A blog devoted to American Italianate architecture of the 19th century. This blog features architectural analyses of Italianate domestic buildings with images, and historical information. My plan is to show the varieties, regional vernacular of Italianate architecture.
Monday, July 8, 2013
The Silas M. Clark House, Indiana, PA
The Silas M. Clark House, Indiana, PA. 1868-70 Photo: Wikimedia
This is almost a textbook irregular plan house from the 1860s. The Silas M. Clark house in Indiana, PA, a town of many historic homes, was built between 1868 and 1870. Clark was a teacher, lawyer, and politician whose home was given to the public by his son in 1918 to be a soldiers' memorial hall. It currently serves as a memorial hall. This house has a refreshing exuberance to it. There is the elaborate detailing expected of a house in this period. There are hood moldings over every window, a fancy feature to the house. The thick moldings look like cast iron, a feature of the period, and have leafy brackets and keystones. Their presence over the round windows is particularly striking. The windows themselves vary between round headed and segmental arched; their disposition on the facade is exactly as one would expect. The bay window duplicates the elaboration of the hood moldings, and the porch has trefoil flat topped arches with panels in the spandrels. The door has a small bracketed hood over it rather than a porch; there are carvings in the spandrels around the door. It seems to me that the house is missing some balustrades, probably over the door and the bay window. The cornice is of the paneled type. I really like how the cornice works with long brackets, smaller dentil like brackets, and panels. The facade is further enlivened with quoins in the brickwork, which give some facade texture without being too apparent. The tower is the crowning piece, with triple arched windows that unusually have hood moldings over them. The pediments on the tower cornice are another very fancy feature. The whole is topped by a finial that has been restored, since it was destroyed in the 1920s. This house is one in which every piece works harmoniously, ever part jibes together stylistically, and nothing is overpowered or out of place.