Adorned & Reformed: Frieda Hartwig’s West Main Street home that goes back in time to the 1930s.

With aspirations for innovation, this home was once a home of the future thanks to Frieda Hartwig, a 40-year-old single woman who built the home in Kansas City based on 1933 Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition plans from the Chicago World’s Fair. While it may now be considered Mediterranean style, it was once described as an art moderne type of architecture, and it was “modern in every detail,” according to a Jefferson City Post-Review article announcing its completion. It is our honor to provide you with a tour of Frieda Hartwig’s reformed Kansas City home today.

It boasted features like a built-in ironing board, pull-down kitchen table, and a hidden pull-out record turntable. Fast forward to futuristic 2023, and the home exists as a large, somewhat magical, time capsule of the past. When Duncan and Lucia Kincheloe bought the house in spring of 2010, they spent three years renovating it, while also wanting to honor Frieda’s original vision and bring it back to life. With an artist and an avid antique collector occupying such a space, it’s no surprise that the Kincheloe’s ambitions became a success with unique details found at every turn.

Front sitting room

Entering the home, it immediately feels as if you’re stepping back into the late 1930s as the front sitting room is adorned with antiques and art of the same era. For guest entertainment, the room also features a piano, a fireplace, and a wind-up Victrola record player that’s still in working condition. The fireplace also served as a back-drop for Frieda and E.C.L. Wagner’s wedding nuptials.

vintage staircase


As renovations began, the Kincheloes did find one surprise when antiquing — a single roll of original 1930/40s wallpaper. Now, the original design can be seen at the top of the glass-tiled stairs. They even managed to find the perfect style mirror from the old Tan-Tar-A Resortto match its art deco features. For the home’s stairway, Lucia decided to display some of her favorite framed art pieces including a painting titled “The Lady in Green,” by artist Tamara de Lempicka (a housewarming gift from her husband), a signed print by the famous Missouri State Capitol building artist Thomas Hart Benton, and a tongue in cheek painting titled “Queen Lucia,” depicting a boisterous woman singing with a very bored, and sleepy, crowd in the background.

Kincheloe’s art deco inspired bathroom in Jefferson City.

Downstairs Bathroom

Once included in a suite of rooms with a private entrance for live-in help and boarders, the downstairs bathroom still encompasses some of the home’s original architecture. It gives a real glimpse into the art deco style seen throughout the house from the World’s Fair house plan. While heated floors, sauna, and walk-in showers with rainfall shower heads were never a thing of the past, the Kincheloes incorporated reproductions with lighting and tiling. The window’s original shutters and ceiling remain to balance the modern conveniences with the architectural past.

Downstairs Bedroom

It may be hard to imagine, but this bedroom was once only a changing area with a small bedroom that had just enough room for a single bed. Now, not only does it have much more space, but the room also features an exquisite ceiling dome painted by local artist Jenny Neff, an articulate painting of the original San Francisco public swimming pool, and a 1940s golden art screen Lucia brought back from North Carolina on the top of her car.

full view of Kincheloe’s vintage inspired kitchen in Jefferson City


Of course, the home’s original kitchen was too small for modern day standards, so it was re-envisioned in part by interior designer Jane Reed. The updates include the old dining room where it now features stone countertops and antique mirrored cabinets. A brass headboard, reimagined into a railing, was found in a Chicago vintage store and now separates the breakfast nook and living room.

collection of art in Kincheloe’s living room in Jefferson City
sitting area in Kincheloe’s art deco inspired living room in Jefferson City

Living Room

Here is one of the Kincheloe’s own personal touches. Custom stone bird floor tiles appear to be flying from the breakfast nook, through the living room, and out to the back patio. Frieda and E.C.L. had originally installed a small pond, rose garden, and an outdoor phone, which was housed in a wooden box.

1940s inspired master bedroom in Jefferson City

Upstairs Master Bedroom

Frieda and her husband, known as socialites in their time, invited Ronald Reagan to stay in an upstairs bedroom for three days during his pre-politician days as the spokesperson for General Electric. The bedroom has been modernized with a built-in bed and closets for more storage while keeping its design within the 1940s era. The room even features items from Jefferson City’s past like a chaise from the Missouri Governor’s Mansion and the original custom curtains from the downstairs dining room.

Outdoor Living Room

A favorite spot for their beloved dog Luda to lounge, the patio was designed for relaxation and a fun place to spend time with friends and family. While the kids play in the small waterfall plunge pool, the adults can rest close by or gather around the gas fi re pit. The patio is also the perfect spot to keep the only tree left from the home’s original garden. The Japanese maple now lives happily in the corner of the wall next to the fountain pool.

modern architecture of Kincheloe's art deco inspired top deck

Top Deck

After purchasing the house, the Kincheloes decided to expand the home about 25 feet toward the back. This addition also allowed them to add another bedroom, more living areas, and a private rooftop deck that extends over the original section of the rubber topped roof. While the hot tub, built-in seating, and planters may be the most popular features on the balcony, a small projector and screen are used for an enjoyable outdoor movie experience.

welcoming front door entry to historic Kansas City home