Monday, March 31, 2014

#622 Stalking a house on the Google

So, how did we come to own this 100-year-old Arts-and-Crafts airplane bungalow?

Here's how it happened.

Once upon a time in the 1990s, Kelly and I were driving around southwest Missouri - as we do.  We spied a cool bungalow down a side street and turned towards it.  (This happens more than you might think.) And that's when we fell in love.

We were so taken with the house that we asked our nearby family to keep an eye on it and let us know if it came on the market.  Years go by, a decade or more, and then the unimaginable happened:  Google Street View comes to Aurora, MO.

From our home computer in Charlottesville, VA, we saw this image.  It was a sign - in more ways than one.
Everyone knows that Google's imagery is not current, but the sign in the yard told us that the cool bungalow had recently been on the market.  We zoom in on the sign and contact the realtor to see if she has any interior photos that she'd be willing to share.  She does.  And not only that, she tells us the house had been taken off the market due to illness the previous year and it was soon to be relisted.  Another sign.

That was five years ago.

Yours in reading the signs,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

#621 Happy 100th birthday

Happy 100th birthday to this unique arts-and-crafts airplane bungalow in Aurora, MO!

The earliest reference we've found so far is this one line in the Aurora Advertiser from 13 February 1914:  "Louis Coleman is completing a beautiful bungalow on East College."

In the oldest Aurora neighborhood on a street filled with grand Victorian homes, we're thrilled that Marionville native Lewis Shaw Coleman Sr (1886-1934) broke the mold and built this divine structure.

The second owners, O.E. and Linda Moore, purchased the home in 1930.  During their stewardship, the house was featured in the 1937 publication, Lawrence County in Pictures.
Lawrence County in Pictures, 1937

The house was then sold to the Duncan family in 1983, the Holmes family in 2004, and finally, the Johnston family in 2009.  We, the fifth owners, purchased the home after admiring it via surreptitious surveillance for at least a decade. 

Now, on to the real research.  Who was the architect?  Do the original plans still exist?  Was this a kit house?  This will be fun!

Yours in research mode,