Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Francis Bennett House, Baltimore, MD

The Francis Bennett House, Baltimore, MD. 1857
Continuing with other fine Anglo-Italianate homes around Mt. Vernon in Baltimore, I was struck by this seemingly dingy row house at 17 W. Mulberry. Built in 1857 for Francis W. Bennett, an auctioneer. It has recently been restored and is used as a hostel. The house follows the row house plan and is constructed out of what seems to be brownstone that is in desperate need of cleaning. Typical Anglo-Italianate features dominate the facade. We have the usual thick molding around the windows and door with a dentiled cornice and foliate brackets. The main door is arched with simple panels in the spandrels, and it is recessed with a paneled vestibule area. The cornice is irregularly large for a Baltimore house. Instead of having a row of small brackets between the frieze and the cornice, this house raises the cornice another level, inserting a second frieze that has a motif of panels surrounding a central bulls eye, a motif that is repeated over the windows. Thus the panel cornice with its thick, long brackets is superimposed upon a horizontal one, which is a particular eccentricity of this house. Some images of the interior, which balances period fixtures with inventive murals suitable to a hostel and music venue can be found here. The following images show some details.

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