1939 Usonian – Kansas City, MO (Frank Lloyd Wright)

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Added to OHD on 7/29/19   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   14 Comments

3600 Belleview Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111

Map: Aerial

  • Auction
  • 3 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 2965 Sq Ft
  • 1.5 Ac.
AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE: A rare opportunity to own one of Frank Lloyd Wright's early Usonian-style homes, built by Wright in 1939 and expanded by the architect in 1948. A cypress and brick exterior virtually melts into the surrounding wooded landscape. Enjoy seamless use of indoor and outdoor spaces with multiple terraces and floor to ceiling windows. Admirers of Wright will appreciate the clerestory windows, welcoming fireplaces and intimate spaces created in and around the home with the use of local materials.

This L-shaped Usonian home connects visitors to nature with a single cantilevered roof and walls of glass. A sunken living room is anchored by a massive brick fireplace and is at once spacious and cozy. The home's tidewater cypress ceilings and built-ins virtually embrace visitors by contrasting spacious rooms and private nooks. Wright's unique casement windows fully open and allow for natural cooling in the summer and expansive views. A few pieces of furniture, original to the home will remain.

Nestled into the canopy, the home offers incredible privacy, yet is located in the heart of Kansas City, only minutes away from The Plaza, Westport, and 39th St shopping districts, as well as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Crossroads Art District. Sometimes offered as a short-term rental, the Sondern-Adler house is a testament to Wright's vision.
Contact Information
LocateKC Team, ReeceNichols Real Estate
(913) 383-1400
OHD Notes
Preview Schedule: Aug. 9-11 from 1pm-4pm. Aug. 12 from 10am-1pm.
Live auction on site August 12, 2019, 2pm Central time.
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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14 Comments on 1939 Usonian – Kansas City, MO (Frank Lloyd Wright)

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12503 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    The price you see on listing sites is not the purchase price, it’s just the price they gave to appear properly in the MLS.

    The virtual tour link up top has a few more photos than shown here.

  2. Nancy CNancy C says: 131 comments
    OHD Supporter

    abuts historic village Old Salem, NC

    What a house! I am especially drawn to Wright’s earlier work, seeing where he is in design in the late 1930s and the vision of where he is going in the future. And this is the first I have seen of his homes where I could live with comfort and joy. (The Visual Tour above is an experience — don’t miss it. Thanks, Kelly.)

  3. RossRoss says: 2434 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Thanks, Kelly, for posting this.

    I was in the house during a party about 15 years ago. It’s fabulous.

    The original 1939 house is at the top of the floor plan. The sitting room was the LR. The Master BR and Nursery were the original bedrooms. The three current cube bathrooms were originally one bathroom (left cube), mechanical space (bottom right cube) and kitchen (top cube)

    The 1948 addition consists of the carport and loggia, heater/laundry, servant, kitchen, entry, gallery, dining terrace, and living.

    You can see the original plan here:


    The big problem with the house, IMO, is the lack of a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom.

  4. NonaKNonaK says: 275 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Austin, TX

    I am a Wright fan. This house is wonderful! I hope the next owner doesn’t ‘update’ ANYTHING.

    • darladarla says: 155 comments
      Commerce City, CO

      to do so would be sacrilege, and anathema to retaining the integrity of it being a FLW creation. And I am not necessarily a fan of his residential endeavors, but this one is fab!

  5. ddbackerddbacker says: 485 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1971 Uninspired split-level
    Prairie Village, KS

    Sometimes offered as a short-term rental. That would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it?

  6. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5661 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    I think Wright was on to something with his Usonian designs despite his vision of them being more appropriate as homes for the masses. Nothing second rate about this house as the mark of Wright’s design is still on full display. Like Nona K., I hope the next owner(s) does nothing to change the character of this house.

  7. EricHtownEricHtown says: 380 comments

    I was in this home years ago when the owner, John, threw a party. He showed me through the house and being 6’4″ I felt claustrophobic. Low ceilings with small rooms. The setting in the trees was beautiful but the home was totally out of place surrounded by Victorian mansions from the 1890s to 1910. Roanoake Parkway is a wonderful location to live in KC.

  8. awboatawboat says: 9 comments

    Seems like a nice place. I got about $10,000, think it will go for that much?

  9. timhildebrandttimhildebrandt says: 94 comments
    1927 arts and crafts
    Indianapolis, IN

    Best FLW I’ve ever seen.

  10. JakeJake says: 19 comments
    1951 Ranch

    Sold at auction yesterday for 985k. News here is saying that someone in Nebraska purchased it and has no plans to raze or remodel. Thank goodness!!

  11. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5661 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    From Nebraska? Makes me wonder if the “Oracle of Omaha” had anything to do with it. But then again, I don’t associate him with historic preservation. In any case, if this sale results in another F.L. Wright designed home being saved and preserved, it’s very good news. Thanks for sharing, Jake.

  12. BethBeth says: 5 comments

    Grew up in a Queen Anne and when it came time to build my own empty nest dream home, darned if we didn’t choose a modern version of the FLW Usonian. We discovered we liked the big windows and alignment with outdoor spaces. It’s a Mascord Hampton design (you can look it up). It incorporates many of Wright’s principles but adjusted to modern expectations. The reason the 6’4” poster felt crowded is that Wright wanted to “force” you out of the functional parts of the home (like hallways, bedrooms) into the center living areas. One of my favorites is that you can stand in the center of the house and look four directions, out of windows, into nature. But just so you know, Wright didn’t design for the “masses” by choice…he was forced to financially. And the Usonian was never that affordable so never took off, which is why there are so few today.


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