Peanut brittle? That’s a descriptive name applied to the outside surface of the three 1907 houses on Westmount Avenue, according to an article written by Jim Muench in the February/March 2006 issue of Columbia Home & Lifestyle.
The homes at 504, 608 and 704 Westmount Avenue were named to the Notable Properties List of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission in 2001.
In 2012, the house at 704 Westmount was put up for sale and here you can take a peek inside.
The article in Columbia Home & Lifestyles, entitled, “The Pebbled Pickett Home,” outlines the construction process of the home as well provides information on the owner 608 Westmount Avenue home and builder of the unusual threesome of houses with their distinctive look.
The exterior of the home was built by pouring concrete into a form over a layer of river rock and sand. The rock and pebbles were, the article notes, ” hauled up from local streambeds by wagons and mule teams.”
At the time of the article, 608 Westmount Ave. was occupied by Edward E. Pickett, who moved there in 1957. Pickett is a retired biochemistry professor, which gives him a connection to the man who built the three “peanut brittle” homes, Winterton C. Curtis. He says a journalist tagged the look of the home as “peanut brittle.”
The builder of the homes, Curtis was a native of New England, the article notes. Like Pickett at 608 Westmount, Curtis was a professor at the University of Missouri. Curtis was a professor of zoology and dean of the College of Arts and Science. Today, a building on the University of Missouri campus is named after him — it is not in the peanut brittle style. In 2010, the Curtis Building housed Agronomy, a Plant Sciences Unit and USDA Agriculture Research.
The Pickett home at 608 Westmount Avenue, the article notes had the following owners:
Hedrick family – Hedrick was an MU professor of engineering
Robbins family — Robbins was an MU botany professor
Gauntlet family – Gauntlet was a Stephens College music professor
Daniel Brady — Brady was an MU professor of animal science
Edward E. Pickett