"What's The Story On That House?"

You may have driven by this house before, if you drove by 80th and Grand in KCMO. Located in an older working class neighborhood with all house types, many being "dinky" little cottages with just a few hundred square feet of space...then you come across this Prairie style house...Designed by an architectural student/apprentice for the current owners, built in 1991 with move-in in 1992. On a double lot this all-brick house with a low-slung hipped roof commands it's corner location. Very derivitive of turn of the 20th century work in Chicago...I talked to the proud owners, who said they wanted a Frank Lloyd Wright "looking" house. They said they spent a lot of time researching publications on Wright, the Robie house and other examples of his Prairie period. I was surprised to hear, with the exterior it has, the interior has no Prairie School elements...no extensive woodwork, no fireplace (?), etc. Now I know why I never saw a chimney.

Below- Side and rearview of house. Like a "three little pigs" house it screams shelter!

Louis S. Curtiss or Victor Buetner-"What's the Story on That House?"

At risk is this once fabulous home with pergola gardens. (Photo courtesy of the Missouri Valley Collection) We did a post on this house and with some studied responses like Nate's, it's led us on an adventure of "architectology", just kidding, but seriously trying to get to the root of how this house came about, who designed it, who built it and for whom was it built. Simple enough but it has not turned out that way..."Stalking Louis Curtiss" perhaps the best resource on Curtiss, did not have this house in the book, the author Wilda Sandy, did note that a project for a residence was located at 39th St. and Manheim, KCMO. We have approached numerous people whom we consider scholars on Curtiss about this specific house, also Nate and Anne have kept us informed on their extensive efforts to hopefully prove that this was a Curtiss design. We look forward to having a thorough analysis posted soon, we still can't quite believe that Curtiss was not somehow involved in the design of the house.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen-Lambe House in Miniature

Recently I took my family to Exploration Place, a children's science museum by Architect, Moshe Safdie in Wichita, Kansas. I was surprised to find a miniature of Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen-Lambe House in an exhibit called Kansas in Miniature. The model was part of a model train exhibit done in HO scale-1:87. It was nice to see this unexpected view of one of the last Prairies School Houses by the Master. The unusual (for FLW) courtyard plan may be more understandable in these birds eye views than it is in photos or from the street. This museum and the Allen-Lambe house might be of note to people taking the jaunt down to the Wichita portion of Out and About Wright: Kansas City Tour on Sunday April 19, 2009.

Bernard Corrigan Mansion by Louis S. Curtiss, Architect - Modern Illustration - Modern Photo of the Week

Corrigan residence in final constructio stage, 1913, scanned from Stalking Louis Curtiss by Wilda Sandy and Larry K. Hancks

Bernard Corrigan residence 1200 West 55th, Kansas City, Missouri rendering dated June 22, 1912, scanned from Stalking Louis Curtiss by Wilda Sandy and Larry K. Hancks

Since the Frank Loyd Wright Conservancy is coming to town and this is one of the houses that they are touring, I thought that I would add some images from the book Stalking Louis Curtiss by Wilda Sandy and Larry K. Hancks.

Bernard Corrigan Mansion by Louis S. Curtiss, Architect - "What's the Story on That House?"

Construction on the Bernard Corrigan Mansion started in 1913. Corrigan was successful as a building contractor, street railway developer and real estate investor. His company was the builder of the house. He died before it's completion.
After several short ownerships, the Sutherland family (think lumber) bought the home and lived here for a number of years. It is often called the Corrigan-Sutherland house. Located at 55th and Ward Parkway, the house was built on the southern edge of town at the time (the Plaza Shopping District is dated 1922) The black and white photo was taken in 1940.
One of the most architecturally distinctive houses situated on one of the most dominant lots in Kansas City, this Louis Curtiss design is a Tour de Force. Curtiss meshed a number of elements creating at first look, the Prairie Style and Frank Lloyd Wright's work. On closer examination one sees Art Noveau masonry relief, Arts and Crafts ornamentation under a mediterranean tile roof. The art glass windows are remarkable.
This unique home was constructed with long span girders and reinforced concrete, unusual for it's day. The craftsmanship is impeccable. The eclectic mix of elements creates a house of subdued exuberance...truly a masterpiece.
Curtiss was so eclectic...perhaps inspired by Charles R. Mackintosh and Louis Sullivan on the clock and staircase... (recent photos courtesy of Gary Kabrink)

Victor Beutner, Architect- "What's the Story on That House"?

Driving in KCMO on 39th Street east of Troost, you'll come across this home by architect Victor Beutner, who built it for himself in 1911. An example of the Prairie Style, this house is built of wood, masonry and stucco.
Today, the cedar tree is still there, the trellis is missing and "burglar" bars have been installed on the windows. This is an interesting area in our city, clearly wealthy and progressive in it's time. The form and mass of the structure is strongly reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's design for Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois which was built on a flat site... this is built on what today we would call a "walkout" lot. It's fascinating to think this was the suburb of it's day.

Modern Photo of the Week - Vintage Allen-Lambe House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Name: Allen-Lambe House http://www.allenlambe.org/
also known as the Henry J. Allen Residence
Allen was Governor of Kansas from 1919-1923 and a United States Senator from 1929-1930
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year Designed: 1915
Year Built: 1918
Location: 255 North Roosevelt,Wichita Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: Prairie Style (this is a very late FLW Prairie Style House)
Status: Excellent and open for tours by appointment
Photographer: Unknown

Henry J. Allen Residence, located at 255 North Roosevelt. This residence was designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright in the Prairie House style. It took two years to complete. Allen was Governor of Kansas from 1919-1923 and a United States Senator from 1929-1930

THEN & NOW -- Drummond's First Houses & Surprise Find

While we were driving looking for Don's first built houses we came across this very interesting house near 53rd and Woodland, KC, MO. The moment we saw it was "holy cow!" It was a fine example of the Chicago Style of Prairie School of Architecture. At first glance, it resembled the brick massing of Frank Lloyd Wright's 1902 Dana Thomas house in Springfield, Ill. (pictured last -- different budget!). Click on the image to enlarge.
The fine styling was definitely from a studied hand. After doing some research, I found the architect was Earnest O. Brostrom. (He designed some notable buildings in KC in the Prairie idiom, we will revisit him later.) This house was built in 1915, it was 25 years old when the black and white photo was taken. (In 1940 Kansas City took photos of all built structures for tax purposes.) The exterior appears to be in good shape with fine brickwork. Note the Wrightian planters and flaired roof lines at the fascia. I guess when the trees grew large enough the awnings were no longer needed. Click on the image to enlarge...to be continued...