Friday, February 19, 2016

The Thomas Lappin House, Janesville, WI

Thomas Lappin House, Janesville, WI. 1864 Photo: Sarah Lawver
The Thomas Lappin house in Janesville is a fine example of a side hall plan that oddly functions like a symmetrical plan, built in 1864 for a major early merchant in the town. It was designed by the architect Gary Nettleton, a local designer responsible for many Janesville houses. The house has several fine features; although the there is no central projection, symmetrical emphasis is achieved by an open pediment, a central arched window on the second floor, and a pediment on the central bay of the porch. This is in conflict with the side hall entrance. The house's details are dignified, with simple Greek revival eared window and door surrounds with crown moldings; the windows on the first floor are flat while the second floor alternates between rectangular, round, and segmental arched windows whose alternation makes a pleasing effect. There is an odd diamond window on the right side. The whole facade is outlined with verge boards at the corners. The porch is grand, fully bracketed with paired columns that alternately create arched and filleted openings. The cornice type, which seems common in Janesville, is heavily sculpted with paired c scroll brackets, secondary brackets, and dentils with a thick architrave molding, giving it a lot of weight. Additionally, the third floor windows are cleverly hidden within the cornice's sculpture with decorative grills. The architrave line is broken in the center to provide a further central emphasis. Unfortunately, it seems a second floor window has been replaced by a door and someone has stuck shutters around the central window that have been put on backwards (a personal pet peeve), but all in all, the house is mostly intact. Additional views can be found here.

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