529 Elms Boulevard
The stylistic features of this gable-front house are derived from the Neoclassical style, with the exception of the front porch (which is one-story, rather than the typical full-height Neoclassical porch). The two story house is clad with narrow wood clapboards. The moderately pitched gable-front roof presents a pedimented facade, and has boxed, widely overhanging eaves with large, flat brackets. Beneath is a very wide, elaborated entablature of Doric derivation, having triglyphs alternating with metopes with circular medallions on the front elevation. This entablature in turn is supported by massive engaged panelled pilasters on the corners of the building. The three-quarter width, one-story porch with flat roof has an identical entablature, supported by large, tapering round columns with a simple, cushion capital. The flat roof forms a second story balcony porch, with decorative jig-sawn balustrade in a "starbrust" pattern. The first story porch has simple square wood balusters. The front elevation is two-bays wide, with the entry door off-center. It has sidelights and a transom above. The windows vary in size, but all are double-hung sash. Those on the front (west) elevation are paired, and have sashes in a "starbrust" pattern. The attic level has a group of three, smaller windows, and those on the side elevations are one-over-one. There is a one-story bay with gable roof on each of the side elevations. the south elevation has an exterior chimney as well. There is a one-story, hip roof rear addition.
The Ashley Rooms
Constructed sometime between 1909 and 1913, the house has retained a high degree of architectural integrity. In 1917, the residents were Mrs. M.A. Ashley, Margaret Culp, Maudine Beery and Eldina Kropf. In 1922, Mrs. M.A. Ashley was listed as the owner and she still resided there in 1940. A pamphlet of uncertain date published by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway lists this as the Ashley Rooms in its directory of Hotels and Boarding Houses. Mrs. Minnie Ashley was the proprietor. Three were three rooms, which let for $1.50 and up per day, or $7.00 and up per week. In was referred to variously as the Ashley Rooms, or simply The Ashley. The building was located in a residential block which included single-family homes as well as apartments and boarding houses. Adjacent to the south were the Pickwick Apartments, now demolished.
It is a virtually intact example of a popular 20th-century style, which has been adapted to the unique residential property types found in Excelsior Springs. Many houses in the city also had a one-story front porch with a second-story balcony above. This was to provide all the boarders access to the street views. It appears that Mr. Ashley, at least in the 1910's, did take in boarders. Therefore, a full-height front porch, such as that found in typical Neoclassical style, would not have been practical for this type of residence in Excelsior Springs.