Many renowned architects contributed to the design and development of Wornall Homestead. Some of their works are described below.
Phillip T Drotts and Earnest Bostrom
Phillip T Drotts worked as an architect in Kansas City from 1904 until the early 1950’s where he died in 1960. Drotts attended Columbia University. Early in his career, he worked with John McKecknie and Earnest Bostrom, two of Kansas City’s most prominent architects. Drotts was a draftsman in McKecknies’s office from 1907-10, 1914-15 and from 1917-18. From 1920 to 1923, he was a partner with Bostrom in the firm Bostrom and Drotts. They were prolific designers of churches including Broadway Baptist church at 3931 Washington (1922), Immanuel Lutheran at 4201 Tracy in 1924, and Trinity Methodist (Bostrum) at 620 East Armour Boulevard. The Newbern Apartments at 523 East Armour was designed by Bostrom and Drotts in 1921. Drotts also designed the Aladdin Hotel in 1925 and a modernist house at 4425 Terrace in 1938.
We are fortunate to have two of their residences in Wornall Homestead. They are:
234 West 62nd Street (Phillip Drotts)
5710 Central Street (Earnest Bostrom)
Clarence E. Shepard
Shepard was born in Cortland, New York in 1869 and he grew up in Clay Center, Kansas. When his family moved to Chicago in the early 1890s, he began his study of architecture and also developed a great interest in Native American basketry. To earn money for schooling, Shepard traveled to California to collect baskets for the Field Museum. He transferred his architectural studies to the University of California in Berkeley in 1895. By 1900, Shepard had returned to Chicago where he worked as a draftsman in the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright from 1902 to 1905. Following the birth of a daughter, the Shepards moved to Kansas City were Clarence obtained his architectural license to practice here.
The 1914 Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Kansas City related that Clarence Shepard “designs and builds real homes and does a general real estate and investment business.” He was “especially active” in designing residences from 1908 to 1913. Shepard was then associated with the J.C. Nichols Company until 1917 as an architect and realtor.
Some of his residential designs include 810 Gleed Terrace (1922), 5405 Wornall (1920), 5005 Ward Parkway (1925), and 1238 Huntington Road (1928). Working with Harborne D. Belcher, he designed 3715 Harrison Boulevard (1913), the Peppard Residence (1915) at 201 Concord, and the Hovey Residence (1915) at 215 W. 53rd Street. The residence at 5265 Sunset Drive (1927) was in conjunction with Harry L. Wagner. Shepard received the Medal Award for Excellence in Architectural Design by the Architectural League of Kansas City in 1925 for the Gallagher Residence at 1425 Stratford Road. Throughout his career, it is estimated that the designed over six hundred residences in Kansas City, Enid, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Minneapolis.
In 1915, Shepard designed the west half of the new Second Presbyterian Church at 55th and Oak. He was also active in landscaping many of the properties. He stated in 1931 that “the back yard is archaic. All homeowners who take pride in their property have converted it to a garden. And in so doing they have found diversion, health, and happiness.” Shepard was a member of the AIA, the Kansas City Architectural League, and president of the Kansas City Society of Artists (1942-44). He died in 1949.
We are fortunate to have nine Shepard residences in Wornall Homestead:
25 W 57th Terrace
6010 Brookside Boulevard
6034 Brookside Boulevard
6045 Brookside Boulevard
108 Huntington Road
5732 Wyandotte Street
5920 Wyandotte Street
6014 Wyandotte Street
6020 Wyandotte Street
Shepard & Belcher
Clarence E. Shepard and Harborne D. Belcher formed the firm of Shepard & Belcher from 1913-1917. Together, they designed six residences in Wornall Homestead:
240 W 62nd Street
112 Huntington Road
6125 Wornall Road
5911 Wyandotte Street
6011 Wyandotte Street
6028 Wyandotte Street
Selby H. Kurfiss
Selby Kurfiss was born in Louisville and studied at Columbia University. By 1891, he was working as a draftsman for Adriance Van Brunt. By 1900, he had opened his own office. Except for brief partnerships with Harry Goddard in 1910 and with Frederick Michealis in 1911, he practiced alone. Throughout his career, he was active in professional organizations, serving as vice-president, director, and secretary of the Kansas City chapter of the AIA, between 1911 and 1917.n His professionalism and willingness to counsel younger architects led to his description as “an architect’s architect”. His work includes the 1926 Gillis Opera building in the city market, the Arthur Bryant building designed in 1910 for the Eisberg Baking Company, and the J Sidney Smith residence at Gleed Terrance and Holmes, one of Kurfiss’s most impressive works.
We are fortunate to have one Kurfiss designed residence in the neighborhood at the southeast corner of Wornall and Huntington at 321 Huntington Road.
McKecknie & Trask
John McKecknie (1862-1934) attended Princeton and studied architecture at Columbia. He designed the West Gate Hotel, also called the flat-iron building at 9th and Main in downtown Kansas City. The hotel was torn down in 1954, and a statue, “The Muse of Missouri” now stands in its place in the middle of Main Street. John McKecknie worked on his own for years, designing the Egyptian Revival Stine and McClure Funeral Home at 924 Oak Street. His design for the six-story Gumbel Building at 801 Walnut, completed in 1905, was the first in Kansas City to use reinforced concrete in a large building. Other designs included the massive Calvert Hunt residence at 3616 Gladstone Boulevard, completed in 1904, and the 12-story Gloyd Building at 921 Walnut in 1907.
The prolific McKecknie worked alone until he formed a partnership with Frank Trask (1882-1968) in 1914. The prominent firm of McKecknie and Trask was responsible for many buildings throughout the library district including the Dwight building, the Burnap building, the New England Bank building’s 1930 addition, the Kansas City Board of Trade building at 10th and Wyandotte, and the University Club at 918 Baltimore as well as the Montgomery Ward Building at St. John and Belmont Avenues. They also designed many fine residences throughout midtown.
We have two residences designed by McKecknie & Trask in Wornall Homestead:
The Bert Inman residence at 6042 Brookside Boulevard turned one hundred years old on September 18, 2011. It was designed by John McKecknie and was cited in Western Contractor Magazine in the September 27, 1911 issue. The garage was added in March of 1914.
The Robert Mehornay residence at 5822 Central was designed by Frank E. Trask with construction beginning on November 11, 1911.
These are two fine examples of residences designed by Kansas City’s most notable early architects.
Harry Alexander Drake
Harry Alexander Drake worked for Howe, Hoit and Cutler until about 1901. (This firm designed the Power and Light building, the Long Building, Longview Farm, Corinthian Hall, 909 Walnut, etc). Drake started his own firm in 1909. His buildings include 1524 Grand Boulevard with it’s beautiful terra-cotta façade, the venerable Newman Theater –later called the Paramount (1919-1972), the Theatre Royal at 1022 Main (1914-1936), and 2101 Broadway in the Crossroads, known as the candle building and currently under restoration. We are lucky to have two of his designs in the neighborhood:
6143 Wornall Road (October 1922) F P Clyalt residence
6023 Wyandotte Street (June 1913) J Whitney residence