Wednesday, December 17, 2008

THEN & NOW -- Drummond Builds Housing for Flood Victims

In response to the housing demand caused by the disastrous flood the summer of 1951, Francie Drummond designed this house plan (there were variations, Gier Sloan, Architect may have been involved) for quickly built and inexpensive housing. (See vintage photo -- sorry photo is stained) Slab on grade foundations, flat roofs and minimalist styling helped keep costs down. Don said they had no land costs and the homes were sold for around $2,000. He said he built around forty of the houses in Kansas City, KS.
They may not exist anymore, we have been unable to locate them, but a nifty little enclave of homes near 55th and Maple, Mission, KS, resemble the flood houses. I remember some were built with flat roofs, others gabled. Now, all have gabled roofs.
Comparing the photos and disregarding the gabled roofs, vinyl siding and shutters, you can almost see the flat roof and similar window treatment. Sadly, most have lost their crisp modern styling.

Modern Photo of the Week - Cocktail Hour at the Spencer Residence in Santa Monica, 1950

California Modern: 1950
Photograph by Julius Shulman

And Now For Something Completely Different... How about leaving wintery Kansas City for a little sunny California, Mid-Century time capsule photographed by "Uncle" Julius Shulman!

As if we did not have enough distractions to waste our time on the internet, here is one more. Caution, I wasted a good hour browsing through this one.

I recently discovered Shorpy "Always something Interesting", a photo blog that continually posts interesting vintage photos and then allows it's viewers to contribute funny comments to go along with the photos. Recently Shorpy posted some great Mid-Century Modern picks, so I thought I would grab this one by my favorite architectural photographer Julius Shulman.

I particularly like browsing through comments for the photo above which include, "The guy in the suit and sandals looks like a cross between Woody Harrelson and Hugh Hefner." And "Is that SHAG carpeting on the chair? And why is Mr. Spencer wearing Birkenstocks with his suit?" Other comments include,"This is reminiscent of the mood of the old TV Show, Hugh Hefner's Penthouse Party. It was all so chic and stylishly sophisticated." And, "this is so totally Southern California that I can't stand it."

My favorite comment: "The future was going to be so cool, and look what we did with it."

via Lotta Living

Sunday, December 14, 2008

THEN & NOW -- Conecting the Dots- Ralph Myers House

I agree with Robert, I'm a big fan of Kivett and Myers work. Though the firm did very little residential work, Ralph Myers designed his own home, as seen here in the newspaper, built by Don Drummond in Prairie Village, KS in 1947. The house featured passive solar heating through the large south windows and outdoor living on the "protected" patio. The recent photo is as close to the angle of the vintage photo as I could get. A privacy fence blocks any view of the alterations that enclosed and changed the original intent of the design. The house has additions and modifications that make it unrecognizable as originally built.