Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Elizabeth Howell House and the Thomas Gaussen House, Cincinnati, OH

Howell House, Cincinnati, OH. 1870s. Photos: HABS

Photo: John Smith Photography
Both of these rowhouse plan houses are emblematic of the more simple facades that can be found on Dayton Street.

This house (842 Dayton) was built in the late 1870s by Elizabeth Howell, although it is often known for being owned later by Louis Hauck. The design is very simple with round arched windows on the first floor and segmental arched windows on the second. The really interesting part is the entrance, which has heavy rusticated quoins surrounding the arched door. The play with rustication (exaggerating the joins between blocks of stone) is found in the over-sized voussoirs over the first floor windows. The brackets in this house are very strange, basically blocks of wood with finials that create a kind of fringe effect rather than a strong bracket division of cornice. The rustication is a feature especially found in Anglo-Italianate design, and the door, in some ways, resembles Federal designs.

Gaussen House, Cincinnati, OH. 1868. Photo: HABS
 This house (808 Dayton) was built by Elijah Meering and sold immediately to Louis Gaussen, a gas stove merchant in 1868. At the head of the avenue, it is a plain design that belies the elaborate facades along the street. With a plain facade, punctuated by round headed windows, the Gaussen house has a sort of quiet elegance. The simple window moldings have decorated keystones, and a Greek anthemion stands over the door with its neo-Grec pilasters. The cornice is paneled with oval windows. These two houses show the average design of Cincinnati Italianates. The style as its most commonly found in the city is just like the Gaussen house, with a touch of neo-Grec, simple molding on the windows, and a lot of emphasis on the elaborate cornice.

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