Thursday, February 20, 2014

45th Annual Kansas City Designers' Showhouse

"In the Spring a young man's thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of love." Alfred Tennyson
In Spring, a young man's thoughts may turn to love, but the Kansas City area designers turn their thoughts to the 45th annual showhouse. This is one of the longest-running fund raising events in Kansas City. It benefits a worthy cause, the Kansas City Symphony in its 42-week long season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

45th Annual KC Designers' Showhouse
This year's showhouse is at 1246 W. 59th Street in the Country Club District of Kansas City, Missouri. The home was built in 1921 by the architectural firm of Hoit, Price and Barnes. Its design is Jacobean, which originated in the early 1600's, known for its ornate elements, extravagant silhouettes and dramatic style. The construction material is native Kansas limestone.

The front of the house has several interesting architectural features. There are the twin porches that frame the door. Perched atop each porch rests a stone gargoyle that protects the house from evil spirits. At the top of the house on the third floor is the widow's walk, a feature more customary to coastal areas where wives would watch to see if their husbands returned from the sea.

The history of the house is long and illustrative. It was originally designed for Fred Hoose, his wife Alice and their two children. Fred eventually left Kansas City for an acting career in Los Angeles. As a character actor, Hoose played the marshal in Lone Star Law Men (1941), judge in Riding the Sunset Trail (1941), and a beleaguered rancher in Where the Trails End (1942).

Read more history of the home, by Beverly Shaw, Symphony Alliance historian.

It is now February and ones sees the remnants of winter's snow. By April the 26th when the showhouse opens to the public, the rooms will be done, the trees and the grass will have turned green. The landscaping, done by By the Blade, will be a symphony of color.

In addition to the front view of the house there are the dramatic side and rear views. The home has been designed for the contours of the land. It nestles within the side of the hill and is surrounded by ancient trees.

Traditions Furniture is proud to again work on the Designers' Showhouse. This year we will be doing the dining room. The style is traditional 18th century Chippendale by Stickley. The designers this year are Kathy Carter, Missy Dean, and Alex Young.

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