Thursday, March 17, 2016

Architect Otho McCrackin

Hutchinson, Kansas architect Otho McCrackin (1893-1962) attended Washington University before serving as a pilot in the balloon division during the First World War. His drawing skills were utilized in the creation of strategic bird's eye views.(1)

After the war, he was associated first with the short-lived Curtis & McCrackin firm in Paris, Texas, and then joined the Hutchinson-based Mann & Company as a draftsman. In 1927, with encouragement from A.R. Mann, McCrackin submitted drawings to the West Coast Woods Architectural Competition. The jury awarded him $2,000 for his frame residence incorporating four Pacific Northwest woods: Douglas fir, West Coast hemlock, Sitka spruce and Western red cedar.
Unusual for a trade competition, McCrackin's West Coast Woods House was actually constructed in Portland, Oregon. In 1928, The American Lumberman reported that 10,000 prospective visitors were turned away the first week it opened due to the high demand.(2)  Photographs of the award-winning design graced such publications as Pencil Points, American Architect and Better Homes and Gardens. It is now a private residence.
Later in life, McCrackin partnered with Russell H. Heit and became a mentor to Kansas State University architecture graduate Leon Quincy Jackson (B.S. Arch. 1950).

(1)"Awards in West Coast Woods Architectural Competition." Pencil Points VIII:10 (October 1927): 635.

(2)"Prize Home Built at Portland, Ore." The American Lumberman (1928).

Images Above:  Otho McCrackin. Pencil Points VIII:10 (October 1927): 635.

Otho McCrackin, architect. "First Prize Design for A Residence and Garage." Pencil Points VIII:10 (October 1927): 634.

Otho McCrackin, architect. "House in Portland, Oregon, Built from Plans Submitted in the 1927 Competition Sponsored by the West Coast Lumber Bureau." The American Architect CXXXIV (20 July 1928): 131.


David J Gill said...

That's likely Washington University in St Louis. Another building of McCrackin's design with similar qualities is the First Church Christ Scientist at 1400 N Main St in Hutchinson, Kansas which can be found in Streetview on Google Maps.

Keli Rylance said...

Thank you for the info!