Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The John Hardy House, Newcomerstown, OH

The John Hardy House, Newcomerstown, OH. 1874 Photo: scottamus
The John Hardy house in Newcomerstown (quite the town name!), built in 1874 was lovingly restored after a fire that require much of the interior to be restored, but it nonetheless has all of its amazing details and grandeur thanks to its invested owners (who by the way seem to have a lot of plants). The house, although in a small town, would fit in in any urban community with its grand central tower plan. Executed in brick, the trim of the windows and door is stone, and the owners have appropriately painted the wooden trim to match and simulate the stone. Score one for historic paint schemes! The windows alternate in style; the main facade windows are segmental arched with pedimented hood moldings, while the windows on each distinctive feature (bay window and tower) are round headed with Venetian tracery. A similar variation between body and tower can be found in the cornices, with a regular paneled cornice and brackets (s-curve) on the body and a more high style dentil cornice on the tower. The top stage of the tower itself has impressive engaged pediments with a heavy paneled cornice and a cluster of three arched windows (a constant nod to Romanesque bell towers). Two of the features on this house are particularly impressive. First is the door surround, a very urban looking stone door with pilasters, entablature, and an engaged round pediment, similar to those we saw on the Hauck house in Cincinnati, although it is perhaps a little bit less ornamented. Second is the amazing lacy ironwork at the top of the tower. Though most Italianates with towers have, or had, some sort of finial on the tower, this house has a cascade of thin wrought iron in rococo rocailles and fantastic blossoms that make me think of some vine growing on the house. Not only is this uncommon, but it is extremely rare that it survived and allows us to view how people in the country could come up with designs that have whimsy and uniqueness.

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