​The Vitas T. and Evelyn Thomas House 
(1966)
North Bay
Hans M. Geyer, an architect who practiced in Racine from 1950 through 1978, designed this house in the Contemporary style that was most popular between 1945 and 1965.  His design was heavily influence by the International style, which emerged in the 1920s and 1930s and was nearly void of ornamentation.  The uncluttered architectural lines are capped with a simple flat roof to define the interior spaces that flow together. The exterior siding consists of natural materials, including vertical 1x4 tongue and groove flush cedar wood, brick and brick veneer.  Window expanses and sliding glass doors serve to unite the interior spaces with the surrounding landscape and also serve to bring daylight into the house.  The interior structural wood plank ceiling and laminated wood beams are carried through to the flat-roof overhangs, further extending the coupling of interior and exterior spaces. There is a ribbon of windows, set flush to the exterior, along the bedroom wing on the north façade.   Interior materials also include oak and slate flooring, wood columns, wood plank stair treads and painted gypsum board walls.

The Contemporary style was adaptable to sloping lots, as in this case, allowing for a rear step-down story where the recreation room and a half-bath are located.  The first floor consists of the kitchen-family room, a combination living room and dining room, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a utility room.   Racine architect John C. Murphy, AIA, assisted with drawing the house plans while he was still a student employed seasonally by Hans M. Geyer.

The street-side approach presents a continuous wall formed by the garage doors, a doorway, and a brick privacy wall that is topped by a wooden pergola.  The wall door opens into a courtyard that leads to the main entry to the house.  Internationally recognized Charles Walter Holzbog of Madison, Wisconsin was the original landscape architect.

Vitas Thomas was the founder and president of Tomco Company in Racine which manufactured hydraulic parts. He was a veteran sailor and raced in over 20 Mackinac sailboat races, the longest freshwater sailing event in the world. He was life-long member of the Racine Yacht Club serving as commodore in 1947. He and his wife Evelyn were the parents of five daughters. Through the years other owners of this house have included Karen H. Keland, Robert and Kathryn Finder, Mark and Debbie Veenstra and the Dr. Jorge Pinero family.

Preservation Racine is most grateful to Richard and Laurie Kobor, the current owners, for allowing their property to be included in the tour.