Monday, September 9, 2013

The Schlosser House, Attica, IN

The Schlosser House, Attica, IN. 1865 Photo: Wikimedia
Sorry to have been remiss lately. With classes starting and all I have just been swamped, but I promise not to give up. This house, the Schlosser house, in Attica, IN was built in 1865 as a symmetrical plan house, but being in a small town in Indiana it has some unusual vernacular features. First, the lintels over the windows that consist of simple pieces of stone inserted into the facade (called labels) are a strong Greek Revival element. Here, they are heavily carved with Greek designs of acanthus with palmettes; the fact that the owner has picked them out in paint helps a great deal in noticing the design elements. The porch on the front is an elaborate affair, with complex fretwork scrolls (that have the air of steamboat Gothic about them). The central piece of fretwork between the two bracket shaped pieces is particularly interesting. The facing is brick, which forms a band to make an architrave that has paired double s-curve brackets under the eave. The side porch is startlingly simple, being basically simple posts without even a full entablature. However, the simplicity of the wooden design is not reflected in the elaborate cast iron balustrade over the porch, which is a lovely feature and was obviously designed to be used as a balcony, given the elongation of the second floor windows on that side. Although the paint scheme is probably not historical (they would never have picked out stone details like that), I rather like it with its mix of blacks, yellows, and greens. It goes to show that even when historical colors aren't used, a pleasing picture can be formed. The yellows and blacks are in fact harmonious Victorian colors, so it does even out. Even though the house was built in 1865, it is aesthetically a throwback to the early 1850s in its design, showing that regionalism could often trump high style taste.

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