Monday, February 29, 2016

The Francis House, Troy, NY

The Francis House, Troy, NY. 1846.
This is perhaps the most fantastical house on the square. It was built for Hiram Slocum in 1846, but is named after the Francis family who purchased it in 1866 and remodeled the front in the 1880s. The remodel, or remuddle, no doubt altered what was a typical brownstone, Anglo-Italianate, row house plan structure into a cascade of balconies, overhangs, and an impressive Italianate box window. The pilasters on the first floor suggest there may have originally been pilasters supporting three arched openings with molded surrounds. The second floor probably had a box window with simple surrounds. It's been said the Francis family traveled frequently to Europe, and this might explain their desire to jazz up the house and make it even more Italian with multiple balconies, made of thin columns and an impressive metal, fringed awning. I particularly like how nicely handled the third floor box window is with its Venetian tracery, close packed brackets, and delicate metalwork appliques. The balustrade at the top completes the house's European pretentions.

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