Louis Curtiss

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Louis Curtiss
Born (1865-07-01)July 1, 1865
Belleville, Ontario
Died June 24, 1924(1924-06-24) (aged 58)
Kansas City, Missouri
Nationality Canadian
Buildings Tarrant County Courthouse
Tarrant County Courthouse; Fort Worth, Texas; added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1970

Boley Clothing Company Building
Boley Clothing Company Building (1909), Kansas City, Missouri; one of the world's first glass curtain-wall structures.

Gage County Courthouse
Gage County Courthouse in Beatrice, Nebraska; added to the National Register of Historic Places January 10, 1990
Henry County Courthouse
Missouri State Building, World's Columbian Exposition
William Rockhill Nelson residence

Louis Singleton Curtiss, (July 1, 1865 – June 24, 1924) was a Canadian-born American architect. Notable as a pioneer of the curtain wall design, he was once described as "the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City", Missouri.[1] In his career, he designed more than 200 buildings, though not all were realized.[2] There are approximately 30 examples of his work still extant in Kansas City, Missouri where Curtiss spent his career, including his best known design, the Boley Clothing Company Building. Other notable works can be found throughout the American midwest.

Life and career[edit]

Curtiss was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.[3] He studied architecture at the University of Toronto and in Paris before coming to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1887.[4] In 1889 he began an architectural partnership with Frederick C. Gunn that produced over a dozen buildings.[4] When the partnership dissolved in 1899, Curtiss, age 34, continued as a solo architect.[5]

Curtiss designed the Boley Clothing Company Building in Kansas City, which is renowned as "one of the first glass curtain wall structures in the world."[6] The six-story building also features cantilever floor slabs, cast iron structural detailing, and terra cotta decorative elements. The Historic American Buildings Survey described Curtiss' residence for Bernard Corrigan as "an important regional example of the Prairie Style" and "among the earliest residential structures in Kansas City to make extensive use of reinforced concrete."[7]

Curtis designed several buildings for the Fred Harvey Company including the 1906 El Bisonte Hotel in Hutchinson, Kansas, the 1907 Harvey House and hotel in Emporia, Kansas, the 1907 Harvey House and hotel in Wellington, Kansas, and the 1909 El Ortiz Hotel in Lamy, New Mexico.[8]

Other Curtiss railroad architecture included the 1910-1912 Union Terminal in Wichita, Kansas, the 1909-1911 Santa Fe Railroad depot in Sweetwater, Texas, the 1909-1911 Santa Fe Railroad depot in Lubbock, Texas, the 1909-1911 Santa Fe Railroad depot in Snyder, Texas, the 1909-1911 Santa Fe Railroad depot in Post, Texas, and the 1910-1911 Joplin Union Depot in Joplin, Missouri.[8] A number of his works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[9]

Curtiss died in 1924 at his studio residence in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.[5] He never married.[1]

Works include (with attribution):

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kansas City Public Library, "The Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City"
  2. ^ Sandy, Wilda; Hancks, Larry K. (1991). Stalking Louis Curtiss. Kansas City, MO: Ward Parkway Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-9629847-0-1. 
  3. ^ Sandy, Wilda; Hancks, Larry K. (1991). Stalking Louis Curtiss. Kansas City, MO: Ward Parkway Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-9629847-0-1. 
  4. ^ a b Biography of Louis Curtiss (1865-1924), Architect, accessed on January 25, 2010
  5. ^ a b Sandy, Wilda; Hancks, Larry K. (1991). Stalking Louis Curtiss. Kansas City, MO: Ward Parkway Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-9629847-0-1. 
  6. ^ American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter (2000). American Institute of Architects Guide to Kansas City Architecture & Public Art. Kansas City, Mo.: Highwater Press. p. 29. ISBN 9781888903065. 
  7. ^ Buerglener, Robert (August 1988). "Bernard Corrigan House". Historic American Buildings Survey. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. p. 1. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Sandy, Wilda; Hancks, Larry K. (1991). Stalking Louis Curtiss. Kansas City, MO: Ward Parkway Press. ISBN 0-9629847-0-1. 
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 

External links[edit]