Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Modern Photo of the Week - KG&E Building Wichita, Kansas

Name: KG&E Building, Kansas Gas and Electric Company
Year Designed: Unknown
Builder: Unknown
Year Built: 1954
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Type: Office Building
Style: International Style
Status: Standing, but altered
Photographer: Howard Eastwood from

I do not know much about this building, but I cannot help thinking that the designer was well aware of the work of William Lescaze, the designer of the PSFS Building in Philadelphia, the first International Style skyscraper. I recall being amazed by the KG&E building as a child when going with my mother to a meeting in one of the conference rooms. She worked for another electric company as a home economist, teaching women how to cook on their new electric stoves. The thing that was the most memorable to me was the lighting fixtures and aluminum detailing in the lobby and on the exterior of the ground floor. I wonder if that is still there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

American Cars - Hope they stay around!

Watching the Detroit bailout saga reminded me of a recent email I received. Growing up in the 50's and 60's was a great time to appreciate cars. How times and styles have changed.

1951 Chrysler K310
The 1951 K-310 was the second of the Ghia-built Chrysler concept cars designed under the watchful eye of company styling director Virgil Exner.

1953 Buick Wildcat
A special brochure handed out at the Motorama explained the philosophy behind the Wildcat: "Buick by-passes time and tradition to bring your 'dream car' closer. Buick's progressive search for finer styling and better cars for America's motorists enters a new era with presentation of the revolutionary new sports convertible -- the Wildcat -- featuring a Fiberglass body.
1958 Lincoln Premiere
Low sales and less of the "more is better" attitude generally in Detroit led to an all-new downsized Lincoln line for '61.

1955 Nash Rambler Cross County Wagon
Model offerings expanded noticeably for 1954 with the addition of two- and four-door sedans and a four-door Cross Country wagon.

1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner
The Fairlane was named after Henry Ford's Fair Lane mansion in Dearborn, Michigan. 1959 was the last year of the Sunliner convertible.
1956 Nash
In developing this new car, Nash had originally planned to call it the Nash Diplomat. This name would have rounded out the Nash family of cars, as for 1950 the 600 line was re-named the Statesman and the Ambassador remained the flagship line.

1951 Buick LeSabre
One of the most famous concept cars was the 1951 Buick LeSabre. Designed by Harley J. Earl’s studio with styling cues from jet fighter planes and used by him for years as an everyday driver, the LeSabre offered a preview of the aircraft styling that followed in the ’50s.
1958 Edsel Convertible
The Edsel was introduced amidst considerable publicity on "E Day"—September 14, 1957. It was promoted by a top-rated television special, The Edsel Show on October 13, but it was not enough to counter the adverse public reaction to the car's styling and conventional build.