Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wichita Municipal Airport

More snooping from Wichita Municipal Airport was built in 1954 and renamed Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in 1973. It's really not a terrible building now (after extensive "renovation" and expansion), but I can't help but think how flying has changed. I spend flights now hoping tank-top man's hairy shoulder doesn't touch me from the next seat. The lobby pictured here looks like Cary Grant could saunter past at any minute.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dymaxion House

I ran across these while scrounging around at

Their text: "Exterior, front view of “Wichita House,” constructed near Wichita in Rose Hill, Kansas, in 1948. A 1948 Packard automobile is parked at right. The visionary design by R. Buckminster Fuller was based on his 1927 plan for a mass-produced house called the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine. Beech Aircraft Company constructed the house to demonstrate affordable, prefabricated housing that would take advantage of World War II surplus materials. The structure was made of aluminum and designed to withstand the elements, including a Kansas tornado. This model was one of only two prototypes ever produced. In 1991 the William Graham family donated it to the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Fuller...coined the term “Dymaxion” by combining two favorite words, “dynamic” and ”maximize”"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dunbar School Sign

In honor of Black History Month, a picture of the Dunbar Adult Center--formerly Dunbar School, I assume--sign in the historic McAdams neighborhood (northeast of Murdock and Washington, in case you've never been there). I just get the feeling looking at this that the person who designed it knew exactly where to stop. Ribbon lettering, black background, posts made of steel I-beams. The end.

Sorry for the photo quality--I was sans camera today and used my cell phone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First try: Exploration Place

My family and I moved to Wichita, Kansas in June 2008. We purchased a mid-century modern home that had had some unflattering work done to it over the years. We immediately made plans to "restovate" it (our designers' word) to something more consistent with its 1960s roots. In the process of redesigning our home, I've become interested in modern architecture.

As my wife and I looked around town for inspiration for our home, we discovered that Wichita is really a hidden architectural gem, with preserved neighborhoods representing nearly every American architectural movement from the 1880s (or even before) to the present day. I've looked for an archive of Wichita modern architecture (the Wichita equivalent to what you might find at, but I've come up short. So, I decided to start a blog featuring pictures I've taken of local homes and buildings. I might throw in some history or commentary on the buildings if I know anything about them.

I should issue a couple disclaimers: I know nothing about architecture and design. I've had no formal training in the field. I only know what I think looks pretty. So if I type something wrong, please correct me gently. If you think a building I photograph is ugly, that's ok. Also, if you can't tell, I'm also a beginner at blogging. If I post a picture that you think should be removed because of copyright issues or privacy, please let me know.

Above you see the children's museum Exploration Place, located just west of downtown Wichita on the Arkansas River. I think it is a spectacular building. I know little of it's history, so if anyone can tell me more about it, I'd love to know. The picture is linked from the nice folks at