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The Homes of Brentwood

A look at life inside one of Springfield’s most beloved neighborhoods.

by Heather Kane Kohler

Sep 2023

Exterior photo of porch at home in Brentwood, Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon Alms Purchase Photo

When you hop on one of the winding streets of the Brentwood neighborhood, it may lead you to a hidden dead end street you didn’t know was there. It may take you to a large tree-lined lot full of wildlife, or you might end up at the front door of an expansive mid-century gem that sends you spiraling back in time. Brentwood is full of unexpected surprises at every turn. With a variety of unique homes, windy streets, rolling hills, large lots and mature beautiful trees, there’s a lot to be admired about the neighborhood that today is bound by Sunshine, Glenstone, Lone Pine and Battlefield Road. It's an eclectic neighborhood that seems to draw in artists and creatives of all types.

But to understand its history, one must travel back to 1875, when the land was simply farmland, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It remained farmland for many years, as it was considered too far from the city limits to be a successful subdivision. By 1944 William Wallis Smith, founder of Smith Glynn Callaway Clinic, acquired a majority of all the lots and by 1945 Dr. Smith had Brentwood Terrace plotted out as a subdivision.

By 1947 about 16 homes had been built in the neighborhood; and most were located on Wayland Drive, Luster Boulevard and Berkley. The neighborhood turned out to be a huge success. It was the farthest southeast subdivision in the Springfield area until Southern Hills was later developed. The neighborhood was given lots of exposure because the homes being built there were the latest craze, being called “The Ranch.” Other subdivisions, like Brentwood South, followed soon after.

Today, the Brentwood neighborhood has well over 1,000 homes and remains one of the most sought after places to live.

Painting of sunflowers
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe entry to the Holmes home features a painting by homeowner Mary Jane’s mother, Toni Arnett. Purchase Photo

The Holmes Home

When Tim and Mary Jane Holmes moved into their ranch-style Brentwood home in 1999, it really was a wish come true. The couple first spotted the home after dropping off their babysitter there one evening. They loved it and told the homeowners if they ever thought of selling it they’d be interested. Six months later, the deal was made, and Tim and Mary Jane had a new home to raise their family in.

“Field School was a big draw for us, as well as the back porch and the privacy,” Tim says. “We have just under an acre here.” The home also has a breezeway that leads to parking in the back of the home. “The concrete pad in the back was great for our kids riding their bikes and playing,” says Mary Jane.

Through the years the Holmeses embarked on small phases of renovations and recently finished a larger one, with the help of local interior designer Cindy Love. The couple considers their style to be transitional. “We just wanted our home to feel bright, airy and cheerful,” says Mary Jane. 

Holmes homeowners in Brentwood, Springfield MO

Tim and Mary Jane Holmes prep to host their neighborhood Back Porch Friends, a group of other Brentwood Neighborhood homeowners who meet monthly.

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Exterior of Holmes home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

The back porch stretches along the entire home, leaving plenty of room for plants and seating guests.

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Photos by Brandon Alms

It’s difficult not to fall in love with the art throughout the  family’s home. “Art runs in the family.” Mary Jane explains. It’s Mary Jane’s mother’s and sister’s art that adorns almost every wall in the home. Now that they’re both retired, the couple’s next project is turning the apartment connected by the breezeway into an art studio for them to enjoy.

As far as spending time in the home, Tim and Mary Jane enjoy entertaining friends and neighbors. “We have great neighbors.” says Mary Jane.  “A lot of people walk in the neighborhood, so you meet a lot of people.”

Mary Jane even started a group they call Back Porch Friends. “We meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month, and the host cooks,” Mary Jane says. “It all started on my back porch!”

When the couple isn’t entertaining they can be found working in the yard, and admiring the wildlife from their back porch. “I’ve seen foxes, turkeys, hawks, raccoons, skunks and possums,” says Tim. “The neighborhood is very eclectic and unique,” explains Tim. “Not everything is cookie cutter. You have to want to fix up a house to live here.”


The stories of Brentwood’s airport and the area’s famous restaurant and dance hall remain alive and well within many residents of Brentwood.

Half-a-Hill Tavern
Started in 1919, the well known and very happening Half-a-Hill Tavern was a restaurant that also had cabins you could rent. In the 1920s you could order their famous fried chicken dinner with a ½ of a fried chicken for 75 cents. Later they would add a dance hall and have bands like Granny’s Bathwater or Ozark Mountain Daredevils play. Today, it’s the Bambino’s restaurant on Battlefield and Lone Pine. 

McFarland’s Airport
Many would be surprised to hear there was an airport where Brentwood Shopping Center and Brentwood South sit today. In 1945, Enerst Howard McFarland purchased 160 acres of farmland located at the northeast corner of Glenstone and Barataria. He purchased a house and built a barn, three hangers and several runways. Many families in the neighborhood took their first plane ride from McFarland and the kids all enjoyed watching the planes take off and land.

Interior photo of the Hogan home, Brentwood, Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsBecky Hogan's dog, Lily, relaxes in a sunny pool house that was converted from a garage. Purchase Photo

The Hogan Home

When Becky Hogan happened upon a home for sale tucked away in Brentwood, it took her back to her childhood. “This home reminded me of the 50’s,” Becky says. “It was kind of like going home.” Flash forward 15 years and Becky can be found spending her summers swimming in her lap pool and reading books while lounging on her screened-in porch. “I always end up falling asleep out there on the porch,” says Becky. “It’s so peaceful.”

The lot is absolutely picturesque and completely tucked away on a dead end street. “I really like the seclusion of the neighborhood,” says Becky. Little was done to the interior of the home, and Becky took great pride in preserving its mid-century qualities.  She matched the original grass cloth wallpaper and recreated the original drapery for the expansive windows. “I did open the kitchen up and I created a larger master suite by losing one of the bedrooms,” says Becky. She also converted the garage into a pool house to accompany the lap pool and built a new garage. The stone for the pool and garage was very closely matched to the original stone of the home. 

Interior photo of sunroom in Hogan home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

This screened-in porch is the perfect spot to curl up and get cozy. Homeowner Becky Hogan uses it as a reading spot.

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Pool at Hogan home in Brentwood, Springfield MO

Nothing beats a backyard oasis, and this lap pool is a beautiful place to get a little workout.

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Photos by Brandon Alms

Becky considers her style to be eclectic and mid-century. She decorates her home with monochromatic color schemes with a pop of color here or there. Her affinity for horses is apparent in Becky’s art and sculptures throughout her home. “I love horses. I grew up with them as a young adult and even showed briefly,” says Becky. Her Great Pyrenees doodle dog, Lilly, enjoys the quiet escape of the neighborhood as much as Becky, taking walks together and greeting their neighbors. “Our neighbors are amazing,”  says Becky. “We really take care of each other here.”

The Rasmussen Home

Little was done to the mid-century charmer after Lizzie Rasmussen and her family moved in three years ago. They did a few cosmetic things to the home like changing out hardware and lighting, but a lot of the original mid-century style shines through. Lizzie and her daughter Betty and son Albert, both of whom will be attending Pershing this fall, share an affinity for mid-century style and lots of color. One can’t help but swoon over the massive sorbet-colored sectional and loads of artwork created by her sisters, Julie Blackmon and Rosie Winstead, that fill up the main living space. Auggie, their cocker spaniel, even seems to be the perfect picturesque pup for the eclectic home.

Lizzie’s love for mid-century style hasn’t gone unnoticed in the neighborhood either. Many of her neighbors have brought her into their homes for design help. “I love mid-century homes for their easy living, practicality, and all the storage,” says Lizzie. She considers her overall style to be eclectic and enjoys collecting cool one-of-a-kind items. “I’m sorry, I love my tchotchkes,” says Lizzie. 

Piano in Rasmussen home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

Lizzie Rasmussen played piano while attending Missouri State University. She acquired this piano from an auction.

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Dining room in Rasmussen home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

The dining room’s large arched windows look out onto a tennis court where Lizzie Rasmussen hosts concerts.

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Photos by Brandon Alms

Her unique home is what drew Lizzie and her family to the Brentwood neighborhood but it’s their neighbors that keep them staying put. “Everyone in the neighborhood is so fun,” says Lizzie. “We all value our privacy, but we’re all here for one another too.” Lizzie loves to host musical concerts on her tennis courts. “I call them ‘Concerts on the Court’ and I use the ticket sales to raise money for my nonprofit, Camp House,” says Lizzie. Whether you attend one of her concerts or stop into one of her amazing garage sales, Lizzie’s door always seems to be open to whoever may wander by.


Clyde Julian “Red” Foley came to Springfield to host The Ozark Jubilee broadcasted live on the ABC Television network on Saturday nights from the Jewel Theater. Red lived at 2531 S. Brentwood Blvd. until he moved from Springfield. Older neighbors say there was always a party at Red’s!

“Pretty Boy Floyd”
Jim Westmoreland worked and lived on the property of Half-a-Hill Tavern. One morning Jim had quite a thrill when “Pretty Boy Floyd” dropped in for some breakfast. “Pretty Boy Floyd’s” real name was Charles Arthur Floyd. He was a famous bank robber in the 1920s and 1930s, known for burning people’s mortgage paperwork during his robberies.

“King of Cowboys”
Legend has it Tom Mix, an American western film actor, pulled up in his Rolls Royce and stepped out in his cowboy outfit and a large white Stetson. He said he had come for some of that famous fried chicken Half-a-Hill was known for.

Exterior photo of Sapp home, Brentwood, Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsLindsey and Ben Sapp play in their front yard with their son, Cohen. Purchase Photo

The Sapp Home

It was all about the location and the beautiful setting that drew Ben Sapp and his family to the house that is now their home in Brentwood. “It was the worst house on the block,” says Ben. “It sat vacant for some time, was covered in mold and had basketball sized holes.” The giant renovation began in 2017 and the whole home was reimagined. “We wiped the floor plan completely, and moved the kitchen entirely,” says Ben.

Today, Ben, his wife, Lindsey, and their four-year-old son, Cohen, enjoy the new modern aesthetic of their Brentwood home, along with all the square footage it offers and the perks of being centrally located. “Brentwood has big houses with lots of square footage,” says Ben. “I also like being 15 minutes from the office.” You can find a lot of different styles of homes on the Sapps street. “Every home is different. It’s not the same modern farmhouse built over and over.” 

Dining room in Sapp home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

The Sapp home features plenty of open spaces, like dining area that feels both cozy and airy.

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Kitchen area in Sapp home, Brentwood, Springfield MO

Perfect for hosting, the Sapps’ bar greets guests coming down the staircase.

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Photos by Brandon Alms

The Sapp home sits on top of a hill and has beautiful views that are difficult to find living in a neighborhood. “We love all the established trees in the neighborhood,” says Ben. “We didn’t want a cookie-cutter home with bare landscaping.” The uniqueness of the neighborhood appeals to the Sapps and their busy lifestyle. They enjoy taking the paths down to Field Elementary for their son, Cohen, to play on the playground. “It’s like our own little neighborhood park.” says Ben.