEN - Studio 804 - Sunday, November 15th, 4-6pm

Please join KCMODERN for:
at the amazing house built by Studio 804, 3716 Springfield
with our guest, Gerould Sabin of Elements of Green,
who will be presenting green building materials
Sunday, November 15th, 4-6 PM.

Studio 804 at the University of Kansas has designed Kansas City’s first “off the grid” residence as a model of sustainability. The studio is aspiring to complete the first LEED platinum residence in the Kansas City area. The house showcases may energy saving techniques, including a wind turbine, solar panels, a geothermal heat pump and a water reclamation system.

Meet Gerould Sabin of Elements of Green, which he created to make an impact in Kansas City by simplifying access to the product stream of sustainable building, remodeling and finishing solutions to the Midwest and to provide a social networking venue for the discussion of environmentally sound building materials and practices.

Studio 804:

3716 Springfield:
From State Line Road and 39th Street, go west on 39th by KUMed and across Rainbow Bvld, 3 blocks to Springfield and north to the house. Parking will be in the gravel lot located across the street and a little to the north.

Elements of Green:

Photo by Dan Rockhill

Jerad and Jessica Foster's Revere Home

Jerad and Jessica Foster's Revere Home will be one of the eight homes on tour this weekend. They recently won two KC Home Design, design excellence awards, one gold award in the outdoor category and a silver award in the historic preservation category. Congratulations to Jerad and Jessica. We look forward to your home being on the tour!

Revere Homes by David B. Runnells

Name: Revere Home
(part of the Revere Quality House Program sponsored
by the Housing Research Foundation that is part of the
Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas)
Architect: David B. Runnells
Year Designed: 1949
Builder: Don Drummond
Year Completed: 1950-1951
Size: Varies
Location: Prairie Village, KS
Type: Residential
Style: Status:
Photographer: Unknown

Runnells Weekend Tours and Party Details Finalized

We are posting information about the Tour and Architect, David B. Runnells almost every day, so check out some of the older posts and keep coming back here often.

KCMODERN presents:
When Mid-Century Modern was GREEN
David B. Runnells Climate-Wise Home Tour & Patio Party

Saturday, September 19, 2009, 7:00-9:00 PM
200 W. 94th Street & Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri
Park at the Temple at 9400 Wornall and cross street to 94th.
Meet other Modern enthusiasts and experience a unique
Mid-Century Modern “Country Home” designed by David B.
Runnells to be sustainable in 1950. Enjoy campfire food and
yard beer at this special “recession proof” KCMODERN
event. Limited advance reservations are available for $10
per person until Thursday, September 17th. A separate ticket
is required for the Sunday tour.

Cranbrook To Kansas City
David B. Runnells Mid-Century Modern Homes Tour
Sunday, September 20, 2009, 2:00-5:00 PM
This tour will require driving to multiple homes so start early.
Start at 7300 Roe Circle, Prairie Village, Kansas.
Park at Baptist Church, 75th & Roe, walk north to Roe Circle.
Or start at 2400 W. 86th Terr. & Lee Blvd. Leawood, Kansas.
There will be limited parking on 86th Terr. Cul-de-sac.
See at least 8 cool examples of Mid-Century Modern
homes designed by Architect, David Benton Runnells.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour.
Limited tickets will be sold at the event registration tables
on a first come first served basis, so buy your tickets now!

Order Your Tickets Today
Make your checks payable to KCMODERN and send payment to KCMODERN, 5301 W. 66th Terrace, Prairie Village, KS 66208. All advanced tickets to be picked up the day of the events at the registration table. We will tour the homes regardless of weather. More info at 913.262.5056 or

KCMODERN raises awareness and promotes preservation of Modern Architecture and Design. Proceeds from this event willfund future KCMODERN events and modern activities.

Who is George Matsumoto and what does he have to do with Kansas City?

Name: Matsumoto Residence
Architect: George Matsumoto
Year Designed: circa 1951
Builder: Frank Walser
Year Completed: 1952
Size: Unknown sq. ft. (3 bedroom, 1 bath)
Location: 821 Runnymede Road, Raleigh, North Carolina
Type: Residential
Style: Modern / International Style
Status: Good
Photographer: Joseph W. Molitor

George Matsumoto was a partner with David B. Runnells in Kansas City for one year at the firm Runnells Clark Waugh and Matsumoto Architects. We know that the firm did at least one house and the first new building then called just, "The Art School," for the Kansas City Art Institute, There may have been a Doctors Office done as well. It is unknown if the Doctors Office is still standing and if it was done by all four partners or with Matsumoto alone. Waugh and Matsumoto left the partnership to teach at University of Oklahoma with Henry Kamphoefner. They immediately left Oklahoma to start the new school of design at North Carolina State University in 1948.

The photo above is the house that Matsumoto designed for himself in Raleigh, North Carolina. He won many awards for this design and went on to complete many residential commissions.

The folks over at Triangle Modernist Houses have also done a great job of documenting the career of George Matsumoto in North Carolina. The Matsumoto Tribute from and exhibit they did over at the North Carolina State Library has some good info too. Here is the George Matsumoto Group Pool on Flickr.

Below is and excerpt from from the National Park Service Website about the Matsumoto House
The Matsumoto House is one of several Modernist houses built in Raleigh from the 1940s to the 1960s. These houses were the manifestation of architectural concepts embraced by the faculty of the School of Design, established in 1948 at North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University). Dean Henry Kamphoefner recruited several Modernist architects as faculty members, and was instrumental in influencing other Modernists to come to North Carolina to practice. He also brought internationally known architects to the school to lecture and to lead studio workshops. The faculty designed several residences for themselves, other faculty members, or for a small group of clients interested in new ideas in architecture. Built for the most part on relatively ample, wooded suburban lots,located on what then were the outskirts of the city, a key element in most of the designs is a careful integration of the house with its site.

In 1952, faculty member George Matsumoto began construction of his own house on a steeply sloping tract adjacent to a small stream. Its design shows the same attention to economical, post-and-beam modular construction and careful detailing as is seen in his earlier Richter House design. However, the young Japanese American architect was also strongly influenced by the work of Mies Van der Rohe, and the Matsumoto House demonstrates a Miesian concern with exposed structure and a sense of suspension generated by the use of lightweight wall, floor and ceiling planes to articulate its internal space. The sloping site allowed Matsumoto to put a lower level built of concrete block under the house, a space which contained his studio and which forms a base for the frame box cantilevered above it. The rectangular, flat-roofed mass of the main living areas is reached by a small bridge rising from a Japanese-influenced outdoor court. While the street side of the house presents a mostly-blank facade divided into panels, all of the rooms along the back of the house open with glass doors and windows onto a cantilevered, screened rear porch, extending the living space visually into the wooded hillside beyond. The Matsumoto House is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.

The Matsumoto House is located at 821 Runnymede Rd. It is a private residence and is not open to the public.

David B. Runnells Residence - Architects House Themselves Update - The Self-Cooling House

After I posted about the David B. Runnells Residence, designed for himself and his family, I got a phone call from Jill (Runnells) Grose. I met her again last week, our third or fourth meeting. Thanks to her, we have some great additional information about the now demolished house her father designed for his family. The article and photos were published in the New York Times Magazine on July 26, 1953. I have reposted a couple of the images because they were larger and better quality images and I wanted to include the captions from the recently found article. The magazine touts the advantages of natural ventilation over 1950's advances in home air conditioning. Here is a the article:

Self-Cooling House
by Cynthia Kellogg

Kansas City, MO- Despite the rapid increase in the number of completely
air-conditioned homes (an estimated 50,000 this year), natural methods of
cooling a house should not be overlooked. A new example of such a
“self-ventilating” home is pictured on these pages. Oriented on its plot
to take advantage of the prevailing winds, it was designed by Architect David
Benton Runnells for his family and is located in near-by Mission, Kan., where
summers are hot. Mr. Runnells used many architectural details, such as
piercing walls with many doors and apertures to aid the air flow, as well as a
simple decorating scheme to achieve a cool atmosphere. To reduce the
temperature of the living room, the roof, which can be used as a sun deck, has
been insulated with aluminum foil and, on hot days, can be flooded with water.
--Scanned from New York Times Magazine, July 26, 1953--

Here are the photos with their captions included under each photo:

OVERHANGING ROOF shields house interior at right, designed by David Benton Runnells, from the sun's heat. Screened gallery on upper level permits free flow of air through bedroom windows and doors which open into it.

BREEZEWAY, shown below, circulates air beneath bedrooms to help cool them. Heating and laundry units are in room on right, seperated from the body of house. Front door, upper left, is at the end of gangway-like walk.

TEXTURES are contrasted, rather than colors, to give cool look to living room at left. Brick "traffic lane" cuts across cork floor under rug. Cool fluorescent light is concealed in a wood strip above picture window. (Editors note: Someone used a little mid-century photoshop on this photo to edit the outside view thru the sliding glass door. Compare this to the previously posted image!)

OPEN FLOOR PLAN aids in ventilation, as below. A low storage wall, over which air can pass, separates the kitchen from the dining/living area. Open stairway encourages airflow in to television room at left.

BUILT-IN STORAGE units used throughout the house reduce amount of furniture to a minimum. The television set and radio are contained within this wall.

DOOR, a narrow version of the French window, is used more to admit air than as an exit. Birch cabinets and matching wood funiture contrast with redwood walls.

OVEN, right foreground, is a separate unit built into storage wall away from work area. Burners, more often used, are fitted into counter top at end of kitchen.

APERTURE in walls in corner of bedroom permits flow of air from the rest of the house. Light within the opening also illuminates the stairwell on other side.

Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity House at KU by Architect, David B. Runnells

Name: Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity House
Architect: Runnells & Winholtz
Principal Architect: David B. Runnells,
Year Designed: 1964
Builder: Dasta Construction
Year Completed: October 1966
Size: 16,809 sq.ft. - sleeping quarters for 81 men,
kitchen, dining, a housemother's quarters, study
rooms, lounge and living area
Cost: $310,000
Location: 2021 Stewart Avenue
(22nd & Stewart), Lawrence, KS
Type: Fraternity / Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Demolished
Photographer: Unknown

The Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity House at the University of Kansas, by Architect, David B. Runnells was described by the Lawrence Daily Journal-World as "a cross between a gentlemen's club and an European villa" and features a massive stone fireplace in the lounge area. In addition the house featured the signature Runnells exposed post and beam and wood deck construction.

Somehow I come away with the feeling that the house was intended to be a plush, playboy lady trap.

David B. Runnells Residence - Architects House Themselves

Name: Runnells Residence
Architect: David Benton Runnells
Year: Designed circa 1950
Year Completed: circa 1950
Size: unknown sq. ft. 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath
Location: Windsor Street, Fairway, Kansas
(Greater Kansas City Area)
Type: Residence
Style: Modern / International Style
Status: Demolished
Photographer Wayne Wright, taken circa 1951
Scanned from Architectural Record, February 1955

This Residence was built by David B. Runnells for himself, his wife and two children. It was located on a golf course lot in Fairway, Kansas and was near a few other houses of his design. The plan would suggest certain Scandinavian influences, while the exterior appears that Mr. Runnells may have been influenced by the work of R.M. Schindler. We can also see some relationship to the work of George Matsumoto who had partnered with Runnells just after World War II.
Runnells traveled extensively in Europe on a Scholarship after college and we see in the photos that he furnished the home with many pieces of Alvar Aalto furniture, which he first saw while in Finland in 1936. The Ralph Rapson Rocker pictured is significant because Runnells attended Cranbrook and worked in the Saarinen office with Rapson.

Sadly, the home was torn down in the 1980's and replaced with a French Country McMansion.

Be sure to tour some of the remaining homes by David B, Runnells at KCMODERN's,
David Benton Runnells House Tour and Party.

We will feature at least six Modern Houses by the architect. The dates of the events are
September 19, 2009 for the Runnells House Party and
September 20, 2009 for the Runnells House Tour.

David B. Runnells House Tour and Party - Save the Date for Our Mid-Century Modern House Tour

KCMODERN's David Benton Runnells House Tour and Party will feature at least six Modern Houses by the architect. The dates of the events are
September 19, 2009 for the Runnells House Party and
September 20, 2009 for the Runnells House Tour.

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.