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 find the mantle missing.

Soooooooo sad!!!!!!!!!!!

As I had recalled, the mantle had seemed rather out-of-place, as it was in the Mission style, and the house is SO not in the Mission style.

This made me wonder if the missing mantle was even original to the house.

However, on the same block, in another Squires-designed home, is another Mission-styled mantle and it, too, is wildly out-of-place in the classical-style home.

So, it would seem that Squires liked having fun with mantles. Right?



This is the Mission mantle in the OTHER Squires-designed home. It is clearly original, but does not relate to anything around it, except that the wood and finish match the trim in the room.



Note the STUNNING Arts & Crafts slag-glass sconces…



..and the metal work around the tile surround.


Thus, it would seem that the missing Mission mantle in 614 Union, however incongruous it may have been, may well have been original.

But where was it? Had it been sold to an antique store? Listed on eBay or Craig’s List? Spirited off to a big city auction house?

I went on the hunt.

And found it.

Yep, I found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Scroll down for the reveal…
























I am very pleased to introduce THE MISSING MANTLE!


Well, the hunt was quite breathless!

The mantle is now in a house where it, again, relates to nothing around it. The owner of the house had a missing mantle, so when the opportunity arose to acquire one, the owner brought in the mantle from 614 Union.

Now that I can again gaze upon the missing mantle, I have some thoughts.

IS the mantle original to 614 Union? The oak, and its finish, is wholly at odds with all the rest of the wood in the main parlor of 614 Union.

Moroever, the mantle does not look like a Squires creation. The man was decidedly impish, and the above mantle, while gorgeous, is, uhh, really serious. It does look like an imp designed it.

In the adjacent second parlor at 614 is another fireplace. This one has another incongruous surround, and all in brick. It stands out like a sore thumb.

This fireplace backs up against the main parlor fireplace. I wonder, wonder if something happened which caused the original mantles to be replaced? Perhaps somebody lighted fires one night, put in too many logs, and the mantles were burned? Then, were the ruined mantles removed, a Mission-style one ordered from a catalog for the main parlor, while the small parlor received some simple brick?




The brick surround in the small parlor of 614 Union.u9;09



The missing mantle in the main parlor of 614 Union. Note the black metal work in the upper corners of the tile surround…



…which are very similar to the metal work in the other Squires-designed house,




We are, in the end, left with an architectural mystery. Quite vexing!

I believe the tile surround and metal work of the main parlor fireplace at 614 Union are original.

And even though there is strong evidence that Squires felt no compunction about intruding discordant elements into his creations (the man was, after all, an imp), I suspect, suspect that the Mission mantle recently departed from 614 Union is not original to the house. And nor, I suspect, is the brick surround in the small parlor.

I might be wrong.



  1. Christina Scrivner on January 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I would like to ask you a few questions in regards to 614 Union if you don’t mind please email me. Thank you and I love your site and your love for historical homes.

  2. Tyler Gillihan on August 29, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    I’m confused, who just takes the main front and center mantel piece from an eclectic historic house like this and drops it in there own house? Any chance it could return?

    • Mo on August 30, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Hmpf. I walked into a local antique mall a couple of years ago and saw “my” mantel. The subsequent owners of my 1893 home had ripped it out and placed it there for sale — along with a corner cabinet they swore was the same age. Might have been, but I lived in the house for 20 years and never saw it. I tried valiantly to convince myself I had room for the mantel in my now 1950’s Midcentury Modest home but couldn’t. Owner of the mall later told me it had sold to a “lovely” woman who lives in an apartment complex.

  3. David Wallis on November 28, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I have a hard time believing that the guy who designed the first mantel also designed the second. The second is just so much more graceless. Charles Squires does have a tendency to be heavy-handed occasionally, but he usually throws a curve in somewhere, and here, nothing except for some really inconspicuous details. I suppose it could have been his first attempt at Mission style and he wasn’t comfortable with it yet, but that seems like a really weak excuse. I’d rather believe that the homeowner ordered it out of a catalog.

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