Thursday, March 5, 2015

The James Laws House, Cincinnati, OH

The James Laws House, Cincinnati, OH. 1860s. John Smith Photography
Photos: HABS
The James Laws house, built in the 1860s (many dates for the houses on Dayton street are unclear because of a fire that destroyed records) is an interesting brick house on a street of limestone mansions. James Laws' daughters were particularly famous as spinsters who established kindergartens and nursing schools. Planwise, the house is difficult to classify. One could call it a rowhouse with a short wing on the side, however, in looking at the volumes and fenestration, I might say that it's actually an irregular plan house in which the facade has been completely flattened and all the recesses and projections have been flattened out with the tower removed. Regardless, the house displays many Anglo-Italianate features in its simple design. The facade is brick with limestone trim, including quoins at the corners, a Renaissance limestone entablature, and rafter brackets that are closely spaced, suggesting dentils. The windows are segmental arched and have a rectangular surround with a simple strip of molding at the top. The main door is round arched with a molding that has carved floral "capitals" and a curved keystone. Simple and spare, the house is a model design on the street.

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