Many historic homes will be open to the public during the 36th annual Fort Leavenworth Historic Homes Tour 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4.
Tickets are $15 per person for non-members of the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum, and $13 per person for members or for groups of 20 or more, and can either be purchased in the museum gift shop or at http://www.ffam.us. Proceeds from the tour are used by the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum to support the museum and its programs.
Parking will be available at the Post Theater, the museum and the old U.S. Disciplinary Barracks with shuttle service starting at 9:30 a.m. and travelling the route every 20 minutes, stopping at 301 Sherman Ave., Memorial Chapel and the Rookery at 14 Sumner Place. A self-guided walking or driving tour is also available, but route parking is very limited.
The architectural features of each home will be highlighted, along with resident heirlooms and collectibles from around the world. No photography is allowed without resident permission.
In addition to nine historic homes, the tour will also feature Memorial Chapel, the old U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and the only Masonic Lodge on a military installation.
Concessions and restrooms will be available at Zais Park.
The following homes are featured in the 2013 homes tour:
301 Sherman Ave. — Built at the turn of the century after the establishment of the Cavalry School, the building was designed to accommodate officers. The original construction, which still stands today, consisted of a foundation of stone on concrete with brick walls, which remain unchanged.
No. 1 Scott Ave. — Built around 1861 on the former site of the enlisted Soldiers' Burial Ground, No. 1 Scott Ave. is built from locally produced red brick. The original cost of the three-story, 9,500-square-foot structure was $14,000. Extensive modifications were made from 1870-1906. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as one of the central highlights of the post's historic district. Famous Army commanders who have occupied this home include Generals Franklin Bell, Frederick Funston, Lesley J. McNair, William R. Richardson, Carl E. Vuono, Robert W. RisCassi and David Petraeus.
605 Scott Ave. — Built in 1883 at a cost of $12,600, this house is a prominent 2.5-story residence reflecting the Queen Anne style of architecture. It served as residences for officers on the staff of Maj. Gen. John Pope, commander of the Department of the Missouri, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth.
214 Augur Ave. — Built in 1903 for $12,002.24, this 4,550-square-foot building housed two officers.
624 Scott Ave. — A duplicate of the Thomas Custer house on Pope Avenue, this house is perfectly symmetrical in structure, built between 1881 and 1883. The architectural features combine Georgian, Queen Anne and Eastlake styles. The two-story porch-front offers entrance to an interior complete with ornate brass door fittings, four fireplaces — two of which have been stripped down to the original slate mantels, a bun warmer in the butler's pantry and a grand foyer. The newel post in the foyer, made of 57 pieces, was stripped of layers of paint and reassembled into the strikingly beautiful walnut showpiece seen today.
Page 2 of 4 - Memorial Chapel, 626 Scott Ave. — This chapel at 626 Scott Ave. was built in 1878 with prison labor under the direction of Col. Asa Blunt, commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, on the site of the original post sutler's store. Limestone quarried on post was used in its construction. It was not originally intended to be a "memorial" chapel, but after news of the defeat of the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn reached Fort Leavenworth, plans were made to honor those who fell in the battle. The first plaques placed on the walls of this chapel list some of the fallen men. Many other plaques embedded in the chapel walls tell the history of Fort Leavenworth. Brass cannons embedded in the walls are 12-pound mountain howitzers used from 1840-1880.
420 Grant Ave. — This double set of quarters was constructed in 1905 at a cost of $12,029 during the building boom following the Spanish-American War. This residence is an example of modified Georgian architecture in a domestic setting. It features double-hung sash windows, Tuscan columns, carved railings and turned balusters. When built, it was designated as junior officer quarters. This is one of the few homes that has a full pantry with an original wood countertop.
Boughton Hall, 311 Kearney Ave. — Boughton Hall was built in 1922 for the cost of $102,668. It was named for Maj. Daniel Hall Boughton, a distinguished 1881 graduate of West Point, known for writing the Army's first operational manual. The Secretary of War authorized the construction of Boughton Memorial Hall in 1920, with the provision that a portion of the ground floor be used as a post office, free of charge. It is the only Masonic Lodge on a military reservation in the United States and has a grand hall, organ loft, banquet room, full stage and a basement designed for use as a gymnasium. At the time of its construction, Boughton Hall reflected the Army's encouragement of cultural and religious activities in association with post activities. Boughton Hall is the home of three Masonic bodies: Hancock Lodge, the Armed Forces Scottish Rite and the Fort Leavenworth Chapter of the National Sojourners.
4 Sumner Place — The Syracuse Houses represent the change in status of Fort Leavenworth from an outpost to a permanent supply depot of great importance. Col. E. V. Sumner, post commander in 1855, commissioned the architect E.T. Carr of Syracuse, N.Y., to bring laborers and construct buildings on Fort Leavenworth, hence the name. Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his wife Libbie lived in one of the Syracuse Houses in 1867. This home was originally designed to house four officers. Between 1860 and 1873, a large addition with faceted bay windows was built, later serving as a junior officer's mess known as "The Kindergarten." The overall symmetry of the home, the center projecting pavilion on the main façade, dentils and modillions are characteristic of Georgian and Adamesque designs that flourished on the East Coast in 18th century. Also apparent are Italianate influences such as paired brackets and square porch supports.
Page 3 of 4 - The Rookery, 14 Sumner Place — Constructed 1828-32, this building is the oldest surviving structure in Kansas and one of the oldest military structures west of St. Louis. The original configuration was remodeled in 1870, 1909 and 2008. The most recent renovation on the Rookery preserved the building's exterior with repairs to its extensive porches and a repainting. Interior updates included new painted plaster surfaces, natural gas fireplaces in the hearths, updated bathrooms and refinished hardwood floors. The kitchen was updated with new appliances, solid wood cabinetry, granite countertop work surfaces and new flooring.
24 Sumner Place — These distinctive houses of colonial type were built in 1871 for field officers. The original house was built with four large rooms on the ground floor. The first addition enclosed the back porch and brought indoor plumbing with the ground-floor bathroom and the first indoor kitchen. A second addition added a larger kitchen and with overhead servant quarters. Three staircases lead to the second floor, including a steep spiral staircase at the back of the original house and "secret staircase" from the kitchen to the servant quarters.
Former U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Scott Avenue and Riverside Drive — The U.S. Military Prison opened in 1875 in buildings that were part of a quartermaster depot. The prison was built to consolidate military prisoners and to treat them consistently, based on proposals by Maj. Thomas F. Barr, father of the U.S. Military Prison. The prison closed when a new USDB opened in 2002 near the northwest corner of post. The largest building in the USDB, known as "The Castle," was demolished in 2004, but other portions of the old USDB have been remodeled and put back into use. The front of the old USDB is currently home to several Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities, including the 12th Brick Grille, which is open to the public.
Main Parade, Kearney and McClellan Avenues — Main Parade is the historic heart of the fort. Surviving buildings from the pre-Civil War Era are clustered on the north and east sides. Main Parade was the site of innumerable drills and inspections and a gathering place for the early residents of the post. On these grounds, representatives of Native American tribes assembled to discuss matters of peace, notably the council to end the Pawnee-Delaware War in 1833.
Frontier Army Museum, 100 Reynolds Avenue — The Frontier Army Museum tells the story of Fort Leavenworth from 1827 to the present, and the history of the Army on the frontier from the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1804 through the conclusion of the punitive expedition into Mexico in 1917. Exhibits highlight uniforms, weapons and equipment used by the Army, as well as artifacts that help tell the story of Fort Leavenworth. Notable items include a 1917 JN4D Jenny biplane, a George Catlin portrait of Henry Leavenworth and the carriage that Abraham Lincoln traveled in when he visited the area in 1859.
Page 4 of 4 - Editor's note: Descriptions of the homes were adapted from the homes tour brochure prepared by the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum and from the Fort Leavenworth Lamp files.