It’s that time of year again… time for the 16th annual Highway 36 “Treasure Hunt”, a three-day flea market which stretches across the northernmost tier of Kansas counties. Fortunately we didn’t find much to haul home this year, but I did take my camera along to photograph houses and buildings we encountered in the handful of towns we traveled to. As an area not noted for its architectural sophistication, the pickings were understandably slim. Still, however, there were a few places of interest for one attribute or another… let’s take a look at some of them!
This old school building (c. 1920) had been previously been compromised by the removal of original windows and the addition of a clumsy mid-century corner annex. Now, adding insult to injury, the annex is sporting an awkward new roof. I can’t figure out why the roof has a jog at the side. At least the building no longer serves as a school; it might warp the children!
Unusually aggressive battered (tapered) porch piers, clad in narrow lap siding, support the porch columns of this modest but handsome Craftsman bungalow.
The terra cotta façade of an Art Moderne movie theater still appears new. The marquee is similarly sleek and refined.
The region is home to more than a few “basement houses” — typically compromised versions of what were once intended to be full-sized houses but built in stages as time and finances allowed. Many were never completed. This one has been recently updated with new paint and a new roof.
Playful porch supports add interest to this large Craftsman-style “airplane” bungalow.
A former gas station, c. 1920, languishes across the street from a 1970’s remodeling of an older building. Clearly inspired by the then-popular Shed style, the diagonal boards of the makeover have recently been stained in a currently fashionable color.
Another vacant storefront, this one an “Ozark Giraffe”. The field stone veneer technique can be found in many places, but is indigenous to the Ozark region where it was immensely popular in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.
The façade of this jewelry store is clad in Vitrolite structural glass and probably dates to the late 1930’s or 1940’s. The original neon sign is also very nice.
This modest office building has an entry surround also made of Vitrolite. Sadly, the door is no longer used as a new entry has been added to the side of the structure.
The lighting here was not ideal for photographs, but the porch of this small mid-century house is enlivened with a diagonal roof support at left. I appreciate this small bit of refinement on an otherwise forgettable house!
An eclectic house likely dating to the 1910’s draws on a variety of architectural traditions.
Many gas stations built in the 1920’s and 30’s were designed in then-popular period Revival styles. The English “cottage” look was especially popular within the industry. This design appears to be one used frequently by Phillips 66. A faded sign above the door is somewhat legible.
Around the corner, another sign reflects the growing sentiment of the present day and gives purpose to yet another empty storefront.
This beautifully restored neon marquee appears to be all that remains of this theater’s original façade.
This is why scale is important! Replacement porch parts are too beefy for the more delicate lines of this diminutive Queen Anne.
This Spanish Eclectic house seems familiar… I’m fairly certain I’ve seen it in a plan book catalog before. It appears to be loved very much.
Three adjacent late nineteenth century false fronts. The one at left is largely intact while those at right have been heavily altered.
A Tudor Revival retains its unpainted stucco in the gables and chimney stack, but is wrapped in vinyl siding below. I’m curious about what is beneath the siding. The half-timbering of the gables may have been an afterthought; it appears to be surface-mounted rather than flush with the face of the stucco.
No, I didn’t buy this at the flea market but did have to take a photo of it! The graphics on this 1950’s DIY kit are too much fun! The whole family appears to be high on something and frighteningly enthralled with what surely must have been a disappointing purchase after the initial excitement wore off.
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Those poorly scaled porch parts are pretty awful. Trying to add grandiosity where it never existed.
Nailed it! That porch is clearly more about making some kind of a statement rather than a serious desire to honor history or architectural integrity.
Now I want to smith some copper…
Thanks for the tour!
It’s a miracle that I didn’t come home with this… I was sorely tempted! I’ve seen a lot of “decor” items in thrift stores that were probably “smithed” from a kit like this; I do appreciate good kitsch. Glad you liked the tour!
I enjoyed your tour! Didn’t know that about Phillips 66 having the little cottage stations. We have a couple of Pure Oil stations in Chicago area still hanging in there, but I didn’t realize other companies had that look too.
Wow — that Pure Oil station is quite impressive! I remember a similar station being operational when I was a kid many decades ago. Most survivors now seem to be vacant or repurposed; here are just a few of them!
“Anonymous” provides us with a link to the little Spanish Eclectic house as seen in a Brown-Blodgett catalog:
Thank you, Anonymous!