House & Home

Mary Rockwell Hook’s Sunset Hills home blends Italian ornate with reclaimed salvage

Mary Rockwell Hook designed and built this home for herself over several years. It sits on a cul-de-sac south of the Country Club Plaza, with three other homes that the architect designed for family members. Rockwell Hook lived in the home until 1971. Much of the stone was quarried on the property and the resulting hole became an in-ground swimming pool, one of the first residential pools in the area.
Mary Rockwell Hook designed and built this home for herself over several years. It sits on a cul-de-sac south of the Country Club Plaza, with three other homes that the architect designed for family members. Rockwell Hook lived in the home until 1971. Much of the stone was quarried on the property and the resulting hole became an in-ground swimming pool, one of the first residential pools in the area. Special to The Star

Location: Sunset Hills, Kansas City

Details: 6,148 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6  1/2 baths, kitchen, hearth/dining room, living room, library, sunroom, family room and pool

Current owner: Daniel and Barbara Gibson

Architectural notes: Mary Rockwell Hook designed and built this Italianate-style home for herself. It sits on a cul-de-sac with three other homes that the architect designed for family members.

Rockwell Hook’s father, Bertrand Rockwell, a successful grain merchant and banker, had gifted each of his five daughters with a home; Mary designed and built each one. Rockwell Hook lived in her home until 1971.

Gibson bought the home in 1984 with his first (now deceased) wife. He now shares the home with wife Barbara Gibson, and they both particularly love the brick patio, which is shaded by the house as the sun sets.

“Mary Rockwell was well-known for her outdoor living spaces,” Barbara says.

An in-ground swimming pool resulted from a hole where stone for the home was quarried. Rockwell Hook believed it was one of the earliest private pools in the Kansas City area, according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The large eat-in kitchen has a European country flair with marble tile salvaged from a hotel in Topeka. The owners worked with a designer to decorate the home several years ago but have incorporated a lot of their own furniture and accessories.

The Gibsons are downsizing and have put the home on the market for just under $2 million.

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