Sunday, April 12, 2009

Before You Buy a House by John Hancock Callender

Back in 2004, co-blogger Scott and I went to California to visit with Don Drummond at his home in Carmel, California. After an entire day of chatting about his years building Modern homes in Kansas City, he began to look for some old magazines and books about his projects in KC. He took us to a hall closet, which had some of his wife's books on design and there was this book with the Revere Homes from Prairie Village, KS on the cover. It was called, Before You Buy a House, by John Hancock Callender. My heart skipped a beat with excitement when I saw it. Seeing my enthusiasm, Don offered to give me the book. I resisted the tempting offer, suggesting that he give it to one of his children or grandchildren instead. I did except his offer on another fabulous book, but that is a story for another day. Ironically, I found the same book on the shelf of Stephen Ritchings, another Mid-Century Modern enthusiast and friend in California later that same weekend. Making note of the title, I immediately ordered a couple copies of this rare title from used book sellers upon my arrival back home.

This has proven to be one my favorite titles in my extensive vintage architecture book collection. It has early 1950's homes by many of the great house designers and builders of the time. Most notably. there is extensive coverage of the early Eichler homes by Anshen and Allen and Jones and Emmons in California. Also of note are homes in Hollin Hills, Alexandria, VA by Architect, Charles M. Goodman and Builder, Robert C. Davenport. Closer to home, there are projects in Arapahoe Acres, Denver, CO by Architect, Eugene R. Sternberg and Builder, Edward B. Hawkins.

The book is titled Before You Buy a House: How to Judge, How to Value, How to Decide by John Hancock Callender and authorized by the Architectural League of New York and the Southwest Research Institute. Published by Crown Publishing, New York in 1953.
160 pages, 34 Houses and developments, 211 black-and-white photographs, drawings, and plans, and an Evaluation Checklist prepared by The Housing Research Foundation.

Because some of these homes will be on the upcoming KCMODERN Runnells Modern House Tour I thought I would share this book with you. Here are the pages from the book pertaining to the Revere Home by Architect, David B. Runnells and Builder, Donald H. Drummond.

6 comments:

John said...

Robert,
Can you post the larger picture files so we can see more detail from the book pages?
Thanks,
john

Scott said...

Nice post Robert, that's a cool and rare book with great insight at the time and relevant today...an amazing day at Don's...

robert said...

John

You should be able to click on the image and enlarge it, but something seems amiss.

Go to this link and click on the image you wish to view and then click "all sizes" above the image. You should be able to see them even larger than the screen.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moderns-r-us/sets/72157616593476390/

robert said...

Thanks Scott. It was a good day wasn't it?

Karina Marshall said...

Hello! I believe this book has some pages/information on the Eichler Morepark development in San Jose. I'm desperately trying to find this book or at least images of the pages that refer to Morepark. Is there any way you can help? Maybe just send photos/scans of the pages that discuss Morepark?

Thank you so much!

Christ Bonn said...

Hi Robert, It's a great book for understanding about architecture and interior designing planning during Construction of homes. Where I can buy this book? Suggest me URL links for online shop.
Sell Your House Fast
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