There has not been much downtime recently, and today I found myself with a whole two hours to kill! Jim had his second cataract surgery earlier today (and, yes, it went well… just like the first one). He was a little woozy coming out of it, but is fine and resting now.
This time I remembered to bring my camera! Unfortuanately, I forgot to bring an extra battery. But I was still able to take a few photos before the battery I had ran out of juice.
Kearney, Nebraska, is a bustling small city of roughly 34,000 people. Known as the
“Sandhill Crane Capital of the World”, it attracts avid birdwatchers from near and far each spring. It also has a lot of medical services which serve the region, including eye surgeons. And hands down the tastiest KFC I have ever had ( no — it doesn’t all taste the same)! Established in the early 1870’s, Kearney retains many Victorian-era houses as well interesting examples of twentieth century structures. I had planned on taking many more photos than I did, so we’ll just have to work with what I was able to get…
This late and eclectic Queen Anne has endured multiple alterations but caught my eye for its use of varied types of concrete block. Tinted blocks define “quoins” and window surrounds while tinted mortar joints distinguish the foundation from masonry of the first story.
An enclosed back porch displays a rusticated concrete block. If original (and not an early alteration) this block may suggest what the original front porch columns may have looked like. Maybe. This house, like many older houses in college towns, has been converted to apartments.
A relatively tame example of the Storybook Tudor style, this commercial structure appears to have begun as two separate structures which were later connected by a concrete block hyphen. The playful lines of the roof are fun, and the newer shingles work well with the original intent. I can’t help but wonder if the section at left (which faces a street corner at an angle) was not originally a gas station.
Detail of gable, chimney and twentieth century hyphen of concrete block.
This Shed style commercial building has been updated with stain and paint while retaining the original diagonal wood siding. Original examples never used two differently colored stains for the siding on a single structure; doing so here definitely makes the structure feel more current. Its possible that this may have begun as an older structure which was updated in the 1970’s with Shed attributes.
This mid-century house, probably from the 1940’s, sports glass block and a curvaceous sunroom hinting at the Streamline Moderne style (despite the presence of a hipped roof elsewhere).
At first I thought that this quirky house was also a Streamline Moderne product of the 1940’s. I was intrigued by the presence of a flat-roofed corner “tower”. Then I saw a sign on the porch which read “Keen’s Castle – 1875”. I could believe that the house is that old due to the age of some other houses in the neighborhood. It appears that this house has had multiple stylistic updates throughout the decades and the end result is very interesting (though hard to see because of landscaping).
The “Castle” of F. G. Keens as it looked a century ago. It appears to me that the tower was probably added roughly 20 years after the Italianate style house was built in order to give it an updated Queen Anne look, a type of alteration which was surprisingly common (note the brick jack arches of the tower windows which are in contrast to the segmentally-arched window crowns of the main house. Brick soldier courses define floors of the tower but do not appear on the main house).
Thanks to Paul M for searching for and finding this historic image of the house! He provided
this link to more history!
This house incorporates both Queen Anne and Italianate details. The cornice is bracketed in the Italianate manner while the porch is fitted with turned posts. The steep roof is more characteristic of Queen Annes than Italianates. The bay window is notable for its proportions; the upper bay is much smaller than the lower bay. Curiously, this highly visible and delightful feature has been re-purposed as an air conditioner perch. The center window, originally double-hung, is now comprised of two horizontal sliding units while the three upper windows have been eliminated.
A bold Prairie style house is still a head-turner despite many alterations since built in the early twentieth century. The garage is a much later addition.
Built as a Queen Anne, this house appears to have been Colonial Revivalized in the early twentieth century. A modernist wing (and a few playful porch supports) were added mid-century. In this case, white is probably the most merciful color to tie the conflicting styles together with.
Oh, my. It’s not clear what lurks beneath the vinyl siding, but I can guess. This painfully blank façade was once likely sporting a porch and a centered entry. Along the side, vinyl windows of conflicting types add to the surreality.
A pleasant stuccoed Tudor Revival, likely dating to around 1920. The primary entry appears to have been moved from the center location to the side of the house. This is where my battery went dead. Sorry about that!
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Glad to have some new pics to ponder! I love going to new places and taking a look around. Thanks for the tour. My in-laws are in central Maine. The vinyl sided box reminds me of a lot of what goes on there. Missing windows, odd size replacements, vinyled over front entrances. Whew! I bet you are right about that Tudor building collection starting off as a service station, it is great that the current owners found a new roofing type that works so well – and that someone thought enough to make it happen. That last bungalow with the eye brow window is right up my alley!
It’s been a while since I last posted! I’ll have some updates on the new project house soon, revealing some early interior finishes. I’ve started painting the bay window and am more than half-way through. Unfortunately we are expecting 4″ of snow on Sunday so the bay will have to wait another week for warmer temps to be completed. It will all get done eventually…
I have a lot of exterior work that was on the list for the warmer months….I may have a little more exterior time, but the snow is coming! 4″ yikes!
Wow, some fun houses here! The second one is very intriguing. That and the prairie house show that it’s not impossible to use concrete artistically; maybe the reason why concrete buildings often look so bad is because the architect (or developer in most cases) doesn’t have an eye. The white jumbled design elephant probably should look goofy to me, but I love it! All those additions seem to have been done with such zest, the place just feels jolly, even if it’s not what you’d call elegant. I agree that having it be all white helps to tie it all together.
Thanks so much for sharing and I am glad Jim’s surgery went well.
“Zest” is a good word to describe the enthusiasm that appears to have gone into the renovations of the stylistically-challenged house! It’s animated in its own way, and certainly not boring! At first I though it might be a funeral home as it has “that look” but was happy to see that it appears to still be a private home.
I did a quick search for Keen’s Castle and found a photo of the original house and a little background. There was a fire and they removed the upper floors.
That explains a lot, thank you for finding this fascinating image! I’ve posted it beneath my photo of the house. I thought that the round tower seemed a bit early for 1875 and now the photo makes clear that it was a later alteration. Thanks for sharing the link… knowing something of the history of a place always provides for a deeper appreciation of it!