Admirers of the work of Louis Curtiss don’t normally associate the architect with the Colonial Revival, yet this house in Kansas City is an interesting example of the style and it demonstrates the architect’s versatility.  Despite the outwardly staid impression of the house, some of the quirkiness Curtiss is known for does emerge in many of the smaller details in the house.

Built for attorney Frank Fullerton Brumback, the house at 500 E. 36th St. in Kansas City was built in 1909.  Brumback’s wife, artist Louise Upton Brumback, decorated some of the walls in the house with her murals; they do not appear to survive today.  Thanks to a new listing on Zillow, we can take a peek at the house:


The imposing façade has more mass and less void than what is typical of most Colonial Revivals.  Image source:


The ironwork in the gate screams Louis Curtiss!  Image source:


The architrave of the entry is of Classical inspiration.  Image source:


The newel post, with its small corner elaborations beneath the cap, whispers Louis Curtiss.  Note the alternating widths of the wainscot panels.  Image source:


Living Room.  Image source:


I’m trying to imagine the scenes that Louise Upton Brumback likely decorated these walls with…  Image source:


A better view of the newel posts and the typically Curtissian detailing of them.  Image source:


The complete Zillow listing may be seen here.  Image source:



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