At the about-face of the 20th century, Topeka Artery was home to some of the city’s best affecting and flush citizens. Mansions lined both abandon of the street, earning S.W. Topeka Artery the appellation Mansion Row.
Known for their admeasurement and grandeur, and for the arresting names entertained aural their walls, the majority of these homes fell victim over the years to accustomed disasters or disrepair. Topeka Artery was widened and the breadth confused from primarily actuality benumbed for residential to bartering purposes. Alone a few still abide standing.
Charles W. Horn endemic the E. Horn Co. Planing Mill, which bogus window sashes and glass, as able-bodied as bowl bottle and doors, autogenous and exoteric home finishings, moldings, columns and added architecture products. For those who could allow to alive on Mansion Row, E. Horn Co. was the abode to go for architecture materials, and Horn’s admission could be credible in homes forth the boulevard.
Born in 1849 to German immigrants, Horn spent his aboriginal activity in Ohio afore affective to Wamego in 1885. He reportedly operated a beasts agronomical in Pottawatomie County afore advancing to Topeka to accessible a planing mill.
After alone two years, a blaze destroyed the architecture that housed his business. Because it was uninsured, the architecture was a absolute loss. Undeterred, Horn anchored a accommodation and started over, but adversity addled afresh back a blaze destroyed the business for the additional time 10 years afterwards the aboriginal fire. This time, allowance covered some of the accident and the E. Horn Co. Planing Comminute was congenital from the ashes.
Horn and his wife congenital a abode on Mansion Row at 434 S.W. Topeka Blvd. The abode was not alone their clandestine abode but additionally served as a advertise abode for the architecture articles business. Begun in 1905, the three story, red brick anatomy was congenital in two stages, with the additional allotment of the abode complete in 1910.
With 14 rooms, the abode was abundant for its time, and Horn absolved no amount in its construction. A adept of accomplished copse by trade, Horn searched for the best abstracts in oak, birch, maple and ache and acclimated them throughout the house, area they can still be credible today.
The exoteric is absorbing as able-bodied with a single-story balustrade that extends aloft the advanced of the house, 15 white pillars acknowledging the roof and catastrophe in a annular pavilion on the south.
The attic is covered in aged tiles and rests aloft a limestone foundation. A barn balances the agreement of the abode to the arctic while the roofline aloft appearance straight, apple-pie lines.
The aboriginal first-floor plan is believed to accept included an entryway, parlor, library, kitchen and academic dining room. An ornately carved oak admission in the advanced aperture leads to the second-floor bedrooms above. Horn advertised a agnate admission in the 1912 Topeka Burghal Directory.
He went on to assignment in absolute acreage and additionally served on the Topeka Burghal Council afore affairs the abode and affective to California. Although Horn spent the afterwards allotment of his activity on the West Coast, he is active in the Topeka Cemetery.
The house’s additional owners were Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Bryden. Forced to abdicate academy as a adolescent and assignment in the atramentous mines abreast Scranton to advice abutment his family, William Bryden bound rose to positions of administration aural his association admitting a abridgement of academic education.
He was agent of the commune cloister in Osage County in 1904 and served two agreement in the Kansas Legislature. Bryden was afterwards appointed to the accompaniment allowance administration as accompaniment actuary afore resigning in 1921 to become accepted administrator of the Victory Activity Allowance Co., the industry aloft which he congenital his wealth.
When the Brydens purchased 434 S.W. Topeka Blvd. in 1929, Mrs. Bryden set about repurposing rooms, including converting a billiards allowance on the third attic into a adornment allowance and a second-floor sitting allowance into a bed-making room.
A one-bedroom accommodation and barn were added to the east ancillary of the abode in the 1930s, with the accommodation confined as servants’ quarters. Added affirmation that the domiciliary active calm advice includes a servants’ admission arch from the aboriginal kitchen to the floors aloft and an credible dumbwaiter that may accept delivered aliment from the aboriginal attic to the bedrooms upstairs.
The abode has two fireplaces with aboriginal anesthetized blooming bowl city fronts. Sean Tonar, whose benevolent grandmother grew up in the abode and was allotment of the Bryden family, remembered that the broiler city in the aloft library was chipped. He commented on the Topeka History Geeks Facebook folio about the chipped city one day and affiliated with the home’s accepted owner, who begin the aforementioned chipped city from all those years ago.
Tonar visited the abode in contempo years and aggregate pictures from the time aeon that his ancestors resided there, including a photo taken from the artery of two 1930s-model cars anchored forth S.W. Topeka Boulevard. He remembers audition belief about the Bryden family’s busy Halloween parties in the basement and about how disgusted they were back Topeka Artery afflicted from a residential adjacency to a business district.
“When they congenital that restaurant that was aslant to the house, it was a absolute bane on the accomplished adjacency to them,” Tonar said.
After Tonar’s grandmother died, the abode sat abandoned for a while, abrogation it accessible to vandals who bankrupt in and blanket an busy tulip-shaped Tiffany lamp from the landing on the stairs. The abode remained in the Bryden ancestors for added than 45 years and two ancestors afore it was awash for a additional time in 1975.
Attorneys Ralph E. Skoog and Robert L. Reed bought the abode from the Bryden acreage with the ambition of axis it into a law practice. They confused autogenous walls to reconfigure appointment spaces. Two abridged doors that already opened from the aperture into the parlor were belted over from the aperture but larboard apparent on the adverse side, no best anatomic but adorning in nature.
Following its transformation, the abode has amplitude for two offices on the capital attic and four offices on the additional floor, as able-bodied as angle of the burghal Topeka skyline. The abode won the Shawnee County Actual Preservation Award in 1980.
When the burghal capital to widen Topeka Boulevard, the barrier cut that already provided admission anon from the artery into the barn was in jeopardy. Ralph Skoog adjourned an city parking lot for his law convenance rather than accept budgetary advantage for the accident of the barrier cut.
By 2000, Skoog was attractive against retirement and cerebration about affairs the law convenance back he took his agent to the Laird Noller dealership for aliment and aloft paths with bounded advocate Terry Beck.
“It was fortuitous, really,” said Beck, who came to Topeka in 1968 to appear Washburn University. “I admired the place. I had been in it a brace of times, and they took actual acceptable affliction of it.”
Three canicule later, Beck bought the acreage afore it alike went on the market. Today, it houses the Beck & Gunn Law Office, as able-bodied as a scattering of added absolute attorneys’ offices.
“It has so abundant character, and it’s aloof so pretty,” he said. “If I bought aloof an accustomed appointment building, it would aloof be ‘so what?’ I like the all-embracing ambiance of the place. It’s adequate and a affable environment.”
Becks says that he has consistently enjoyed accession antiques. A account of the aboriginal Shawnee County Courthouse that he begin at a barn auction and reframed hangs on the bank in his second-floor office, a attestation to his adulation of history and old buildings.
Over the accomplished 20 years, Beck has corrective and installed new carpet, as able-bodied as replaced the roof, tuckpointed the brick work, replaced areas of copse rot, and repaired sections of the limestone balustrade that was crumbling.
“It costs a lot to maintain. The aerial amount is high, but that’s allotment of the deal,” he said.
In aggregate he has done, Beck has approved to accumulate the abode accurate to the aeon in which it was built, appropriate bottomward to abrogation the aboriginal radiators in place. At one time, the aboriginal attic was acrimonious application gas and steam, but the anachronous arrangement and archetypal abridgement of insulation in an earlier abode resulted in ample activity bills.
“The gas bill was killing me,” said Beck, who was spending about $1,500 per ages on activity costs.
He shut bottomward the boiler and began to await on added avant-garde methods for heating and cooling the house, including window units on the additional floor.
Throughout the house, beveled, leaded bottle was acclimated in window panes and French doors, abacus to the absurdity it symbolized. An adorned stained-glass window looks bottomward on the admission landing, anecdotic the hand-carved intricacies of the woodwork on the rail.
According to Beck, all of the windows except two are aboriginal to the house. Following the Fourth of July one year afterwards he purchased the house, Beck apparent that the advanced aperture and parlor windows, which were hand-cut and hand-beveled, had been burst out by theft.
His allowance aggregation aghast at the $17,000 per window amount tag to alter them both with actual replicas, so Beck compromised, replacing the parlor window with a replica and award a beneath cher but agnate appearance of window with the scales of amends on it for the advanced entryway.
Beck’s adeptness to acquisition solutions for advancement the actual candor of the abode continued to the ablaze fixtures, which were originally gas. The dining allowance ablaze accoutrement already had four bottle globes. Back one bankrupt aloft repair, Beck approved out addition who created a new accoutrement application the three aboriginal complete globes.
Today, the dining allowance serves as the appointment of Chris Gunn, Beck’s law partner. A congenital cafe and city attic in the amplitude are both appreciably well-preserved and a nod to the house’s beginnings.
In 2000, the kitchen accessories consisted of two pipes bulging from the bank to accommodate hot and algid water. Attractive for a added aesthetically adorable setup, Beck purchased an aged cafe and adapted it into a marble countertop with bore and backsplash. The allotment looks as admitting it belonged in the abode from the beginning.
A aloft balustrade off the kitchen was at one time amid to actualize added appointment and accumulator amplitude with an exoteric brick bank larboard exposed. The accommodation aloft the barn is still functional, and Beck rents it out to lobbyists during the aldermanic session.
Over the years, the association of Topeka has watched Mansion Row boring diminish. The abundant abode that already stood to the arctic of the Horn-Bryden Abode austere to the arena in 1983, and aloof aftermost year, Beck watched addition celebrated home aloft the artery actuality broken down. He will anon retire from his law convenance and Chris Gunn will booty over, but Beck says he isn’t accessible to allotment with the abode he has taken his about-face in history to protect.
“I don’t apperceive how continued I’m activity to accumulate it,” he said. “The history, the appearance and the beauty, they charge to be preserved. You can’t alike this affectionate of workmanship.”
Shanna Sloyer is a freelance biographer from Topeka. She can be accomplished at email@example.com.
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