Timeline

1913
KU’s Architecture Department is established when Goldwin Goldsmith, an apprentice of Stanford White, becomes the department’s first professor and chair. During his tenure KU is listed as one of the top architecture schools by the Ecole Beaux Arts Institute of Design.

1925
George M. Beal joins the Architecture faculty after graduating from the Beaux Arts Institute. Beal is to have a profound influence on the department for decades to come. Vernor Smith is hired to teach drawing.

1928
Goldwin Smith leaves KU and Joe Kellogg, a.k.a. “Little Joe”, becomes Chair of the Architecture Department. Kellogg transitions the department from the Beaux Arts method of teaching to the Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Chicago School.

1930’s
Curtis Besinger and George Beal, KU graduates of architecture, begin a long-lasting friendship with Frank Lloyd Wright. Beal studies with Wright at Taliesin in the summer of 1934. Besinger becomes a Taliesin Fellow in 1939 and works as an apprentice in Wisconsin from 1942 until 1955, when he helped complete the drawings for the Guggenheim in New York in 1955.

January 15, 1935
Frank Lloyd Wright comes to KU and gives a lecture entitled “Taliesin, An Experiment in American Culture”.

1935
James Malin, a history professor, designs the first “modern” house in Lawrence at 1541 University. The architecture is an avant garde interpretation of Bauhaus concepts and European international style.

1936
George Beal designs the Chewning Residence at 1510 Stratford, billed as the first “all-electric” house in Lawrence.

1939
George Beal, with the help N. Wyman Storer, an astronomy professor, invents the Inside-Outside Heliodon, a device that simulates solar conditions for architectural scale models.

1945
Warren Heylman works in Professor Joseph Kellog’s architecture class on the design of Danforth Chapel, which was completed in 1946.

1949
Owens Lane, a cul-de-sac located outside the city limits off 21st St., becomes the first modern subdivision in Lawrence. Lots sold for $2,000 and numerous contemporary homes were constructed, designed by local architects such as Jack Morley and David Runnells.

1949-1951
Robert Hess, a KU architecture grad, designs four modernist homes on Meadow Lane (where Jayhawk Towers now reside). All were moved after the Phillips Petroleum company bought out the owners and purchased the surrounding land.

1950’s
A postwar building boom in Lawrence. Between 1950-1963, 2,740 residential building permits are pulled with the city. Topeka-based builder John “Church” Sargent builds a large number of small, affordable modern houses south and west of campus. A number of prominent architects, including Jack Morley and Tom Geraughty, Dana Dowd, Warren Heylman, and Robert Hess, design custom residential houses.

1951
George Beal designs and builds his retirement home at 1624 Indiana, strongly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses. He describes it as a “collector of sun rays”.

1955
The Santa Fe train depot at 7th and New York opens. The sleek, modern architecture is designed by Warren Corman and Warren Jones.

1959
Kiene + Bradley architects design the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building next to the Oread (now on the National and State Historic Registers).

1960
The Countryside Lane neighborhood is developed. It features many midcentury contemporary houses.

1961
Curtis Besinger becomes a professor at KU after working with Frank Lloyd Wright. He becomes influential in promoting modernism at KU until his retirement in 1984.

1962
Under Eugene George’s leadership, KU continues to promote modernism. George worked under Walter Gropious (founder of the Bauhaus School).

1967
The Architecture program becomes an autonomous school at the University of Kansas.

1968
Charles Kahn is named the first Dean of the new School of Architecture and Urban Design. He was also a modernist.

1970
George Beal retires from KU.

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