A blog devoted to American Italianate architecture of the 19th century. This blog features architectural analyses of Italianate domestic buildings with images, and historical information. My plan is to show the varieties, regional vernacular of Italianate architecture.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Robert Earl House, Herkimer, NY
The Robert Earl House, Herkimer, NY. 1874 Photo: Doug Kerr
Built at 215 N Main St. in 1874 for Judge Robert Earl, the house was given to city in 1895 to be its library, a role it served until 1975. It seems to currently be a drug rehab facility. The house is a grand symmetrical plan Italianate with brick facing and a projecting central bay. The shape that defines this house is the chamfered pediment which tops the central bay as well as the windows on the front of the house. The house has a usual variation of windows on the flanking and central bays, with double segmental arched windows contained within one elongated segmental arch on the sides and an elliptical arched window in the center. While the porch is relatively simple, with unexpectedly narrow columns, the open pediments above the windows display all the complex woodwork of the 1870s with incised Eastlake carving and the complexity of forms. The simple cornice has c scroll brackets (long ones define each of the bays and alternate with shorter brackets) and is broken by the third story windows around which run the architrave molding. An interesting feature is that in the pediment, the brackets actually run at an angle rather than vertically. The cupola is interesting in that it has double rectangular windows with an eared surround and two sets of brackets placed at the base and the top. It seems like this house needs a little bit of TLC. With such a history of service to the town it certainly deserves it!