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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Architecture Analysis

Information and excerpts are taken from:
Rose and Peterson Architects
Historic and Architectural Survey - Phase 4
Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City, Kansas Planning Division, 1994

Copy resides in the Kansas Room at the KCKs Public Library
625 Minnesota Avenue, KCKS  66101
(913) 551-3280
(Also at the KC Planning Commision at KCKs City Hall)

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1913-1921 Architectural Blue Prints

Floor Plans and Blue Prints of School Buildings

Biography - Architects Rose and Peterson

Picture Gallery - Past USD 500 Buildings

Picture Gallery - Current USD 500 Buildings (2003)

1889-1894 - Hogg and Rose

During this period, William W. Rose was in architectural practice with the Kansas City, Missouri architect James Oliver Hogg.  A year after they formed their partnership, the firm of Hogg and Rose was offered position as architect to Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education.  There is only one building from this period in Rose's career that has been identified and surveyed.  This was the 1890-04 addition to Long (Longfellow) School designed by Hogg and Rose.  This elementary school was originally designed by William F. Hackney in 1888.  The construction delay may have been the result of the same economic conditions that led to the firm's dissolution.

1895-1909 - W. W. Rose

During this period, William W. Rose was in practice on his own.  (Peterson joined the firm as a draftsman in 1906.)  In 1891, Rose was appointed architect to the Kansas City, KS Board of Education.  Although his buildings were, with few exceptions, designed with minimal reference to any textbook architectural style, they still convey a strong sense of individualism. 

As anticipated, the majority of the structures identified and surveyed during this period are school buildings.  It appears that several of these buildings were constructed with funds from two separate bond issues, in 1904 and 1908.  There are sixteen schools and additions to five other school buildings that were designed by Rose.  There is one school attributed to his firm.

There are three schools from this period of Rose's career that display elements of the Second Renaissance Revival:  Kansas City, Kansas High School (1807-99 et seq.), Bancroft Elementary School (1900), and Quindaro Elementary School (1906).   Bryant Elementary School, designed by Rose in 1904, features an Italian Renaissance Revival vocabulary, while John Fiske Elementary (1907/07) and Sumner High School (1905-06/1809-09) exhibit Jacobethan elements in their primary and secondary elevations.

Two of the most impressive schools from this period are Stowe Elementary (1899), with its rich display of materials and textures, and Argentine High School (1907-08), the sole educational structure designed by Rose that was built entirely of stone.

The remaining schools designed by Rose alone are, for the most part, unrestrained interpretations of Classical styles.  This group of structures includes Lowell Elementary (1897-98) and Irving Elementary (1900), two schools of comparable design which incorporate towers into the overall theme; Eugene Field (1900), similar to Lowell and Irving but with minimum articulation; Whittier Elementary (1908), Dunbar Elementary (1908), Hawthorne Elementary (1908-09), and Horace Mann Elementary (1909) which employ Classical detailing to otherwise moderately articulated facades; and Cooper Elementary (1904), which remains the most modest design from this period of Rose's Career.

Rose also worked on six separate school projects which resulted in additions to the following Hackney-designed elementary schools:  Morse, John J. Ingalls, London Heights (Abbot, and Reynolds (Prescott).  The strong resemblance of Ingalls to Lowell, Irving, and Eugene Field suggests that in this instance, the addition was more in the nature of a complete reconstruction or replacement.  The first and sixth projects involved Hawthorne Elementary, a school Rose more than likely originally designed.  These two plans added a total of eight rooms to this grade school.

One of the last projects Rose designed for the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education during this juncture in his career was the Shop Building (1909), a fairly straightforward design with a Sullivanesque detail at the main entrance.  (It should be noted that even where the overall structure of a building's ornament is Sullivanesque, as here or in the later Louisa M. Alcott Elementary School, its design by Rose employs forms that remain Classical to derivation.)

There are several other structures that were identified and surveyed from this period, including the Kansas City, Kansas Carnegie Library (1902-04), the Eagles Club (1907-08), the Scottish Rite Temple (1908-09), the Grund Hotel (1906-07), White Church (1904-06), the John Gund Brewing Company (1904), and the Dr. C. M. Stemen Residence (1908-09).  These works reflect Rose's varying skills as a designer and his commitment to understanding his client's requests.

Without question, the most outstanding commission from this period was the Carnegie Library, an elaborately embellished Beaux-Arts structure which displayed rhythmically composed facades at all elevations.  The grounds for this public building were designed by internationally-known landscape architect George E. Kessler.

1909-1925 - Rose and Peterson

In December, William W. Rose and David B. Peterson formed a partnership, three years after Rose had been ousted as mayor of Kansas City, Kansas.  During these fifteen years, the firm's production of architectural designs was intense and the range of building types was extremely varied.  As a result of this survey, sixty-one projects that date from this period have been identified and inventoried, including designs for twenty school buildings and plans for additions for sixteen schools, as well as design for civic, recreational, commercial, industrial, residential, institutional, social, and religious properties.

Three bond issues (1910, 1914, 1921) provided funds for the construction of school buildings from this period. Borrowing elements from Jacobethan architecture are five schools designed by Rose and Peterson in the early years of their partnership.  Along with the annex building for Prescott Elementary School (1910), this group of structures includes four other elementary schools:  Bryant Annex, Chelsea I, Parker I, and Francis Willard, all constructed in 1914-15.  These "Cottage Plan" schools, as they were called during the 1914 bond campaign, are consistent in style, floor plan, and design.

Much sparer in overall design are ten primary and secondary school constructed to meet the demands of a growing population.  The use of materials (brick and terra-cotta), frequent application of Classical detailing, and overall plan (which features a two-story rectangular block, three bays wide), are treated similarly in all of these schools.  Differing from late nineteenth and early twentieth century design, these schools were planned to provide more light and circulation for the students and staff:  Stanley (1913), Whittier II (1919-20), Chelsea II (1921-23), Roosevelt (1922), McKinley, Louisa M. Alcott, and Mark Twain (1922-1924), Major Hudson (1923-24), and Central III (1924) elementary schools and Turner High School, built in 1916-17.  The elementary schools were also designed in such a way that they could, if need be, be built in stages, responding to population increases within their service areas.

The design of two junior high schools from this period, Northwest (1922-23) and the more elaborately detailed Northeast (1923-24), employed those elements common to the elementary schools, while expanding the width to five bays and adding additional stories.

1925-27/1933-37 - David B. Peterson

After Peterson returned from his sabbatical in Europe he began an independent practice.  However, as the biographical text explains, he never received any local public commissions of note with the exception of Rosedale High School (1925-27), with its Gothic styled embellishments.  His more accomplished school designs came late in his career.

The final phase in David Peterson's career was his practice with Harry F. Almon, whom he collaborated with until 1933.  The majority of the designs identified and surveyed from this period are commissions for school buildings, including two of the most proficient and impressive projects of Peterson's career:  Turner Elementary School (1931) and Washington High School (1931-32), both expressions of Art Deco.  Although horizontality is generally stressed in the overall land, the prominent vertical piers above the main mass and the repeated geometric and rectilinear patterning above the entrances and in the upper banding recall the decorative vocabulary of this architectural style.

NOTE:  There are two structures that have been attributed to W. W. Rose and one structure to Rose and Peterson which have been examined in this survey.  The buildings include Park Elementary School (demolished) and Clara Barton Elementary School (demolished).  At the time of this writing, adequate documentation to corroborate these attributions has not been found.  Welborn Elementary School, although strongly resembling several Rose designs, was found to have been designed by the firm of White and Dean in 1923.

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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