Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bernard Corrigan Mansion by Louis S. Curtiss, Architect - "What's the Story on That House?"

Construction on the Bernard Corrigan Mansion started in 1913. Corrigan was successful as a building contractor, street railway developer and real estate investor. His company was the builder of the house. He died before it's completion.
After several short ownerships, the Sutherland family (think lumber) bought the home and lived here for a number of years. It is often called the Corrigan-Sutherland house. Located at 55th and Ward Parkway, the house was built on the southern edge of town at the time (the Plaza Shopping District is dated 1922) The black and white photo was taken in 1940.
One of the most architecturally distinctive houses situated on one of the most dominant lots in Kansas City, this Louis Curtiss design is a Tour de Force. Curtiss meshed a number of elements creating at first look, the Prairie Style and Frank Lloyd Wright's work. On closer examination one sees Art Noveau masonry relief, Arts and Crafts ornamentation under a mediterranean tile roof. The art glass windows are remarkable.
This unique home was constructed with long span girders and reinforced concrete, unusual for it's day. The craftsmanship is impeccable. The eclectic mix of elements creates a house of subdued exuberance...truly a masterpiece.
Curtiss was so eclectic...perhaps inspired by Charles R. Mackintosh and Louis Sullivan on the clock and staircase... (recent photos courtesy of Gary Kabrink)


Fein1 said...

There is a great book on curtiss.
I think Spiveys has afew copies.

robert said...

Great job on this post Scott. Glad to see these great photos of this Curtiss masterpiece.

The book is called Stalking Louis Curtiss by Wilda Sandy and Larry K. Hancks. It is a great source of information, but I wish someone would do a book with some great color photos.

Fein1 said...


you should do it.

PFL0W said...

Magnificent home, for sure, of course. Thanks so much for posting especially since this is the only way most of us will see anthing of the interiors.

On those interiors, it's great to see that they're done in such light, more modern shades. If done darker, it might appear far more dreary and rather "waste" what is otherwise so wonderful.

Mo Rage