Kansas City, MO

The 1912 Construction of the Spectacular Bernard Corrigan House

CJ Coombs

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Bernard Corrigan House, Kansas City (photo taken 1986).Photograph by Jack E. Boucher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The historic Bernard Corrigan House is located in the Country Club District of Kansas City Missouri at 55th Street and Ward Parkway. In 1978, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house embraces the architectural design of the Prairie School style.

The Corrigan House consists of three stories and has a full basement. The foundation is reinforced concrete and is one of the earliest homes in Kansas City with reinforced concrete.

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View of west side of home from the southwest.Library of Congress.

Bernard "Barney" Corrigan

Corrigan (b. Aug. 14, 1847, d. Jan. 6, 1914) was from Quebec. He and three of his brothers came to Kansas City in 1968. Each was an entrepreneur and involved in the building boom that followed the Civil War. They invested in downtown Kansas City real estate.

His success came from being a contractor and real estate speculator. He also made wealth from the street railway.

Notable Kansas City Architect, Louis S. Curtiss, designed this large house. "The Corrigan Residence is generally considered Curtiss' residential masterpiece." Corrigan's contracting firm worked on this large project beginning in 1912.

Corrigan's personal history

In 1876, Corrigan's married his first wife, Mary Lydia “Mamie” Shannon Corrigan, who died at age 35 on February 2, 1894. They had 10 children. In 1898, Corrigan married his second wife, Harriet “Hattie” Fout Corrigan, who also died at the young age of 46 in October 1914. They had eight children. Harriet was pregnant at the time of her husband's death. According to Find-a-Grave, both Corrigan and his wife, Harriet, died in the same year. Corrigan had a total of 18 children.

Sadly enough, two months before Corrigan was set to move into the house, he died at the age of 66. The property was sold to Patrick J. White in July 1914, who owned the house until 1917 when it was purchased by Joseph J. Heim.

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Photograph by Jack E. Boucher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The picture above was taken in 1986 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Joseph J. Heim buys the Corrigan House

Heim was from St. Louis, Missouri. He relocated to Kansas City in 1884. He had previously studied brewing techniques in St. Louis and began the Heim Brewery in 1901 in Kansas City in the East Bottoms. At the time, it was the largest brewery in Kansas City.

In 1899, Heim and his brothers also had an amusement park built next to the brewery. Interestingly, Heim beer was piped in directly from the brewery into the amusement park.

Heim was also involved with street railways and real estate. Other business activities included banking and telephone companies.

The former Heim bottling plant is now the site of the J. Rieger & Co. Distillery in Electric Park in Kansas City’s East Bottoms. (Source.)

For six and a half years, Heim lived in what was labeled the Corrigan House. After his wife died, he sold the house to Robert R. Sutherland for $90,000 in 1923 which would be $ 1,484,744 in today's dollars.

Robert R. Sutherland’s wife lived in the Corrigan House for over 50 years

Sutherland was born in Kansas on March 17, 1884, and moved to Kansas City when he was 16. He worked in a lumber yard and in the early 1900s, he started acquiring lumber yards. This was how he obtained his success and fortune. After Sutherland died in November 1941 (age 57), his wife, Mae, stayed in the house. She died in July 1982 at the age of 94. I suspect that Mrs. Sutherland lived in the Corrigan House longer than any other owner resident.

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Living room looking to the east.Library of Congress.

The first floor in the main hall contains a staircase and a large stained glass window. The ceiling is two stories tall and lined with oak beams.

The second floor has at least five bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the third floor, there was originally a game room and rooms for servants as well as extra storage space.

The house is pictured on Pricey Pad and the internal views of the house are spectacular. In 2018, the house is described as being reduced to $6 million. In 2020, it was reduced to $5.5 million.

Thanks for reading! Keeping history alive.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO
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