23 March 2006

O'Bear Residence, 1932

project: O'Bear Residence
location: Valley Road
Webster Groves, Missouri
date: 1932
condition: good, some modifications
original client: William F. O'Bear
architect: Harris Armstrong

One of Armstrong's earliest complete homes (after his own home of 1926). The house features white-painted brick with wood framing and siding above. The lintels over openings in the brick wall are heavy timber beams exposed.

The house is organized around a courtyard located at the front of the house. Two undulating white-painted retaining walls open a slot in the ground for cars to enter the garage at the lowest level and a curving brick stair leading up to the courtyard which overlooks the street.

The high peaked roof, gentle easing of the eaves, and lack of overhangs is typical of this period of his work. where the roof meets the brick masonry supporting wall below, bricks are set in a corbelled manner giving the appearance of dentils. The gable end walls are brick masonry up most of their height. Where they terminate, a set of wood purlins are exposed and horizontal wood siding, stained dark, fill the remainder of the gable end walls. This form corresponds to many of Armstrong's works of this period such as the Monday Club and the first Armstrong Residence, both of which are not far from this home.

Valley Road is a short, one block long street that splits a block located between South Maple and Plant Avenue. The street is quite narrow and appears to have been originally developed without being constructed according to the City standards (sidewalks, curbs, pavement, etc.).

Photograph courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

21 March 2006

Moore Residence, 1932

project: Moore Residence
location: 745 Oakland Avenue
Oakland, Missouri
date: 1932
condition: some modifications; well-maintained
status: City of Oakland Historic Landmark

Although Armstrong referred to this house as being a "Small House in Glendale", it is actually located in the municipality of Oakland, next to Glendale. I'm not sure why he referred to it in this manner and why he didn't note the name of the owner. The house was built for a school teacher named Katherine Moore.

With its very shallow hipped roof and horizontally grouped casement windows, it is a close relative of his Cori House exhibiting some similar characteristics, such as the second floor balcony with adjacent chimney, brick masonry construction, corner windows, and the cantilevered overhang over the main entry.

Photograph courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

15 March 2006

Six Room, Six Thousand Dollar Suburban House

A design by Armstrong for a six room home. The design incorporates many features that he'd already used and others that he would come to use even more extensively.

The flat gable end with the symmetrical windows divided by a heavily carved element is quite similar to the window details on his Monday Club.

The brick masonry wall extending out into the garden to begin to architectural define the spaces surrounding the house. Such walls were regular features of Armstrong's project for many years to come. They are almost always drawing as planters and often were built that way. Unfortunately, some of them have been filled in and capped to prevent excess water infiltration. The wall is particularly suggestive of a similar wall he designed for the Cori House (1935).

The entry door has a diamond shaped ornamental texture which appears to be quite similar to the one ultimately used on the Cori House.

The twin octogonal brick masonry chimneys are a strong visual element that Armstrong proposed in many projects of this era (the early 1930s). Its unclear whether a version of this design was ever constructed.

project: Proposed Six Room, Six Thousand Dollar Suburban House (unbuilt), c. 1932.
architect: Harris Armstrong.

For more on Saint Louis modern architect Harris Armstrong, check my blog architectural ruminations.

Drawing courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

04 March 2006

Dwell article, p. 1 (April 2006)

This is the first of a three page article regarding Harris Armstrong's stamp on Saint Louis architecture.

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03 March 2006

Dwell article, p. 2 (April 2006)

The second page of a three page article featuring information regarding the renovation a Harris Armstrong designed home.

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Dwell article, p. 3 (April 2006)

This page describes "Ten Things You Should Know About Harris Armstrong."

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