Overland Park, KS

Exploring the unique 1960s design of the Campbell Dome House in Johnson County, Kansas

CJ Coombs

The Campbell Dome House in Overland Park, Kansas.Photo byKeli Campbell, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Campbell Dome House is described as “a historic, mid-century modern home” that’s located at 8126 Hamilton Drive in Overland Park, Kansas (Johnson County). On March 7, 2022, this home was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Civil engineer, Bob “Bobby” D. Campbell, designed this home for his family. They were originally from Texas and he wanted them to be able to have the feeling they could enjoy the outdoors all year long. The architectural style of the home is Modern Movement: Mid-Century, and it’s natural and correct to assume the architect was Bob D. Campbell.

Campbell chose to use the structure known as a Schwedler dome. If you don’t think this doesn’t involve equations, think again. The Schwedler dome is named after J.W. Schwedler, a German engineer and civil servant, who built several of these in the 1800s. This type of dome has intersecting ribs, rings, and diagonal elements. Visit here to see some examples of this type of lattice dome. 

Construction of the dome home began in 1967 and was completed in 1968. Campbell believed the dome would offer more space with less material. The house has three bedrooms and is U-shaped. Facing south, the house opened to a covered courtyard that had an in-ground pool and fruit-bearing trees. On the opposite end of the home are the kitchen, dining room, family room, bedrooms, and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

The foundation of the home is concrete and the walls are brick, glass, and concrete. The home consists of an 80-foot diameter dome that contains a courtyard and 2,500 sq. ft. of living space. It also has a partially finished basement. It also has an attached garage that’s accessible from the home. 

A third generation lives in the home now and according to KCUR who ran a story about this home in 2022, a first open house occurred in November last year for visitors to see for themselves the benefits of that type of construction. Visit here to see the whole article as well as interior photos. 

Bob D. Campbell passed away on March 2, 2011, at age 85. He retired from Bob D. Campbell & Co., established in 1957, and is still active. He was associated with the structural engineering design of well-known Kansas City structures such as the Truman Sports Complex, KCI, and the Kemper Arena Reconstruction. Bob’s wife, Lolis Jane “Lolly” Lasater Campbell, passed away on March 26, 2013, at age 86.

The dome home was left to Bob and Lolly’s children who have turned it into an event space for the public to enjoy. While some may add the home isn’t practical or economical in the present day, you can’t ignore the creativity and the design involved in this amazing structure. Visit here for more detailed information about the home and the talented designer and builder, Bob D. Campbell. 

Thanks much 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, and I retired early so I could be a writer all day. You could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri because I was born into the Air Force life. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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