Monday, February 9, 2015

The Millar-Wheeler House, Utica, NY

The Millar-Wheeler House, Utica, NY. 1866
Photo: Wikimedia
The Millar-Wheeler house is a spectacular Italianate on Genesee Street in Utica built in 1866. Following the increasing trend for elaboration found in the 1860s and 1870s, the house displays an interesting combination of complex ornament and simplicity in wall treatment. The house is a symmetrical plan Italianate, but it verges on the central tower plan because the cupola has been pushed to the front of the house and simulates a tower because the central bay slightly projects. The treatment of the windows is simple, with plain window molding surrounds topped by pediments.

The real treat on this house is the carpentry. The porch construction is particularly eye-catching. The porch itself around the arched door features not only paneled columns, but an elaborate dentilled and bracketed cornice, and an interesting open arch spanning the interior of the porch arches. Above is a five bay, half octagonal, sengmental arched window that shows the same elaborate ornament. In all cases, the design features turnings and cut out designs (fleur de lys, cartouches, quatrefoils) that create the built-up, carved look seen on a lot of houses in the 60s. The cupola itself continues the elaborate design with tombstone windows, Corinthian pilasters, and thick brackets. Small embedded pediments are on each side of the tower cornice. The main cornice of the house, which has s curve brackets, is of the horizontal type but there is an interesting feature where the third floor windows that are in the entablature are flanked by brackets and have a free floating fringe hanging over them, like a truncated wooden awning. There is also a simple side porch on the left hand facade. The house is currently a bed and breakfast called Rosemont Inn, and pictures of some of the interior can be found here.


  1. I wonder if this was the house of Charles Millar, who manufactured sewer pipe in Utica, an excellent business to be in when the country was growing so rapidly.

    I am immensely enjoying this series on Italianate houses, one of my favorite styles, and I look forward to each installment.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised; many of these houses were built by manufacturers, and to live on Genesee St. would require a certain level of wealth. I am glad you're enjoying, Jim!