Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Edward Payson Ferry House, Grand Haven, MI

The Edward Ferry House, Grand Haven, MI. 1872 Photo: Ed Post
The Edward Ferry house in Grand Haven is a breathtaking example of the elaboration (some might say monstrification) of architectural forms in the 1870s. Built in 1872, it follows a traditional side hall plan, with clapboards, but the simplicity of the plan is made up for in details. The window molds are particularly zany. The windows themselves are shallowly arched, but are surrounded by a flat topped trefoil molding surounted by a pediment with shelves. This is further modified by turnings, decorated keystones, incised designs, and s-curves to give it an eared shape.The cornice is even interrupted by the pediments that jut into the frieze. The cornice as well is complex, with elaborate brackets, hexagonal windows and panels, and a unique feature, an overhanging fringe with incised decoration. The fringe, contrary to what we've seen, does not come at the architrave below the frieze, but is set on the upper part of the frieze. Thus, the cornice is paneled with a fringe band. The side has another interesting feature, an elliptical window with a pediment above it, a rarity in Italianate design. The steps are an unfortunate addition, which could have occured sometime in the earlier 20th century. I imagine that originally, there was a flight of stone steps with some over the top balustrade that echoed the fun of the house. It is currently a vacation rental property and bed and breakfast. The site of the house has some interior pictures.

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