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#1 Art Cooler

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 01:59 PM

We purchased this wonderful Wedgwood mid-century modern house back in September:





Since moving in we've been curious as to who the builder and architect might be. A long term neighbor informed us that the architect was William Kneer of the firm Kneer and Hamm, and that the builder was Paul A. Groves, of the firm Nojo Construction. The AIA roster shows Mr. Kneer as deceased but not Mr. Hamm.

I'm curious as to the extent of residential work done in Fort Worth by the Kneer and Hamm, Associates firm and that of Paul Groves. We're also hoping to find blueprints of our home, although I feel that's a long shot at this point. The house was built in 1959. It would also be wonderful if indeed Mr. Hamm is still with us and I could speak with him about our house...same for Mr. Groves. If any of you deeper involved in the architectural world than I might have any info regarding these folks, I'd appreciate what you could pass on. My wife and I are tossing around the idea of starting a photo-chronicle/web log of mid-century residential architecture in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, which might be used to help those looking for this style of architecture when searching for a house in Tarrant County. Info about builders, architects, the neighborhoods these homes are in, etc. might help the right buyers find the right house and possibly prevent them from falling to McMansion bulldozers, as has happened in Dallas with some very nice MCM homes by the likes of Howard Meyer and so forth.

Thank you!

#2 Matt615

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 06:05 PM

QUOTE (Art Cooler @ Jan 2 2008, 01:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My wife and I are tossing around the idea of starting a photo-chronicle/web log of mid-century residential architecture in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, which might be used to help those looking for this style of architecture when searching for a house in Tarrant County. Info about builders, architects, the neighborhoods these homes are in, etc. might help the right buyers find the right house and possibly prevent them from falling to McMansion bulldozers...


I would be interested in this!

#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 06:37 PM

Kneer & Hamm was a prominent architectural firm in the city from the 50's through the 70's. Not only did they design residential structures, they also designed quite a few commercial buildings. I don't know a lot about the firm because they were more or less "before my time". However, they were only removed from me by one generation of architects. My bosses, Joe Halbach and Karl Dietz have mentioned both Bill Kneer and T.Z. Hamm many times, so they are familiar with them. I will ask them tomorrow about the firm and the Mid-Century Modern designs that the firm produced. Hopefully, I will be able to report back to you with something.

As for the "photo-chronicle web log" of Mid-Century Modern Residential Architecture, I would caution you. I have tried to include residential properties on the main site and I have met resistance from the home owners. Several times on this forum, specific houses, addresses, and current owners were mentioned within this forum, and I have received very negative e-mails from the home owners regarding their properties being mentioned or located on this forum. These negative responses have even forced a policy on this forum that highly discourages forum members from posting anything about private residences. Earlier this year, the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects published their Top 25 favorite buildings and a couple of residences made the list. The owners were notified of the recognition and they requested that the addresses to be withheld, even though they won an award. You may have to get the owner's permission to use a photo and the address to be listed on your site. I'm afraid many owners would not want to have their houses posted.

#4 Art Cooler

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 08:35 AM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Jan 2 2008, 06:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kneer & Hamm was a prominent architectural firm in the city from the 50's through the 70's. Not only did they design residential structures, they also designed quite a few commercial buildings. I don't know a lot about the firm because they were more or less "before my time". However, they were only removed from me by one generation of architects. My bosses, Joe Halbach and Karl Dietz have mentioned both Bill Kneer and T.Z. Hamm many times, so they are familiar with them. I will ask them tomorrow about the firm and the Mid-Century Modern designs that the firm produced. Hopefully, I will be able to report back to you with something.

As for the "photo-chronicle web log" of Mid-Century Modern Residential Architecture, I would caution you. I have tried to include residential properties on the main site and I have met resistance from the home owners. Several times on this forum, specific houses, addresses, and current owners were mentioned within this forum, and I have received very negative e-mails from the home owners regarding their properties being mentioned or located on this forum. These negative responses have even forced a policy on this forum that highly discourages forum members from posting anything about private residences. Earlier this year, the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects published their Top 25 favorite buildings and a couple of residences made the list. The owners were notified of the recognition and they requested that the addresses to be withheld, even though they won an award. You may have to get the owner's permission to use a photo and the address to be listed on your site. I'm afraid many owners would not want to have their houses posted.



John, thanks for your reply! Your words of caution are well received. We would not want to post pictures or info about a private residence without the owner's permission. I also realize not all homeowners would consent to such a thing, which is their right. I would also want to know approximately how much mid-century modern (MCM) enthusiasm there is in Fort Worth/Tarrant County before proceeding. I realize it's not everyone's favorite architecture, but I also think there's more than just a few out there partial to the style, and, perhaps, dream of owning a MCM house. Compared to California and other areas around the nation where this style is found, some of the MCM's I've seen listed locally, particularly on the Tarrant County side, are a steal. Not all are well-preserved in the MCM style...my wife and I were very lucky ours was.

I also greatly appreciate you willing to ask your employers about Kneer & Hamm. It would be interesting to learn some history behind the firm, and know more about their work. A friend of mine is itching to buy a mid-century modern house...the other day we looked at one for sale over in the Western Hills addition. It wasn't long before I noticed similarities in style, fixtures, and finish to my own house, and could not help but wonder if Kneer & Hamm had also designed this particular residence. Both it and mine show Asian influence in style. That of course made me wonder how much of their work is out there, and where. At least I know where three of them are, for certain, thanks to my neighbor who tipped me off about Kneer and Groves. He said my own home is among two others on my street designed and built at the same time by the same architectural firm and builder. Each one is unique, as are all other MCM homes in the Wedgwood addition that I've discovered so far.

#5 76112res

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 04:47 PM

Nice house, Art. I would also be interested in a site devoted to this style of architecture in FW (or even a sub-forum on a site like this). I have a MCM on the East side that was based on a Lars Bang design. When it comes time to sell it, a MCM site would be very helpful for marketing it to the right audience.

#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:35 PM

Art, I'm sorry for taking so long, but I haven't completely followed up your response. I did visit with 3 people in my office. Two of them did not know much about Kneer and Hamm's work. The one boss that I thought would know more was Karl Dietz. I thought he had worked for them in the past, but I wasn't sure. Well, I was right, but it was almost like being wrong. Karl worked for Kneer and Hamm for three days. In his job search, he interviewed with several firms and he finally accepted with Kneer and Hamm. However, just a couple of days into the job, another architect called him back and offered him a job. He told that other architect that he was already working, but the other architect offered him a better deal and more money, so he took the other job. He told Kneer and Hamm about the situation and they allowed him to go to the other firm after only three days. So, in answer to your question, Karl also does not know much about the firm. My bosses did give me a lead to find out more information, and I will ask that person soon.

#7 Art Cooler

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:38 PM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Jan 20 2008, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Art, I'm sorry for taking so long, but I haven't completely followed up your response. I did visit with 3 people in my office. Two of them did not know much about Kneer and Hamm's work. The one boss that I thought would know more was Karl Dietz. I thought he had worked for them in the past, but I wasn't sure. Well, I was right, but it was almost like being wrong. Karl worked for Kneer and Hamm for three days. In his job search, he interviewed with several firms and he finally accepted with Kneer and Hamm. However, just a couple of days into the job, another architect called him back and offered him a job. He told that other architect that he was already working, but the other architect offered him a better deal and more money, so he took the other job. He told Kneer and Hamm about the situation and they allowed him to go to the other firm after only three days. So, in answer to your question, Karl also does not know much about the firm. My bosses did give me a lead to find out more information, and I will ask that person soon.


John, once again thanks for your reply. I am not discouraged by your current run of luck so far in finding out more about Kneer and Hamm. Architects do not typically run in the celebrity limelight; it's us scattered aesthetes, MCM and otherwise, that give them any much deserved recognition at all, IMO. smile.gif I appreciate your efforts just the same.

Since I last posted I've been able to locate the house Mr. Kneer designed for himself. It is not far from my own place. I've also located the house Paul Groves built for himself, possibly designed by Kneer and Hamm. It is one block north of my location. Mr. Kneer's house shares several design elements in common with mine. Mr. Groves' house is a low pitched gable roofed MCM structure and is pretty handsome. In my neighborhood there are several other homes built using my home's floor plan, but none of them have similar facades, and about all of them enlarged on what I believe is the original design for our house, since it dates as being the oldest, according to TAD.

#8 longhornz32

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 09:32 PM

Hi Art,

You might try contacting Emery Young in Fort Worth. He has been an architect for decades here and seems to know everyone. He is extremely friendly and would most likely know quite a bit about architects of this time. Let me know if you speak to him. I'd be interested in what he says.


#9 pert_near

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:27 AM

Art,

Hello, my name is Pat Kneer, son of Bill Kneer of Kneer and Hamm Architects, but I am not sure how much help I can be regarding your home. The pictures are very similar to our home on Wooten, which is the one he designed and built. I am not sure which home is yours, but I think my father only designed one other homes in the Wedgwood area, for a total of 3. There was ours on Wooten, another house on "the other" Wooten, and one on Whitman - all 3 had the same type of architecture he liked, very modern for the time.

For most of his career, he designed commercial buildings instead of private homes. I know he designed the Wedgwood Bowling and the Wedgwood Theater buildings, but the last time I saw them, they were in pretty bad shape. Many of his designs were either in Fort Worth or Austin. I saw that you mentioned your house was built in 1959, which was just one or two years after he designed and built our house on Wooten. My dad sold his interest in the company to his partner, T.Z. Hamm, in the 1980's because his health was declining and he passed away in 1986 at the age of 60. I do not know what happened with T.Z. or the company after that. If you are interested in the company in the later years, you could try to track down T.Z.'s son, Tommy Hamm, who is the President of Stone Distribution LTD in Fort Worth, their business number is 817-546-2050. I do not know Tommy's home number, as we have been out of touch for a long time (we went to high school together).

If you are interested in finding anything about Bill Kneer or Kneer & Hamm, let me know - my older brothers might have some more knowledge of some more houses he designed.

It's good to see that my father's homes are still around and are in good shape.


Pat Kneer


QUOTE (Art Cooler @ Jan 2 2008, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We purchased this wonderful Wedgwood mid-century modern house back in September:





Since moving in we've been curious as to who the builder and architect might be. A long term neighbor informed us that the architect was William Kneer of the firm Kneer and Hamm, and that the builder was Paul A. Groves, of the firm Nojo Construction. The AIA roster shows Mr. Kneer as deceased but not Mr. Hamm.

I'm curious as to the extent of residential work done in Fort Worth by the Kneer and Hamm, Associates firm and that of Paul Groves. We're also hoping to find blueprints of our home, although I feel that's a long shot at this point. The house was built in 1959. It would also be wonderful if indeed Mr. Hamm is still with us and I could speak with him about our house...same for Mr. Groves. If any of you deeper involved in the architectural world than I might have any info regarding these folks, I'd appreciate what you could pass on. My wife and I are tossing around the idea of starting a photo-chronicle/web log of mid-century residential architecture in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, which might be used to help those looking for this style of architecture when searching for a house in Tarrant County. Info about builders, architects, the neighborhoods these homes are in, etc. might help the right buyers find the right house and possibly prevent them from falling to McMansion bulldozers, as has happened in Dallas with some very nice MCM homes by the likes of Howard Meyer and so forth.

Thank you!



#10 architex

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:47 PM

Here's a MCM website for Dallas houses.
http://www.dallasmod.com/Index.aspx


#11 Urbndwlr

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:28 PM

QUOTE (Art Cooler @ Jan 3 2008, 10:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Jan 2 2008, 06:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kneer & Hamm was a prominent architectural firm in the city from the 50's through the 70's. Not only did they design residential structures, they also designed quite a few commercial buildings. I don't know a lot about the firm because they were more or less "before my time". However, they were only removed from me by one generation of architects. My bosses, Joe Halbach and Karl Dietz have mentioned both Bill Kneer and T.Z. Hamm many times, so they are familiar with them. I will ask them tomorrow about the firm and the Mid-Century Modern designs that the firm produced. Hopefully, I will be able to report back to you with something.

As for the "photo-chronicle web log" of Mid-Century Modern Residential Architecture, I would caution you. I have tried to include residential properties on the main site and I have met resistance from the home owners. Several times on this forum, specific houses, addresses, and current owners were mentioned within this forum, and I have received very negative e-mails from the home owners regarding their properties being mentioned or located on this forum. These negative responses have even forced a policy on this forum that highly discourages forum members from posting anything about private residences. Earlier this year, the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects published their Top 25 favorite buildings and a couple of residences made the list. The owners were notified of the recognition and they requested that the addresses to be withheld, even though they won an award. You may have to get the owner's permission to use a photo and the address to be listed on your site. I'm afraid many owners would not want to have their houses posted.




John, thanks for your reply! Your words of caution are well received. We would not want to post pictures or info about a private residence without the owner's permission. I also realize not all homeowners would consent to such a thing, which is their right. I would also want to know approximately how much mid-century modern (MCM) enthusiasm there is in Fort Worth/Tarrant County before proceeding. I realize it's not everyone's favorite architecture, but I also think there's more than just a few out there partial to the style, and, perhaps, dream of owning a MCM house. Compared to California and other areas around the nation where this style is found, some of the MCM's I've seen listed locally, particularly on the Tarrant County side, are a steal. Not all are well-preserved in the MCM style...my wife and I were very lucky ours was.

I also greatly appreciate you willing to ask your employers about Kneer & Hamm. It would be interesting to learn some history behind the firm, and know more about their work. A friend of mine is itching to buy a mid-century modern house...the other day we looked at one for sale over in the Western Hills addition. It wasn't long before I noticed similarities in style, fixtures, and finish to my own house, and could not help but wonder if Kneer & Hamm had also designed this particular residence. Both it and mine show Asian influence in style. That of course made me wonder how much of their work is out there, and where. At least I know where three of them are, for certain, thanks to my neighbor who tipped me off about Kneer and Groves. He said my own home is among two others on my street designed and built at the same time by the same architectural firm and builder. Each one is unique, as are all other MCM homes in the Wedgwood addition that I've discovered so far.




Yes, enthusiastic about modern architecture and design. Interested to hear/read more. I don't have any specific questions however I would welcome any good discussion on a separate thread about Fort Worth modernism - mid century and current.

#12 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:46 AM

Great house, and I would love to see posts on mid-century, recent past, whatever the nomenclature will be. 50's and newer stuff is so endangered and un-appreciated.

#13 McHand

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:27 PM

This is a cool discussion. I want to know if this
house counts as mid-century modern. It is currently unoccupied and for sale so hopefully I'm not violating any rules. The location is Bellaire Drive in Tanglewood.

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#14 SurplusPopulation

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:19 PM

Wow! I'm not sure why I haven't checked this thread before but I finally got around to it. I was shocked to see this house. My old boss and her husband lived in that house several years ago... if I'm not mistaked. Small world.

#15 Art Cooler

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:56 PM

[quote name='pert_near' date='Oct 22 2008, 09:27 AM' post='51445']
Art,

Hello, my name is Pat Kneer, son of Bill Kneer of Kneer and Hamm Architects, but I am not sure how much help I can be regarding your home. The pictures are very similar to our home on Wooten, which is the one he designed and built. I am not sure which home is yours, but I think my father only designed one other homes in the Wedgwood area, for a total of 3. There was ours on Wooten, another house on "the other" Wooten, and one on Whitman - all 3 had the same type of architecture he liked, very modern for the time.

For most of his career, he designed commercial buildings instead of private homes. I know he designed the Wedgwood Bowling and the Wedgwood Theater buildings, but the last time I saw them, they were in pretty bad shape. Many of his designs were either in Fort Worth or Austin. I saw that you mentioned your house was built in 1959, which was just one or two years after he designed and built our house on Wooten. My dad sold his interest in the company to his partner, T.Z. Hamm, in the 1980's because his health was declining and he passed away in 1986 at the age of 60. I do not know what happened with T.Z. or the company after that. If you are interested in the company in the later years, you could try to track down T.Z.'s son, Tommy Hamm, who is the President of Stone Distribution LTD in Fort Worth, their business number is 817-546-2050. I do not know Tommy's home number, as we have been out of touch for a long time (we went to high school together).

If you are interested in finding anything about Bill Kneer or Kneer & Hamm, let me know - my older brothers might have some more knowledge of some more houses he designed.

It's good to see that my father's homes are still around and are in good shape.


Pat Kneer


Pat,

I responded to your PM but also wanted to publicly respond for the sake of the thread. First of all, thank you very much for what you said! What a find that you are Bill Kneer's son.

We are still very happy with the house, it is a delightful design. I've been very busy this year working on it. The two walls adjacent to the patio have a large amount of glazing, which we recently replaced with low e double pane material. Both these walls also received exterior foam board insulation. In addition to other thermal improvements we've carried out, the house is now easy to heat, and this summer we expect similar improvements to the cooling demand. The siding on the walls facing the patio has also been replaced, with the original battens retained and cleaned up. We intend to replace the large window facing the carport, along with the siding on that elevation along with the north elevation - same insulation treatment as well - and then call it good on our thermal improvements. Anything further will be aesthetic and preservation efforts, as we believe we have a real gem on our hands.

I will send you an email so we can discuss your father and his partner more in depth. Thank you again!

#16 Nitixope

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:03 PM

QUOTE (avvy @ Jan 10 2009, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is a cool discussion. I want to know if this
house counts as mid-century modern. It is currently unoccupied and for sale so hopefully I'm not violating any rules. The location is Bellaire Drive in Tanglewood.

Wow, from the aerial view that house has some size. Hard to tell from the streetview but 5460 SQFT and pool.

#17 bailey

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:21 AM

I remember when this house on Bellaire was built. The interesting thing was it was very long and literally covered a whole city block from end to end. If my memory recalls correctly, it was built by a Fort Worth physician.




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