Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Thomas Jefferson Southard House, Richmond, ME

The Southard House, Richmond, ME. 1855 Photo: Taoab
The Thomas Jefferson Southard house, at Richmond, ME, was built in 1855 for one of the largest shipyard owners in Maine. Southard was also an important state politician and was a big developer in Richmond. He might have been the designer of the house, according to the HABS data pages, since he learned joining as a youth, but he also might have bought some plans. The house is considered one of Maine's most important Italianate homes and is built on an impressive scale. The Southard house follows the symmetrical plan and has clapboard siding with verge boards at the corners. The detailing and state of preservation are impressive. On the first floor, the window surrounds are plain enough, but a panel with flanking brackets support deep balconies for the segmental arched windows on the second floor that have rectangular eared moldings and cornices. The front door has the glass surround within an arch and a strong front porch with large brackets that might have a touch of the Indian about it. A unique feature of the door surround is the glass, which is painted elaborately with figures and rococo swirls. The central window on the second floor consists of two tombstone windows joined by a common arch, simulating the effect of Venetian tracery. The cornice has paired brackets and an interesting cut wooden fringe running underneath the eave. Other interesting features include the almost Gothic, pointed arch porch to the side which looks to have been glassed in and filled in at an early date, a beatuiful cupola with brackets and inverted brackets framing it at the corners, and a tent roof porch resting on brackets on the left facade. The following photographs from HABS show views of the house and interiors. 

 The interesting painted glass on the glass door surround.

 A view of the interesting wallpaper treatment in the library.

A view of the house when it was new.

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