Saturday, January 11, 2014

The John Foos House, Springfield, OH

The John Foos House, Springfield, OH. 1870 Photo: Wikimedia
The John Foos house at 810 is perhaps the most imposing Italianate in the East High Street Historic District. The house follows the symmetrical plan with a projecting central bay and is across the street from the Rinehart-Bowman house to which it bears a resemblance. It was built by John Foos in 1870, making it contemporary with the other houses in the area. Foos was one of Springfield's most important and diverse manufacturers, running mills and making sewing machines and agricultural equipment. The house's pretensions match Foos' wealth. It is faced in limestone and the facade is defined by a strong belt course molding and engaged pilasters at the corners. Everywhere the house has thick Renaissance detail embellished with carving, a level of elaboration characteristic of the 1870s. As in the Rinehart-Bowman house, the first floor windows are segmentally arched while those above are rectangular with Eastlake incosed carving. The surrounds have heavy molding, pilasters, columns, and brackets. The pilasters and the porch columns are broken up with horizontal bands; again, this level of elaboration and the complexity of the column with all those extra moldings are very 1870s. I personally like that the facade's plain stone sets off the elaboration around the windows. The porch itself features an impressive stone balustrade rather than the expected iron.

The cornice is paneled, featuring s curve brackets and is broken by windows. The central bay is particularly emphasized by a broken pediment with a central urn and jigsaw foliage carvings. This broken pediment is similar to that found in the Kies House in Cleveland. The painting of the cornice to resemble darker brownstone is appropriate to Victorian color schemes. Perhaps the most unique feature of the house is the second door on the left side, which is particularly odd. I am not sure why a second door was included on the front, but it might have led to Foos' office. At any rate, it is an unexpected feature. Also, the front of the house has a patio running the entire front facade with an iron fence surrounding it. With so many original and interesting details, the Foos house is one of the most impressive specimens in Springfield.

1 comment:

  1. . The side/second exterior door opens into a little foyer and a second door, into what could have been an office. From inside the office, the foyer area looks like a large built-in cabinet with a roof. It's very interesting. I love this house.