Thursday, November 12, 2009

SHOWCASING GREEN - Studio 804 - Sunday, November 15th, 4-6pm

Please join KCMODERN for:
at the amazing house built by Studio 804, 3716 Springfield
with our guest, Gerould Sabin of Elements of Green,
who will be presenting green building materials
Sunday, November 15th, 4-6 PM.

Studio 804 at the University of Kansas has designed Kansas City’s first “off the grid” residence as a model of sustainability. The studio is aspiring to complete the first LEED platinum residence in the Kansas City area. The house showcases may energy saving techniques, including a wind turbine, solar panels, a geothermal heat pump and a water reclamation system.

Meet Gerould Sabin of Elements of Green, which he created to make an impact in Kansas City by simplifying access to the product stream of sustainable building, remodeling and finishing solutions to the Midwest and to provide a social networking venue for the discussion of environmentally sound building materials and practices.

Studio 804:

3716 Springfield:
From State Line Road and 39th Street, go west on 39th by KUMed and across Rainbow Bvld, 3 blocks to Springfield and north to the house. Parking will be in the gravel lot located across the street and a little to the north.

Elements of Green:

Photo by Dan Rockhill

Monday, November 9, 2009

1955 PARADE OF HOMES-Part Three

The 1955 Kansas City Home Builders Association Parade of Homes Guidebook featured the above ad on the back cover, naming "powerhouse" builders of the time...I love the wall refrigerator, which I think was a cool idea thet never took off, perhaps because of costs and reduced wall storage space...still a cool idea. Note the "All-in-One" unit in the upper right called the "Kitchen Center"...every appliance but the refrigerator grouped together as one, sounds daunting and depressing by today's standards...but convenient!
The guidebook is a great example of the growth of "First-Ring" suburbs like Prairie Village, KS. The ranch dominated the styles available...
The house below was by Sam Symons, builder. You will see a number of examples of this identifiable plan throughout the area. He was a "direct" competitor with Don Drummond for a few years in the "Modern" home market, and many people refer to these homes as "Drummonds" because of similar characteristics. This house is the largest of the three built on the southeast corner of 75th and Lamar. 75th street was just recently paved and was two-lane setting the houses well back from the road. I love the pricing, for example: "Six Foot Longer House- $1000". The houses were priced in the guidebook from "$15,000 to $17,500". Interesting to note Symons office on Juniper was one of this plan.

The house below is the Better Homes and Gardens "Idea Home of the Year"... built by Vic Regnier. Vic was a builder/ developer at the time, building many homes in the area near Ranchmart Shopping Center (which he developed and built including his multi-family residences. According to the O.P. Sun, Vic was estimated to be worth about $36 million in the late 1980's. That didn't stop him from coming to work everyday in his beat up pickup truck bringing his lunch and washing it down with buttermilk... a brilliant business man who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty, you would often see him at Ranchmart Hardware, where I think he preferred to be).
Vic didn't build many "modern" houses, preferring a more traditional ranch house. The house below had the breezeway lifestyle, which ultimately would get enclosed, expanding livable square footage. When I first saw it in the late 1980's it still had it's light-stained mahogany walls and cabinets... The "magazine" house was all the rage at the time, it being a unique medium to reach the public, and more importantly, I understand it, this architect was in/involved with the architectural firm of Hugh Stubbins, giving it a unique pedigree... per the guidebook, this house was priced $30,000-$35, far as we know, this was the only one of this plan built. The images are not here now...but I may add them later...