Friday, August 16, 2013

The Daniel Barrows House, Galena, IL

The Daniel Barrows House, Galena, IL 1858-9 Photo: sfgamchick
Galena, IL is one of the best preserved Victorian towns in the US. It's charming streets and wonderfully preserved architecture make it a prime spot to look at interesting homes. The Daniel Barrows house was built in 1858-1859 for a local merchant in a variety of concerns. It later became an Odd Fellows hall and in 1938 was sold to the city of Galena for use as a museum, a use it retains to this day. The house is of a simple but grand design, following the symmetrical plan and faced in brick with wooden accents. The central bay is distinguished by a deep projection and pilasters laid in the brickwork. Each of the windows on the facade has a classical pediment, and the sparseness of ornament on the windows gives it a slightly Greek revival air. Federal design is present in the shallow curve of the transom over the door. A town like Galena in the relatively new state of Illinois was bound to be a bit behind the times! The cornice features a full classical architrave and frieze with double s-curve brackets. Within the central pediment, there is an interesting wooden fringe that further defines the central bay. Another interesting feature is the broad patio which runs along the front of the house and curves gracefully around the porch; the woodwork on which it sits is a particularly fine example of the jigsaw. The chimneys look like they have some interesting blind arches in the brickwork. I do wish that the wood of the cornice were painted to match the porch and window pediments. I am not sure whether this is historical coloring or not, but it seems to me like mid-19th century owners would have wanted it painted to look like uniform brownstone trim!

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