Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Charles McLeod House, Troy, NY

The Charles McLeod House, Troy, NY. 1867

The house at 149 Second Street in Troy, built in 1867 for Charles McLeod, the vice president of a stove manufacturing company, is one of the most sophisticated designs in the area. It has gone through a variety of owners after the McLeods after 1907 and was altered in 1885,  It follows the side-hall, row house plan, although the left-hand bays are filled with a large three story bay window. The facade is articulated in fine brownstone which is distributed in a series of pilasters, blind panels, and horizontal string courses. These features are usually associated with the "Brick-panel style" known from Boston. Because the panels and pilasters form the facade's articulation, window and door surrounds are kept simple. The front doors themselves with their rich carving and the odd insertion of a round arch into a segmental arch are one of the finest sets of Victorian doors in the city. The impressive bay window is especially interesting, as it is so heavily defined by thick cornices and is framed so well by the facade's pilasters. The first and second floors feature filleted openings with rectangular windows inside them. The top floor draws the eye up with arched windows with floating triangular pediments connected by keystones and brackets to the windows. The elaborate paneled cornice completes the design, with s-scroll brackets with carved acanthus leaves and panels with blocks in the corners. The house is currently the home of a wellness retreat and suffered a devastating fire in 2010. Fortunately, the owners love Victorian architecture and have worked tirelessly to rebuild and restore the grand interiors with fine woodwork and painting, images of which can be seen here.

Further down the street back towards Washington Park is another fine brownstone at 167 Second Street. This house was no doubt another product of the late 1850s and is a fine tribute to the segmental arch in a row house plan. A severe brownstone facade with all the demureness of Anglo-Italianate design, features simple hood moldings and a very plain cornice. The largest note of fun is the door which has a full molded surround with a riot of rococo vegetation flowing from the top.

The last little note, across the street is probably one of the coolest, almost intact runs of temple-front Greek Revival houses. You almost never see them all lined up like this, especially in an urban setting.


  1. Oh my! Those doors are a treasure!

    1. They really are! An article says the owners are glad during the fire that the firemen did not damage them but were careful to prop them open.