Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday, February 25, 1934

Didn't go to church today. It sure snowed. Girls came down. Went out and played. Helped shovel off snow.

Nelle E. Peters, c. 1915-1919
Nelle E. Peters (December 11, 1884 - October 7, 1974)
Born Nellie Elizabeth Nichols

Architect who designed almost a thousand buildings,
mostly in the Kansas City area

Born and reared on a prairie farm in North Dakota, Peters decided to combine her love for
math and art by pursuing a career in architecture. Although she lacked formal training, Nichols
knew she could do the job. She moved to Sioux City, Iowa, to look for work and was
eventually hired by an architectural firm for $3 a week to be a drafter. During her four-year
apprenticeship with the company, Nichols took correspondence courses in architecture to add
 to the on-the-job training she was receiving. The firm transferred Nichols to their Kansas City
branch around 1907, where she married and divorced, but the lack of work there soon led her to
seek outside projects.

During the 1920s, Nelle E. Peters rapidly became one of Kansas City’s leading architects. Much
 of this success was due to her partnership with Charles E. Phillips, a local developer. Throughout
the 1920s, Peters designed many hotels and apartment buildings for the Phillips Building Company.
Large apartment complexes constructed around courtyards soon became Peters’s trademark. Her
simple designs drew upon Tudor and Spanish Colonial styles, and she favored the use of
columns and terra cotta ornaments. She also became known for her efficient use of space in floor plans.

One of Peters’s most well-known sets of apartment buildings is the “literary block,” located on the
west side of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Each of the buildings is named after a famous
 author, including Mark Twain, James Russell Lowell, Robert Louis Stevenson, Washington
Irving, Thomas Carlyle, Eugene Field, and Robert Browning. In addition, she designed the
Ambassador Hotel on Broadway, which featured a roof garden, as well as numerous apartment
buildings and churches around the state of Missouri. 

Peters died of heart disease; her ashes are buried at the Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City.

No comments:

Post a Comment