Thomas House tour midcentury joy

Architect Jim Williams speaks to the Lawrence Modern group Sunday, June 28, 2014.

Architect Jim Williams speaks to the Lawrence Modern group Sunday, June 28, 2014.

One of Lawrence’s hidden gems, the Thomas House, was on full display Sunday, and polished to a high sheen by the current owners, Deb and Ray Rowden. More than 50 Lawrence Modern guests roamed the property, which in its design, siting, landscaping, and casual feel — you could say breeziness — is a fusion of modern ideas that work together beautifully. Architect Jim Williams, 78, gave a very humble talk about his 1967 design, giving much credit to the original owners, Al and Anne Thomas. Anne, in particular, had a clear vision for how the house should be built, Williams said. Like many of Lawrence’s best modern homes, the Thomas House was the work of a young modernist architect inspired by a woman, or perhaps taking direct orders from a woman. You can’t argue with the results.

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