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Louis Singleton Curtiss papers

Call Number: RH MS 35


Architectural drawings of buildings in Kansas City and Wichita, correspondence, class reports, measured drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous items.


  • Creation: 1893 - 1912


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Louis Singleton Curtiss

Louis Singleton Curtiss was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, on July 1, 1865, the 4th of 6 children and the second son of Frances Eliva and Don Carlos Curtiss. He enrolled in the University of Toronto in 1884; it is not known whether he graduated. From Toronto he went to Paris, reportedly on a scholarship, to study architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Louis Curtiss came to Kansas City about 1890. Soon after his arrival, Curtiss established a partnership with Frederick C. Gunn (1865-1959). The firm of Gunn & Curtiss, which lasted approximately from 1890-1898, was the only partnership Curtiss ever engaged in.

Curtiss is best known for the following buildings:

  1. Missouri State Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Gunn & Curtiss architects.
  2. The Baltimore Hotel for the Corrigan Brothers Reality Company, Kansas City, Missouri, 1898-1899.
  3. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and Fred Harvey Houses in Kansas, New Mexico, Texas and Missouri, circa 1905-1912.
  4. The Willis Wood Theater, Kansas City, Missouri, 1908. (The earliest known example of steel and glass wall construction.)
  5. The Boley Clothing Store, Kansas City, Missouri, 1908. (The earliest known example of steel and glass wall construction.)
  6. Curtiss' own office and studio at 1118 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 1908.
  7. The Bernard Corrigan house, Kansas City, Missouri, 1912.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 35

Physical Location

RH MS-P 35

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Fred T. Comee, 1964-65; Curtis Besinger, 1969-70, 1978.


Guide to the Louis Singleton Curtiss Collection
Louis Singleton Curtiss papers
Finding aid prepared by mrw, 1978. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006. Finding aid revised by cl, 2020; dsw, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Louis Singleton Curtiss papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 35, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States