About the Book

The great houses of Kansas City weave a rich architectural tapestry, filled with exquisite detailing and sumptuous effects.”
                                                              – Michael C. Kathrens

Gary Residence
Entrance Detail, Country Club District Residence of Hunter L. & LaMara S. Gary

      The first book to survey the rich architectural heritage of this major Midwestern hub, Kansas City Houses 1885–1938 (Bauer and Dean, 2018) reveals the architectural treasures built during the city’s boom years. Architectural historian Michael C. Kathrens spotlights the work of highly accomplished architects, many based in Kansas City who have long been overshadowed by their high-profile East Coast counterparts. He places the significant but little-known architectural legacy of Kansas City in a historical context and traces the development of the once rough-and-tumble town into a fashionable city with exclusive residential neighborhoods on both the Missouri and Kansas sides of the state line.

      Kathrens thoroughly documents forty superb houses that reflect the outsized fortunes of the influential Kansas Citians who built them. These residences, mostly done in revival and Beaux Arts styles, include Oak Hall (1887), designed by


28-03 Entrance Detail 1015 W 54th St (18)_r1
Entrance Detail, Country Club District Residence of Richard O. & Marie S. Smith

Frederick E. Hill for newspaper publisher William Rockhill Nelson, who helped establish the Nelson-Atkins Museum; Marburg (1896), the mansion of minerals magnate August R. Meyer designed by Van Brunt & Howe; Corinthian Hall (1910), lumber baron Robert A. Long’s classical mansion designed by Henry F. Hoit; the homes of oilman Ernest C. Winters and Walter E. Bixby of Kansas City Life Insurance, both designed by Edward W. Tanner (the Bixby residence features interiors by Kem Weber); Bernard Corrigan’s mansion (1913) designed by Louis S. Curtiss with a nod to the Vienna Secession; and houses by Mary Rockwell Hook, one of the first women to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

      Kathrens’s authoritative yet accessible text is complemented throughout by drawings, floor plans, archival images, and newly commissioned photographs––a treat for architectural scholars and enthusiasts alike.

  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • 192 color and 293 black & white photos, including 75 floor plans
  • 9.25 x 12.25 inches
  • Includes architects’ biographies, catalog of 62 additional houses, bibliography, and index
  • Suggested Retail Price: $69.95
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First Floor Plan, Country Club District Residence of George B. Jr. & Ann C. Longan