Friday, June 7, 2013

The George Reuling House, Baltimore, MD

The George Reuling House, Baltimore, MD. 1860
I thought this house would provide a good foil for the Schumacher house with which it shares some characteristics. It is directly next door to the Albert house at 103 West Monument Street. According to this site, the architect was Louis Long, the designer of the neighboring Albert house, and the client was Dr. George Reuling, a German immigrant who was an eye and ear doctor (1896 directory). The house was also the home of a Mrs. William Reed (1902) and the Mt. Vernon Club (1920s). Long must have been inspired by the Schumacher house a few blocks away, since he adopted the same odd second floor balcony and bay window over a rusticated basement, though the Reuling house has a central entrance, windows on the sides of the bay, and a fourth full floor, making it a variant on the row house plan. The house starts with a rusticated first floor with a central door, whose placement helps integrate the bay window into the design better. The bay window itself seems to have been damaged, and is based on that of the Schumacher house is having a frame and light projection around the center bay. On closer view, there are panels on the left side above the cable molded surround which are missing on the right. No doubt, the stone base, which is probably brownstone, delaminated. The balustrade running into the wall without a post at the edge is also uncommon. The second story has a smaller bay window than the Schumacher house and a wider facade, which allows it to keep up the triple bay scheme of the facade.

The other floors proceed as expected. The facade might be stuccoed or painted; it is hard to tell. The window surrounds of the house are very spare, with plain moldings, brackets, and cornices, as is the main entablature and cornice. Considering it is next door to a rather exuberant house, it might be that Dr. Reuling preferred to create a contrast with restrained ornament. The door has an interesting vestibule, as it is arched and inset into the facade like many Baltimore doors. This image shows that there is a small saucer dome, pendantives, and arched panels in the entryway, a particularly elaborate feature. The glass also seems to be etched. I found an image on Flickr of the house's staircase and hallway that shows many of the architectural details may be intact. Again, Baltimore does not disappoint with a good example of Anglo-Italianate design, so significant to that city.

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