Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Horace C. Starr House, Elyria, OH

The Horace C. Starr House, Elyria, OH. 1857 Photo: Wikimedia
The Horace C. Starr house in Elyria, OH at first glance seems like a typical symmetrical plan villa of the 1850s. Built by Starr in 1857, it is currently the home of the Lorraine County History Center. It has the typical features of an early Italianate house: stucco siding, cupola, paired brackets dividing the bays, and simple Renaissance detailing around the windows. The use of triangular, straight, and curved pediment hood moldings are often found in villas of this periodand hearkens back to Palladian and Renaissance precedents.. What is unique are the eccentric brackets. The brackets are pierced and instead of conforming to the expected design of brackets, they are formed by a large s-curve that includes several spirals emerging from the form and complicating the design. The ends of the brackets are capped by a finial. These transform an otherwise simple house into a truly interesting piece of design. There are a few houses in Ohio that seem to have these types of open spiral brackets, so it seems to be a vernacular element peculiar to Ohio and perhaps some local carpenter.

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