If you’ve ever walked, biked or driven past this house at 48 E 68 St in Armour Hills…it surely made you stop and gaze at it’s stunning curb appeal. This is the home of my neighbors Jackie and Dave, and I’ve been wanting to write a short blog about this house for a long time. Every time I am driving home potential homebuyers around Armour Hills, they comment on how uniquely beautiful this house is as we go by.
Built in 1925 in the Spanish Mission style, this house was a model home for JC Nichols as he was developing the Armour Hills subdivision. The exterior is all stone, with a red clay tile roof. It features a wrap around porch, a tile walkway and a basement garage. This photo is original tile work laid into the back yard patio.
Dave has done some research on the original owners. Ernest and Zanah Portley lived here, and Mr Portley was an owner of the Wakefield Mantel and Tile Company located in downtown Kansas City. It was the largest tile importer in the US, and employees installed tile in the Phillips and Muehlebach Hotels, as well as Fairyland and Electric Park. (I wonder if the company had anything to do with the elaborate tile work on the Country Club Plaza–could not confirm that hunch.)
What is so fascinating about the inside of this house is that so much of the original tile work has been preserved. The bathrooms had tile all the way to the ceiling!
Other photos pictured below are from the breakfast room. Having a breakfast nook is common in this area–what is different here is the tile mural on the wall, the tile on the shelves above the radiators, and the large fireplace in this room. Also note that original black and mustard colored tile floor.
Ernest died before Zanah, who lived in the house until 1984. Their son went to Rockhurst High School and College, and died tragically at age 25. Jackie and Dave bought the house in 1999, and have remodeled and/or updated each room, taking care to preserve the original craftsmanship when possible. If tile work and light fixtures needed to be replaced, Dave purchased specially made replacements that matched the original decor.
This photo shows the large fireplace in the living room–just look at the detail in the stonework!
My estimate as to the market value of this home? Priceless!