Monday, March 9, 2015

The Chauncey Murch House, Cincinnati, OH

The Murch House, Cincinnati, OH. 1860s John Smith Photography
Other Photos: HABS
The Chauncey Murch house is another of the fine Anglo-Italianate homes on Dayton Street built sometime before 1868. The house is in line with the other limestone Italianates on the street, following the rowhouse plan. This house is notable for its rustication on both the first and second floors, increasing the horizontal flow of the house. It's not the amount of ornament in this house, but its careful application. The windows are all round headed; on the first floor simple moldings and keystones embellish them, while on the second, they are set in rectangular surrounds with moldings on top and simple carved spandrels. The decoration of the balcony (whose underside is even carved!) above the porch is particularly impressive. The thickly carved acanthus leaf brackets surround the arch which has a plaque in the center with leaves pouring into the spandrels. The balcony above is also of stone and displays the traditional oval and circle French balustrade design. The cornice is particularly elaborate. Little of the entablature can be seen because of the large windows that punctuate it. The brackets themselves are thick and paired, with a dentil molding in the center of each bracket and smaller brackets between. This makes the cornice seem rather ponderous, but nonetheless, this is in line with other houses in Cincinnati, with their overwhelming cornices. Inside, the interiors have all the elegance one would expect, although there is an odd arch in the parlor with a segmental arch enclosing a round arch.

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