This page is about Emporia-related restorations. Or Emporia-related real-estate needing restoration. Or Emporia-related real-estate that I just like. Or just cool stuff in Emporia.

Emporia, Kansas, is a city of 25,000 people, and right in the middle of America.

I have always liked the name Emporia. It has a nice 19th-century flavor.

Currently displaying blog entries in Chronological Order. Switch to Most Recent.

Currently displaying blog entries in Most Recent Order. Switch to Chronological Order.

Favorite Houses: 702 West Street

I see dead people. This is, of course, the memorable line from the hit move The Sixth Sense. Well, I do not see dead people. But, like the boy in Sixth Sense, it seems that I see quite differently than most people when it comes to, not dead people, but old houses. Houses which I…

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Lost Emporia: 811 Constitution

Since WWII American cities have been reshaped. Before WWII, cities were laid out based on patterns going back to ancient times. In short, cities were places conducive to walking. All this changed in the 20th-century, and vastly changed after WWII when cities became conducive to automobiles. If you look at aerial images of pretty much…

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Faded Houses: 727 Market

One of my favorite things is coming across an archival image of an old house. I immediately think: Is the house still around? Then I go on the hunt. When I find the house my excitement is great. Occasionally, there is a near match between the archival image in my hand, and the actual house…

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Favorite Houses: 628 Cottonwood

A year ago I never heard of architect Charles W. Squires. Today I am — OK, I admit it! — a little obsessed with the man. I long for a time-travel app on my iPhone so I can go back to, say, 1925, and walk up to the Squires home at 613 Exchange, knock on the door,…

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Damn. Houses I Lust After (but cannot buy).

I am really mad. And frustrated. You see, I want to buy a lot of houses and restore them. Tragically, I cannot. My lust notwithstanding, a lack of endless finances precludes my snapping up every house attracting my special attention. I really hate when reality conflicts with desire. DAMN! So, this post is the best…

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Favorite Houses: 526 Exchange

A block directly to the east from the Cross House sits 526 Exchange. The house is, without question, the work of Charles W. Squires, who designed the Cross House, and who lived just down the street at 613 Exchange. While I have no confirmation as to this attribution, the house abounds with signature Squires design…

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Enhancing Emporia

Overall, Emporia looks a lot better than it did when I moved to Kansas in 1996. You see, a restoration consciousness has slowly but surely spread across the city, like pixie dust being sprinkled from the sky by the Preservation Gods.                 Projects such as this make Emporia…

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Intersection Magnifique

In 1894, the year the Cross House was built, the intersection of Union and Sixth in Emporia, Kansas, was Ground Zero for fine homes. On each corner were elegant structures occupied by the city’s elite.     On the NW corner was the magnificent Plumb House, occupied by Caroline Plumb, the widow of US Senator,…

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Favorite Houses: 810 Market

Because the Cross House was designed by architect Charles W. Squires, I have become a, well, Squires groupie. I am ever-alert to new Squires sightings, and have a fantasy that an app will be invented for my smart phone which will allow me to time-travel so I can meet up with Charley and have a…

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Favorite Houses: 1214 Exchange

While driving along to visit a friend, I slammed on the brakes, backed up, parked the car, got out, and stood before a house which I instantly recognized as being by the architect Charles W. Squires. The house has very similar qualities to 628 Cottonwood, which I have a post on. The house also has…

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Favorite Houses: 613 and 617 Exchange

A block from the Cross House, architect Charles W. Squires built two nearly identical houses; The Twins, as I call them. Number 613 is to the south, and 617 is to the north. 613 was was built by Squires as his home. It was later converted into an up/down duplex with a third unit in…

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Favorite Houses: 919 Merchant

I had an adventure today. And not just any adventure, but an architectural adventure! Whoee! Recently, I was contacted by Bill, who was doing research on his house. Looking through old deeds, he discovered that in 1869 Harrison Cross owned his house. Harrison Cross, of course, built my Cross House in 1894. Obviously, I was…

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A Lost Thing of Great Beauty

Today, on the NE corner of 12th Street and State, Emporia, is a church. The church, completed in 1948, replaced an extraordinary house, one of the finest in Emporia. The house was certainly the work of architect Charles W. Squires, who designed more buildings in Emporia than any other architect. Squires designed my Cross House,…

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Favorite Houses: 526 Exchange. PART 2.

This is my second post on 526 Exchange. My previous post is here. The house originally sat of the north side of a double lot. In the 1920s, Scott Mouse, who later owned the Cross House, purchased 526, moved the house to the south side of the lot, and built a gas station on the…

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R.I.P. 1009 Mechanic Street, Emporia, KS

        The five house were leveled by the city of Emporia for…a parking lot. I feel like I am in a 1970s time-warp. While the main commercial street is a block to the west, Mechanic is (or rather was) a residential street in this area. Funny, but I have always easily found…

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R. I. P. 1017 Mechanic, Emporia, KS

Yesterday, I did a post about the demolition of five historic houses for…a parking lot. 1017 Mechanic was one of the five, and I previously included it in a post about porches. What captured my special attention about 1017 was its surviving original porch. While the house had been mussed with a bit (1950s siding,…

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Favorite Houses: 512 Exchange

Around the block from the Cross House is 512 Exchange, built in 1900. My realtor, Lacie, contacted me. “Ross, have you seen 512?” I rushed right over.   THE PLANS On the first-floor is a spacious entry hall, living room, dining room, butler’s pantry, kitchen, and sunporch. Half-flight down is a half-bath. Full basement. There…

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Favorite Houses: 614 Union, Emporia, Kansas

This post is about one of the finest homes in Emporia. It was designed by a prolific, brilliant, and delightfully impish architect. It was built with high-quality materials. The quality of the craftsmanship is dazzling. The house is gorgeous. Yet, for many decades, the house has not been treated very well. This causes me immense…

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Favorite Houses: 614 Union, Emporia, Kansas. UPDATE

In a previous post I wrote about one of the finest houses in Emporia: 614 Union. Last year when I first toured the house, a large mantle was the first thing one saw upon entering the house. When I toured the house again recently, after the house was listed for sale, I was bereft to…

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A Safe Place During A Zombie Apocalypse

I know a couple of wild & crazy kids: Brian and Bailey. The couple is impossibly young, and attending Emporia State University. So, why are they wild & crazy? Because they want to buy an old house. Even an old house needing work. Even an old house needing a ton of work. God love ’em. Young…

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