Sunday, February 21, 2010

Headhunting at Corinthian Hall

Sunday was the monthly Hard Hat Tour at Corinthian Hall aka/Kansas City Museum. This tour date also saw the release of the latest Exhibit-in-Print by the Museum. "Faces" written by Elizabeth Rosin and Rachel Nugent, details the elaborate facial and figure ornamentation of the exterior and interior of the R.A. Long Mansion. I will show a few of them in this post... but be sure to stop by the Visitor's Center at the Museum to get your own copy.

This year Corinthian Hall is celebrating it's 100th birthday.... monetary gifts toward restoration are appreciated.
Above one-half of the north side of the mansion.... it was lightly snowing when we took the tour.
Christopher Leitch, right, and Elizabeth Rosin were our tour guides. We began at the rear of the Carriage House. Built in 1907 it was the first of the complex of buildings to be built at the site.... and, ironically, it will probably be the first to be restored.
Above, all new doors and windows have been installed already and match the originals perfectly.... except they will last a lot longer. This shows the view of the back of the main house showing the columned servants porch and the stained glass window.

The main area of the Carriage House where tack was kept and the hundreds of ribbons and trophies were exhibited. The large hole in the ceiling was used by an elevator which could raise and lower carriages as needed.
Many pictures still exist of the interiors of the building including the Carriage House. The only original interior parts that still exist from the Long's days are the ceiling in this portion and part of the floor in the area to the right. Portions of this building will be restored completely and will include showing 6 or more of the actual carriages the Longs used.
Taking in the view from the porch behind the servants quarters.
Above, the front (south) side of the Carriage House.. You can see the new doors and windows and where the entrance to the Natural History Hall was (green paint).
Above. Servants quarters... sans interior walls which were removed when this area was used for exhibit space. I covered the first floor renovation extensively in an earlier post:
Above, view out of the servants' window toward the south... below, looking at the skeleton of the servants quarters ceiling where HVAC and electrical are being completely redone.

By the front door the light stanchions feature rams heads under the light bulbs. At the time these were installed, 1910, electricity was just coming into it's own so this would have been "bragging" in a minor but showy way.
Plenty of detail in the carved limestone....below, a different head displayed under each of the second floor windows.

Elaborately carved urns celebrate 100 years of stair-step decoration.
The Salon has much in the way of mythological ornamentation in the walls and the ceiling... as shown below.

The Library is probably the most intact room in the house. The English design of the room is accented by the beautifully carved fire place with more of the Corinthian faces.
Below, a view from the west doors of the library out over the bluffs and Cliff Drive.

Marvelous detail above and below in the mantel.. This room will be a reading room when the restoration is complete.

Above and below... we went down to the Billiard Room which, for those of you familiar with past Museum exhibits, is where the model trains were. Surprisingly large area with the original floor and fireplace. This will be a meeting room when the building is completed.

Below, not to hard to determine the room's purpose with the crossed billiard sticks on the mantel.

Dining area with beautiful stained glass windows. The ceiling, below, has quite intricate designs which are slowly being uncovered as layers of paint are carefully removed.
Below, a view down the hall toward a front window...
The windows in the dining area feature ( it is thought ) Apollo.. below
And Zeus
And in the lower sections.... full length figures of mythical magic.

On Wednesday I'll have more photos of the renovation that's underway on the second and third floors.


  1. That's wonderful! I'm glad this piece of history is being preserved.

  2. Very cool! Especially those last few pics of the windows. I didn't even know they were there. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. I felt just like I was there with you,minus the cold, snow and ice.

  4. It was very chilly on the front and back porches for the talks.... plus difficult to keep the camera lens from "flaking." But well worth it. You and your daughter should come to the next one if you're not working. I'll keep you posted.... we could do lunch before hand.

  5. great post, HB. thanks for the update and terrific pics.

    Mo Rage