Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The David Q. Liggett House, Wooster, OH

The David Q. Liggett House, Wooster, OH. 1861 Photos: Wikimedia

The David Q. Liggett house, which goes by a variety of names based on those of different owners, was built in 1861 for a significant merchant in the town. It follows the irregular plan, but since the recessed wing is so short (only one bay) it gives the impression of following the rotated side tower plan. The house seems to have been altered by successive owners who added in the late 19th or early 20th century a Colonial Revival porch and glassed in vestibule. You can see from how this wraparound porch marrs the facade how troublesome it is to mix architectural vocabularies. Still it has a bit of charm, like a sock thats been mended with many colorful patches. A large and exuberant Second Empire addition seems to be attached at the back. The strapwork adorning the facade is also probably an older addition, suggesting the influence of the Stick Style or Queen Anne. Still the house retains most of its Italianate features. The design of the facade is simple enough, with plain molded surrounds adorning the windows which are jazzed up a bit on the round arched window on the tower. I'd guess that if the strapwork is not original, the house was brick or stuccoed. The cornice again is plain with double s-curve brackets and an architrave molding; the cornice continues around the tower with a particularly large roof, making it seem like the tower is stuck on the roof rather than an independent entity. The tower is a particularly cool example. It has double tombstone windows with thick moldings. Instead of the usual hip roof, though, it has a sharply angled hip roof with a small monitor with semi-circular windows topped by an iron cresting. This is a lovely little feature that makes some steps toward Second Empire without embracing the mansard roof. Although the house is well painted, I do think the pink a bit much. After all, who really wants to live in a doll house?

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