31 July 2005

Harris Armstrong's architectural office

This image is taken from a color slide showing Armstrong's architectural office in the 1950's. The windows at the right are thermal pane glass facing North providing a wonderful, even light for drawing.

The individuals depicted in the photograph (starting from the foreground) are Mel Disney, Peter C. Koscher, John H. (Howard) Blair. Armstrong's own desk was located at the far wall. Koscher and Blair were long-time employees of Armstrong's.

Photograph (c. 1957) courtesy of Saint Louis architect Mel Disney, an employee of Armstrong's at the time.

23 July 2005


My Flickr icon.

You can view examples of my photography as well as my architectural work at my Flickr site:

--> Flickr.

22 July 2005

Woodleaf Court Subdivision, Kirkwood

Following is a comment responding to an entry by Toby Weiss on her blog B.E.L.T. where you can view her original post (regarding an Armstrong home for sale).

~ ~ ~

This is a good description of the house and introduction to Armstrong's work for people who are unfamiliar but interested.

I'll add a few comments related to this house and its context.

In 1951, Armstrong laid out and designed this residential subdivision in Kirkwood. The neighborhood developer was a fellow named Marshall Berry. Over the course of several years, Armstrong collaborated with Berry on commercial developments, residential subdivisions, as well as designing Berry's own home in Ladue.

The Woodleaf Court Subdivision consists of ten homes. There were three basic types designed by Armstrong. Its somewhat unclear to what extent Armstrong was involved in selecting the finishes and unique features of each house.

Clearly a great number of features in these homes are Armstrong motifs that were varied and repeated in many projects.

Armstrong collaborated with the same developer to create a subdivision in Creve Coeur called Sherwyn Lane.

The builder/construction company in each case was Kentland Construction Company. I don't have much (if any real information on this builder).

All of the Woodleaf Court houses and many of the others Armstrong designed in the late 1940s through the 1950s were variations on a concept he'd developed years earlier for a home designed specifically for Missouri's climate and culture.

The original concept design was published in a book entitled Your Solar House by Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1947). LOF was a major manufacturer of thermal pane glass and to promote its use throughout the country, they hired architects from each state in the country (49 at that time). Other architects selected for the publication included:

Armstrong's design for the "Missouri Solar Home" became the fundamental basis for virtually all homes he designed and published in subsequent years.

Further information on Armstrong's work and my research can be viewed on my websites (below).

Andrew Raimist