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PHOTOS: A Glimpse At Johnson County's Mid-Century Modern Architecture


A new exhibition at the Johnson County Museum in Shawnee, Kan., attempts to answer a tough question: What is modernism?

After World War II, architecture across the United States went through a radical, modern transformation. And Johnson County, Kan. was no exception. It was a time when North Americans believed "the future was bright and possibilities were endless."

On Monday's show, Up to Date’s Steve Kraske talks with the museum’s curator and an area architect about the basic design elements of the Modernist movement, and why Johnson County embraced it. We also explore some of the area's prominent modern buildings and homes.  

Here are a few examples: 


Metcalf Bank, 7840 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, Kan., was completed in 1962. Designed by the architectural firm Kivett & Myers, the accordion roof was reportedly poured on site. 


"Metcalf 75," a branch of Metcalf Bank at 7200 W 75th St. in Overland Park, Kan., opened in 1970. A building with the nickname "the spaceship," it now houses ONYX Meetings and Events. 


Valley View Professional Building at 8600 West 95th Street in Overland Park, Kan. 

Houses of worship: 


Congregation Ohev Shalom, 5311 W. 75th in Prairie Village, Kan., is the state's oldest operating Jewish congregation. The building was completed in 1969. 


St. Ann's Catholic Parish, 7231 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kan. 



A home in the historic Broadmoor Ranch House Historic District, between 68th Street and 69th Terrace and Metcalf in Overland Park, Kan. 


A Don Drummond ranch-style home. A builder, Drummond worked closely with architect David Runnells, among others. 


The Lawrence Hyde House, 5020 W. 67th Street in Prairie Village, Kan., is one of several Bruce Goff-designed homes in the Kansas City area. 


A home designed by architect David Runnells


The Searing House at 79th and Fontana in Prairie Village, Kan. It was designed by architect Bruce Goff.   



The former Mohawk Elementary School at 67th and Lamar in Mission, Kan. It's now the site of Mohawk Park. 

The exhibition 'What Is Modernism?' runs through November 21, 2015 at the Johnson County Museum, 6305 Lackman Road, Shawnee, Kan. 913-715-2550. 


Up To Datearchitecture
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.
Laura Spencer writes about arts and culture for KCUR. Follow her on Twitter @lauraspencer.