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Presbyterian Church, Frankfort, KS

July 10, 2015

On the way to and from grad school at Austin, TX several years ago, I drove dangerously close to Frankfort, Kansas. Too bad I wasn’t aware of that small community’s Presbyterian church, which only came to my attention through the miracle of Ebay and the phenomenon of the penny postcard.

KSfrankfortPres

I wrote about this building twenty months ago. But the lesson from this new card is three-fold: 1) recent posts concerning large urban churches in places like Washington, DC and Detroit, MI represent an important segment of the A-A phenomenon, but smaller and even modest hamlets were affected; 2) postcards are often the only entrée to places like Frankfort (population 709) since this church lacks a website or a telephone listing; and 3) we may imagine that small towns want to be just like big ones; Frankfort clearly did not. What they got was truly remarkable.

My on-line sleuthing isn’t over but the date of construction and identity of a designer aren’t yet in the database. Also, my somewhat educated eye looks at the idiosyncratic massing and subtle detail here and sees what might be the hand of Kansas City architect Louis Singleton Curtiss. Ask me about him some time.

curtiss_leavenworth_veterans_administration_chapel.jpg

Consider this Curtiss-designed chapel at Leavenworth, Kansas for comparable eccentricity. Or his design for a hotel at Wellington, even closer in spirit (i.e., materials and detailing) to the Frankfort church.

New Santa Fe Hotel Wellington

New Santa Fe Hotel Wellington

Curtiss did enjoy stepped gables.

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