Independence, MO

The historic 1908 'John and Adele Georgen House' was made from stacked limestone that was locally quarried

CJ Coombs
John and Adele Georgen House, Independence, Missouri.Photo byJonathunder, GNU Free Documentation License.

The John and Adele Georgen House is located at 933 South Main Street in Independence, Missouri. An attractive element of this house is all the limestone and masonry work. It's a rectangular two-story structure with a one-story porch in front.

The Georgen House was constructed around 1908. The architectural design has elements of the Craftsman and Prairie School styles. The diamond-shaped glazing on the windows is attractive too. In 1986, a one-story addition with two rooms was added to the rear of the house.

There are other late 1800s and early 1900s houses in the neighborhood. The property also contains a concrete driveway leading to a detached carport.

The Georgen House sits on a limestone foundation. The walls and porch supports are made of stacked limestone of angular shapes. The very large stacked limestone chimneys go from the ground all the way up through the roof.

On the first floor, elements of the house were organized around the central stair hall. A formal living room and office were to the south of the stair hall. To the north were a formal dining room and back kitchen where there was another stairwell that led to the basement and servants' quarters which were noted to be in the attic. The second floor was chiefly the bedrooms.

The Georgen House is an example of an early 1900s stone house that demonstrates the Craftsman and Prairie School styles and the limestone used was quarried locally. The designers of the home were the actual owners, John and Adele Georgen.

By the late 1870s, people in Independence were slowly coming out of the effects of Order No. 11 and the Civil War. With the growth of Kansas City with commerce, the need for transportation and housing grew which in turn benefited Independence. Many wealthy Kansas Citians were building homes in Independence.

At the beginning of the 1900s, the working class in Independence had grown.

As the century turned, more people had more money and many new but more modest houses were constructed. (Source.)

John and Adele Georgen were well-known social figures in Kansas City and Independence. Their home represents the interest they took in architectural designs.

John Georgen was born in Weston, Missouri, on August 7, 1867. His youth was spent in Platte City. In 1887, he graduated from law school and practiced law for 67 years. He was 90 when he died in 1957, and was the oldest living member of the Kansas City Bar Association.

Adele Bryant Georgen's father was William L. Bryant. She was a third-generation member of the well-known Bryant family of independence. She was born on March 29, 1872. She was active in philanthropy and worked as a representative for academic institutions because of her bond with children. She was 91 when she died in 1963.

John Georgen and Adele Bryant married on April 3, 1894, and moved to Independence around 1905. The Georgens weren't financially strained.

The manner in which the stones appear to emerge from the ground was perhaps how the Georgens interpreted Frank Lloyd Wright's belief that a building should appear to grow organically from its site, while the use of heavily rusticated stones effectively emphasized the beauty and honesty of a natural material as espoused not only by Wright but by the English Arts and Crafts movement from which the Craftsman style was developed in America. (Source.)

The common use of natural materials such as stone might have declined with the emergence of concrete. The John and Adele Georgen House continues to be a single-family residence.

Thanks for reading.

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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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