Category Archives: Archive

’50s optimism on display June 25th

When we talk about midcentury modern we’re usually talking about the 1950s, the sweet spot for modernism in America. Modern architecture in the ’50s, like American cinema in the ’70s, was an unusually fervent period of rules-breaking and risk-taking that we continue to obsess over. Which brings us to the Cerf House. Built in 1958 at the cost of $80,000—enough to buy a fleet […]

A humble apprentice

Curtis Besinger, Professor of Architecture at KU from 1955-1956 and 1957-1984, was a man without pretense. He eschewed all sartorial or any other kind of extravagance in contrast to Frank Lloyd Wright for whom he worked 16 years from 1939 to 1955. Instead, Curtis drew no attention to himself, dressed modestly in browns and grays, […]

FLW-inspired time capsule delights

Oh yeah. It was the mod gathering to top all mod gatherings. The Beal/Charlton House event on the 18th was fantastic, probably the best attended and most satisfying that Lawrence Modern has ever done. Somewhere up there Frank Lloyd Wright was smiling. George Beal was smiling. Robert Still, the builder, was doing cartwheels. Down here, […]

Historic modernism on view Oct. 18

Designed in 1950 by KU architecture professor George Beal, the unassuming wooden house at 1624 Indiana — the location of our next event — is an outstanding example of Usonian architecture, a term coined by Frank Lloyd Wright to describe his vision for an organic architecture suited to the United States. Prof. Beal was a Taliesin Fellow and […]

Modern fans bask on butterfly roof

“I loved the light and the trees,” said Elaine Blank in response to the question of what she enjoyed the most of her 60 plus years in the house at 2133 Owens Lane. In 1951 Elaine and her husband, local photographer Robert Blank, purchased plans from House Beautiful magazine. Their desire to live in something […]