Welcome to Garfield Heights the home of Kent T. Dicus and Michael G. Ohlson, Sr. Located in the Pendleton Heights Neighborhood of Historic Northeast Kansas City this 1887 mansion has 7,000 square feet of living space filled with artistic and historic treasures. It was built by Charles Leach, a lumber baron, who spared no expense on design or in the use of many wonderful woods throughout his home. It remained a private home until 1915 when the Helping Hand Institute moved into it and the Jefferson Home for Women then used the space
and built a 32 room dormitory onto the back of the house. This actually helped save the home from being subdivided into small apartments. William Volker had purchased the home in 1921 for $12,000 and donated it to the Helping Hand. Later the house was a retirement home until the 1990s. The dormitory structure was torn down after the home returned to private hands. One of the great things about living in Northeast is the devotion to history shown in the loving preservation of historic structures. Thanks to Kent and Michael who let me photograph their wonderful home.
Entering through the front door the visitor to Garfield Heights sees very much the same interior that Charles Leach saw in 1887. Note the first of eight fireplaces on the far wall and the staircase made of white oak.
To your immediate right is one of many curved spaces at the end of a short hallway... allowed by the towers, a prominent part of Queen Anne architecture.
Looking toward the front of the house the curtained doorway to the formal living room is visible.
In both the architecture of the house and the interior design, it's the attention to detail that is noticeable. There are 23 stained glass windows in the home.
The formal living room walls are hung with portraits of family members of both Michael and Kent. Many of the furnishings throughout the house have been handed down from generation to generation in both families. None of the rooms in the house are perfectly square or rectangular owing to the towers placed along the outer walls. This creates many a warm nook.
Right off the living room is the music room.
Incidentally, the globe ceiling lights in the music room came from Annie Chambers "house". For those of you not familiar with Kansas City history Annie ran one of the most famous bordellos in KC for years.
View toward the formal dining room and hallway. Note the portrait over the mantel. It is of Kent's great-great grandmother and her daughter. The mantel is made of satinwood. There are nine kinds of wood used throughout the home.
Looking across into the formal living room the entryway visible on the left.
Looking north through the door of the music room into the formal dining area.
Luckily almost all doors and pocket doors and their hardware were intact when the house was returned to private hands.
The side entrance where carriages used to pull up is still in place.. This view greets one as he enters from the side of the house.
This is the library top photo looking toward the front of the house, bottom photo toward the rear.
All along the staircase to the second floor are paintings of family members done in oil from photographs. The lady in red on the right is the grown-up child from the picture of mother and daughter over the mantel in the music room.
Michael is a collector of masks... and the result decorates the wall at the top of the stairs to the second floor.
By the way.... in case there are any bad surfers out there... the house is fully alarmed and, more importantly, is protected by two cats... Tommy and Boots .