Built sometime around 1940 by its original occupant, a man who was innovative and interested in modern design, this house in Salina, Kansas, does not look much like its neighbors. After nearly 80 years it still has a futuristic air to it. I encountered a family member roughly 20 years ago and was kindly invited inside to take photographs, which I recently re-discovered. They aren’t of the highest quality as I had a really crummy camera back then, but are still fun to peek at, giving us another glimpse of what modern used to be! Most exterior views below are from Google Street View (in 2013) as they are of better quality than mine were.
The two-story part of the house is clad with metal panels which are painted. The present entry is in the one story wing which is clad in limestone. If I recall correctly, this section may have originally been a porch which was enclosed. The arched niche at the right appears to have been the original front door location. Image courtesy of Google Street View.
The garage is also clad in the grid of metal panels. Image courtesy of Google Street View.
The fireplace surround is made of cast concrete, a material that the builder was fond of.
The most curious feature of the house is its internal ramp. According to my tour guide, the builder modified his ramp design by including a few steps; the ramp would have been too long otherwise. Note that interior doors are arched.
A few more steps are found on a sort of landing which is illuminated by a soaring glass block window in a tower-like projection. Note the stepped profile on the cap of the low wall which serves as a handrail and balustrade.
Metal panels wrap around the tower as well. The visually interesting antenna tower appears to have disappeared since I tool this photo.
The tower can be seen to the right, near a more conventional neighboring house. Image courtesy of Google Street View.
A close-up of the presumed original entry, since repurposed. The entry is flanked by more cast concrete. The limestone planter appears to be built on a former stoop. I love the use of stainless steel for the coping of the semi-circular entry roof!
Detail of the “battens” which conceal the joints of the metal panels.