A. E. Evans (Amanda Elizabeth Evans Rivard) (1899-1988) was raised and educated in Lawrence, Kansas. Despite her ambition to study architecture, Evans enrolled in general studies at the University of Kansas. In 1916, due to a shortage of draftsmen, the university created new drafting classes for women and Evans took advantage of this opportunity. Her success in this course allowed for a summer internship as a drafter for MK&T Railroad in Parsons, Kansas. After returning to KU, she persuaded the chair of the Department of Architecture to allow her admission to the school with the declaration, “Let her in—she’ll either sink or swim.” She won several university awards and awards from the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York. She spent her senior year internship at Hoit, Price & Barnes, the preeminent firm in Kansas City. However, despite their expanding firm, high-profile projects, and a national unemployment rate of only 3.3%, the firm was not able to offer her full-time employment after she graduated. She was the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Engineering at KU. She worked for R. J. Falkenberg, a residential design-build firm with a custom door and cabinet shop. In 1930, she married and continued her career on a part-time basis for another three years and retired to raise her three children.
Evans designed large, formal homes throughout Mission Hills and modest, intimate cottage homes in Westwood Hills. The house at 2024 West 49th Terrace completed in 1929 won an award by the AIA KC chapter, which was later rescinded, upon the revelation of her gender. She built the house at 2101 West 49th Street for herself in 1926 and lived here until she passed away in February 1988. Many of her houses, such as 2108 and 2112 West 50th Street, tend to have a hard edge on one side with the other easing into the landscape, often with sleeping porches. The house at 2013 West 50th Street shows the basket weave brick detailing, one of her signatures.
Major Buildings and Projects
- 2024 West 49th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, 1929
- 2101 West 49th Street in Kansas City, Missouri
- 2108 and 2112 West 50th Street in Kansas City, Missouri
- 2013 West 50th Street in Kansas City, Missouri