The services of a Kansas City architectural firm, A. Van Brunt and Brother, were obtained to design a spacious residence and complex of supporting structures.
Adriance Van Brunt had come to Kansas City around 1880 and with his brother John enjoyed rapid success.
He was a believer in the City Beautiful Movement and for a decade was a member of the Board of Park Commissioners. This outlook and experiences made him a singular architect to transform wild Ha Ha Tonka into the “gentleman’s estate” the senior Snyder desired.
From Ha Ha Tonka State Park History: He envisioned a European-style castle with 60 rooms and a center atrium rising three and one-half stories to a skylight. He also planned a water tower, greenhouses and stables.
The materials were extracted from the area, with sandstone quarried nearby and transported by a mule-drawn wagon and miniature railroad.
Construction of his dream home in the Ozarks began in 1905. Robert M. Snyder was killed in a car accident in Kansas City in October of 1906 and it was left to his sons to complete.