Real Estate

A Louis Curtiss-Designed Gem Asks $5.49M

Just minutes away from Kansas City, Missouri’s Country Club Plaza, the city’s upscale retail and dining hub, sits an iconic early twentieth century estate designed by renowned architect Louis Curtiss, now for sale for $5.49 million.

The seven-bedroom, seven-bath home that encompasses 14,986 square feet was completed in 1913 in Curtiss’ iconic style, which incorporated both modern and classical architectural elements. Curtiss’ inspiration from the Prairie School style is palpable, with the house’s architectural emphasis on horizontal lines. Many of the home’s decorative features also reflect Art Nouveau antecedents, and in particular, curving plant motifs present in some of the home’s decorative glass.

The property’s original nomination form in the National Register of Historic Places also suggests that Curtiss was likely influenced by an increasing interest in Japanese forms and styles that swept the West during the final quarter of the nineteenth century, citing pergola-like structures attached to the home’s east wing, among other features.

The house sits on 2.4 acres of land and includes a detached four-car garage, as well as an amply-sized brick patio that opens out to a fountain. A separate carriage house on the property has a full kitchen and laundry, as well as two bedrooms and one bathroom.

On the home’s exterior, a striking red clay Spanish tiled roof and a gray limestone façade make it stand out from the lush vegetation surrounding it. Intricate flourishes of stained glass also adorn most of the home’s windows. Within, the property boasts hardwood floors and multiple fireplaces. Other notable features include a wine cellar and a game room in the basement.

“From the moment you enter the grounds, you begin an experience of the senses, which will leave you awe struck and inspired,” the listing description reads. “World renowned architect Louis Curtiss was purposeful, imaginative and boundless in creating this feast for the eyes.”

Curtiss is believed to have been born in Ontario, Canada, according to most sources, though some sources also state he may have been born in Pennsylvania. He lived in Kansas City for nearly four decades and was known as the “Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City.” Although little is known about his personal and professional background, the Kansas City Public Library’s webpage on the architect states that “according to years of conjecture” he studied at the University of Toronto and the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris. The site also notes that Curtiss “preferred an air of mystery” and requested that all his personal documents be burned when he died.

The property at 1200 West 55th Street was originally commissioned to him by contractor and street railway magnate Bernard Corrigan, who died suddenly just a few months before construction on the home was finished. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but in recent years was removed.

Andrew Bash and Shannon Vickers Rixson of Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty are representing the listing.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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