Going through the newly acquired Arts & Architecture, I came across a vacation house that Frederick Vance Kershner designed for himself located somewhere near Keystone Lake that was featured in the April 1953 issue. I knew that the Jones House was featured in A&A (more on that later), but I had no idea anything else from Oklahoma was featured, so this was a nice surprise. I had seen photos of the house in a couple of different places, John Brooks Walton’s Many More Historic Tulsa Homes and an exhibit brochure from Philbrook that featured the house, but had not been able to find out much more about the house. Sadly, the magazine did not provide much more information.
First, a little background on Frederick Vance Kershner; he was born in 1904 in McCurtain, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory), he attended Oklahoma A & M (Oklahoma State) and graduated in 1926 at which time he attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fountainebleau, France. After returning from France, Kershner worked for Arthur Atkinson where he, along with Joseph Koberling, would help design the Oklahoma Natural Gas Building. He next joined John Duncan Forsyth’s firm and worked on the Marland Mansion in Ponca City. In 1928, he briefly joined Stanley Simmons and Horace Peaslee in Washington, D.C. Returning to Tulsa, Kershner joined the firm of Smith & Senter, where he would help design the Tulsa Fire Alarm Building, Tulsa Municipal Airport Building (demolished), and the Union Bus Depot (demolished). In 1935, the briefly worked for Donald McCormick before starting his own firm. Additionally, Kershner designed the Burtner Fleeger Residence at 2424 E. 29th St. and the Sanditen Residence at 1702 E. 37th St. (one of my favorite houses, located on the corner of 37th & Utica).
Here is the text from the article:
“The site is a 540-acre tract of land overlooking the Arkansas River Valley, in Oklahoma, and the cabin, placed on the highest point, has a sweeping view of the valley. The problem of maintaining a vacation house, which is closed nine months of the year, has determined the materials. The outer shell is three walls of 16-inch thick untrimmed sandstone from the site, with projecting cage of cemesto sheets set on stilts. Insects make unscreened living areas uninhabitable in vacation season, so the porch is designed as part of the house, on the same four-foot module. Glass doors opening living area to porch move on a barn door track. The stone shell, with raised living quarters, is used here because the vacation house is easily victimized by brush fires in the fall. Two upper floors of minimum area have been preferred to a larger partitioned one.”
If anyone has any more information on this very cool house, leave a comment or send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org