Residence for Mr. & Mrs. Gilmer Meriwether, Jr.
1930's - Kansas City, Missouri
The current owners of this home were curious about my loitering - but after seeing my sketch, invited me to view the "blue-prints" in their library. The drafting was superb! Entry portico, columns, entablature, and dormers were design by Clarence E. Shepard and in 1930's added to an original 1910 residence. (Clarence Erasmus Shepard is not to be confused with Charles E. Shepard - see previous post regarding Sophian Plaza.) Clarence Shepard worked with JC Nichols on the Country Club Plaza and designed many residences in the subsequent southward expansion of residential Kansas City, Missouri and the original portions of Mission Hills, Kansas.
Mrs. Gilmer Meriwether seems to have been very involved with Daughters of American Revolution and early historic preservation; she is credited for the "Battle of Westport" historic marker installed in the parkway of her front yard.
It surprised me to learn that Shepard worked in Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago office for a few years during the Prairie School era - considering neo-classical designs like the above. While under FLW's influence, Clarence Shepard designed some Praire School residences in Kansas City, but he also seems to have been as talented as the versatile architects of his day, fluent in an extremely wide range of architectural languages: including a Mediterranean Revival fraternity house in Madison, Wisconsin.
While working for the Kansas City Star in 1928, and living nearby, Ernest Hemingway would visit with his Aunt Arabell White Hemingway and her architect husband - Clarence E. Shepard - in their home at 5440 State Line Road.
The interior of the home is stunning, including work done recently which seems to "have always been." It goes-to-show that there are talented and respectful designers left in this world; by taking the time to understand the DNA code articulated by Clarence Shepard, the interior designer - and an extremely trust-worthy craftsman builder - have created a very model of harmony and detail consistent with the 1930's master work. Well done; to be appreciated and enjoyed for generations.