|Owner Profile: Ken and Jeanie Cannon|
|Articles - Community|
By Dustin Heron Urban
“Ken and I were ready for another adventure before it was too late,” says Jeanie Cannon. Ken and Jeanie are proud owners of the new home at 903 Swift Circle, and as of last week, South Main’s newest residents.
Ken and Jeanie hail from Texas where they raised four children and now have six grandchildren. “The joy of roaming in a neighborhood and town is what South Main offers to our family. I am really excited about becoming a part of the South Main family,” Jeanie told me. For Ken, it was all about the location. The Arkansas River, the mountains, the parks, and the public lands across the river all drew him to South Main.
But once the Cannons were sold on South Main co-founders Jed and Katie’s “commitment to developing a working, vibrant neighborhood,” it was the combination of Kenny Craft’s design and the lot on which it had been placed which sealed the deal. 903 Swift Circle sits on South Main’s north property line, and Kenny’s Victorian-inspired design faces north, overlooking the town park with views to the northeast of Midland Mountain and to the northwest of Mt. Columbia and the Collegiate Peaks. “Who would not want to live in a Kenny Craft home!” says Jeanie. “The simplicity of having the plans already there on a lovely lot sealed the purchase.”
I recently had an opportunity to speak with Kenny about the design and how he developed it. “It was important for the style to feel like it belongs to the town, neighborhood and region,” Kenny said. One design element which the Cannons’ home features prominently is stonework by local mason Brad Pranger. Granite stones rounded over the millennia by glacial activity in our valley are highly abundant in South Main. Set skillfully by Pranger’s artful hand, this “river rock” adorns the building’s foundation, climbs its porch piers and chimney. Kenny said he wanted the house to “look like it’s growing out of the ground, like it’s that rooted in its place and location. I wanted it to look like it could be no other place than BV. The quality and authentic detailing and materials were really important to me.” What is more, using a material which is so abundant on site eliminates the environmental impact associated with shipping in another type of stone from a distant location.
Making the Cannons’ design consistent with the local and regional architecture meant that the home would have a Victorian feel to it. According to Kenny, “Because Buena Vista and the towns in the surrounding area began and blossomed during the Victorian era of the late 1800’s, the ‘stock’ of historically significant buildings in the region is overwhelmingly Victorian.” Where Kenny’s skill as a designer really shines through, however, is in his ability to draw selectively upon the local architectural tradition, to, in his words, “borrow patterns and take them through a culturally contemporary filter.” This means foregoing some of the “‘fru-fru’ ornament and ‘gingerbread’ that mirrored the excessive wealth and exuberance of the ‘Gilded Era.’” Instead, a design like the Cannons’ incorporates those traditional design patterns which continue to make good, logical sense in our day and age (please click here for more about South Main’s architectural style and philosophy).
For instance, it still snows in Buena Vista; sometimes it snows a lot. Which is why many South Main homes, the Cannons included, incorporate steeply pitched steel roofs which shed snow effectively.
Most of Kenny’s designs, the Cannons’ included, incorporate an open feeling plan in the living area, a layout that allows people in the kitchen to interact with those in the dining and living room. Jeanie says of this interior layout “It is very cozy and will adapt well to our lifestyle of relaxed visiting.” All told, in designing the Cannons’ home, Kenny was “Looking for a way to freshly interpret the local architecture, while still respecting tradition.”
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