Monday, January 13, 2014

The Susan Sturges House, Mansfield, OH

The Susan Sturges House, Mansfield, OH. 1880 Photo: Wikimedia
The Susan Sturges House (NRHP) in Mansfield is located at 317 Park Ave. in Mansfield and was occupied by Sturges, an important local philanthropist. It is a late wooden Italianate from c. 1880, but the home appears to embody the style of the 1860s and 70s rather than the stripped down version of Italianate seen in the 80s. The house follows the rotated side tower plan with a long bay on the left side of the front and a short bay on the right side, giving the front an asymmetrical appearance. The two story front porch, an unusual feature, may be a later addition to the house; it certainly suggests more southern precedents. If it is later, it was designed to harmonize in a simplified form with the more elaborate side porch seen in the back. The house has simple eared, pedimented window surrounds that suggest Greek Revival style, but these are enlivened by keystones with incised Eastlake carving. The brackets are simple s-curve types, and the cornice includes elliptical panels and windows, a feature commonly seen in earlier decades. The feature I like most about the house is the fantastic wooden awning highlighted in the photograph below. Unlike the commonly seen forms with a half hip roof that slopes, this one has a triangular gable the curves and is enlivened by wooden gingerbread. This is a truly delightful feature!

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