A Late Example of Gothic Revival

A Late Example of Gothic Revival

Not platted until 1886, the town of Haigler, Nebraska, is an unlikely spot to find a house built in the Gothic Revival style.  Most popular in the mid-19th century, the romantic style was never commonplace anywhere in Nebraska for houses; it is especially surprising...

The War On Old Buildings – Part 1

The War On Old Buildings – Part 1

Those who are passionate about old buildings have often wondered why there has long been such a bias toward them.  Those of us who value old buildings and houses understand that these places typically have numerous attributes; they are frequently built of superior...

Wasted Potential

Wasted Potential

It's the exceedingly rare house-in-distress which is treated to a truly historically-correct restoration.  And it's almost as uncommon to find a neglected house which receives a merely architecturally respectful renovation.  Most dilapidated houses which get a new...

Your Future Home… 61 Years Later!

Your Future Home… 61 Years Later!

Welcome to the 1956 "Parade of Homes" sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City!  We'll take a look at ten of the fifty-five houses featured in the ninety-six page  "plan and guide book" published in conjunction with the house tour.  While...

The Nail That Sticks Up…

The Nail That Sticks Up…

There is much truth to the old Japanese proverb "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down".  However, the phrase is far more descriptive of rural America than it is of Japan - especially when it comes to assertive examples of styled architecture.  Victorian-era...

Backdating Wall Cabinets

Backdating Wall Cabinets

Why would anyone update when it's just as easy to backdate?  After all, there's not much appealing design out there these days; design from the early 20th century is almost always a sure bet to be more interesting than whatever has been marketed for the past 40 years....

Update!

Update!

Despite the handsome Queene Anne window sash depicted, this post is not about windows.  I just wanted to let everyone know that my internet access will be sporadic over the next few weeks as I am finally able to get an ISP for the new house (finding a reliable...

Fun with Tile

Fun with Tile

The tile work enlivening the entry of a telephone company office built in the 1960's is just as energetic now as it was then... and right back in style, too!              

A Stylectomy in Progress

A Stylectomy in Progress

No, stylectomy  is not a word, but it should be, because this house has had its style excised from it. More frequently than I would like, I run across houses which have been brutalized from the perspective of architectural integrity.  Today I ran across this house and...

Carved in Stone:  Halloween Edition

Carved in Stone: Halloween Edition

Beautiful masonry is not restricted just to buildings; our cemeteries are filled with it.  Due to my geographic location, we can only travel back in time as far as the 1870's today.  It was very cold and windy this morning on the High Plains; the atmosphere was...

Random Observations – Part 11

Random Observations – Part 11

Central Kansas is actually quite interesting if you are willing to stray from Interstate 70 for a few miles.  Most people don't, so I'll show you a little bit of what they're missing.  A few more scenes from the road less traveled!                        ...

Abandoned Rural Structures

Abandoned Rural Structures

The formerly common structures which once characterized the Great Plains and other rural areas have been disappearing for decades.  The erosion is now accelerating at a mind-boggling pace.  Take a look before they're gone forever:                      ...

Warehousing People

Warehousing People

When Louis Sullivan coined the term "form follows function" in 1896 he could not have been thinking of these recently constructed "senior apartments" - though the structure aptly illustrates his observation. The form of this building makes abundantly clear its...

Late Italianate False Front

Late Italianate False Front

This wood structure probably dates to around 1900 - making it a late example of both the Italianate style and false-front buildings.  Located in Lebanon, Kansas, a town at the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states, the original and present uses of the building...

Greek Revival Surprise

Greek Revival Surprise

Kansas was not heavily populated when it achieved statehood in 1861 - at roughly the same that the Greek Revival style fell from favor in all but the most rural areas of the nation.  So it's not a surprise that the few examples of the style found in the state tend to...

Radical Excision of the Soul

Radical Excision of the Soul

  Today I cried.  On the floor.  Gut-wrenching sobs.  Fifty-six years old and I'm crying like a baby. No words can begin to describe the cutting pain felt.  No words exist to describe the sense of loss.  My partner and I feel bewildered and our efforts discarded. We...

Mid-Century Church Buildings

Mid-Century Church Buildings

Here are a few interesting church buildings from the mid-20th century which have not been completely altered beyond recognition.  They're rather tame for many locations, but here in flyover country they undoubtedly pushed the envelope when first built.                ...

Unfortunate Porch Enclosures

Unfortunate Porch Enclosures

Some porch enclosures are surprisingly successful, but most are not.  When done in a manner that does not acknowledge the prevailing style of the rest of the house, or in a way that emphasizes mass over void, such enclosures can have not only a deadening effect on the...

Subtle Changes

Subtle Changes

The following two photos show how very subtle changes to the exterior of a house result in larger perceptual changes. In the first photo, a 1960's-vintage ranch house is shown in near original, though slightly worn, condition. The second photo shows the house in...

Useless Shutters

Useless Shutters

Plastic louvered blinds, more commonly known as "shutters", were attached to this 1960's ranch style house in a presumed effort to beautify it. Even if hinged and operable, none of the four shutters on the front of this house would cover or protect anything.  The tall...

Upside Down Fanlight

Upside Down Fanlight

Nothing surprises me anymore, really.  There is literally no end to the weird things people will do to houses and other structures. This house has suffered numerous indignities including the installation of asbestos siding and the later removal of a window from the...