Likely built in the 1920’s, this former Craftsman style bungalow had been given a stylish makeover in the mid-twentieth century in a presumed effort to make the house look more like a contemporary ranch style.  While the jaunty lines of the carport were at odds with the more sober Craftsman-era proportions, I found the two disparate styles appealing when I first photographed the house fourteen years ago. I’ve long been fascinated by houses which are so schizophrenically altered!  At the time I remembered thinking that it would not be long before someone neutered the house; it was just too interesting and exuberant for it to survive intact in its north-central Kansas location.

The house was extensively altered when the carport was added – a veneer of brick, iron porch supports and new doors and windows were among the many changes made during the update.  Alterations at the rear of the house continued the mid-century modern theme; large glass picture windows revealed aqua-hued kitchen appliances within.  Unfortunately I did not get a photo of that, and today the kitchen has been “normalized”.  It took longer than I thought, but the exterior of the house was eventually neutered.  Given the distinctly mid-century brick veneer and carport planter, it’s not likely that the house will ever attain a Craftsman appearance again, so from a preservation point of view the best option would have been to keep the house as it was when first remodeled.  Recent alterations appear to emphasize the Craftsman character through exterior paint colors while mid-century design features have been squelched.

First we’ll explore the exterior as it was – the last photos will show that what had been the most interesting feature is now the least:


The house as it was when I first photographed it in 2004. In addition to the quirky carport, note the triangular glass window in the front door, picture windows, iron porch and carport supports, and horizontal emphasis seen in the mid-century brick veneer.  Exposed carport rafters visually relate to the exposed rafter tails of the original Craftsman roof.


Nine years later. Paint is peeling, but the carport is as exuberant and playful as ever! Image courtesy of Google Street View.


The back of the house retains its original clapboard siding; the side is largely obscured by mature landscaping.  Image courtesy of Google Street View.


The large picture windows of the formerly modern kitchen can be seen at left.  Image courtesy of Google Street View.


Today the house has lost its fun-loving personality and sulks in a murky sort of Design Purgatory.  The new and strictly utilitarian carport roof now ties into the porch roof, though at a lesser slope.  Note that the previously interesting door has been replaced with a non-descript “Colonial” version which relates to neither of the two surviving stylistic themes. A square wood post supporting the new version of the carport is further out of context.


A final view taken during a recent yard sale. The wood post seems especially awkward here.


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