Friday, August 20, 2010

Bob Wendt-House Designer/Builder-Part 1

Robert Edward Wendt was born in Herington, Ks, 1924. After graduating high school he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1941 after bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served mostly on the island of Guam as the crew chief of a B-29 Bomber. When he returned from service he obtained his Architectural Engineering degree while working as Don Drummond's first foreman. While working with Don, Bob met Lloyd Roark, a prominent local architect. Roarke offered Bob the job of contractor and builder for a home he had on the drawing board. They worked on several jobs until Bob decided he wanted to design, draft and build from his own plans. His reputation and career evolved at that point. His brother Don a master carpenter came to work for him and did beautiful custom cabinet work. The house seen above and below was built for Dan Tyler in 1961.
Behind the stone walls that flank the entrance (below) are patios accessed from the bedrooms.

Long and low the house screams shelter and privacy...originally the large sliding glass doors opened to a large semi-circular aggregate patio.

Bob was never interested in building tract or speculative homes, only "Custom Built Homes for Owners" was what his signs and cards said. Most of Bob's homes were located in Prairie Village and Mission Hills, KS. These Homes (above and below) were built in Town and Country Estates.

This was the former home of Ray and Betty Pitman. The boomerang shaped home stretched across the corner lot. The clerestory addition on the left roofline came later. The pictures speak for themselves, this is a cool house...

The only homes Bob ever constructed for sale were also his last he ever designed and built. These two contemporay homes are located on a private cul-de-sac in Prairie Village, Ks near 67th and Nall. Plans and photos were featured in various magazines and publications, Both houses sold before they were built. The one shown below was the home of Dean Graves, FAIA. The other house was purchased by Myra and Jim Morgan, former owners of the Morgan Gallery. You might recall the large "yard-art" sculptures on the lot in front of these homes.

Photography by Bob Greenspan and Scott Lane
Some details provided by Maudell Wendt