Thursday, May 5, 2016

The William Munro House, Hillsborough, NJ

The William Munro House, Hillsborough, NJ. 1870

Built in a somewhat rural area of Hillsborough, NJ, the William Munro house is an impressive example of a symmetrical plan villa in wood and has been beautifully maintained. The house is a cube with the defining feature of engaged round pediments on three of the facades which is echoed in the cupola. The central bay of the front facade projects dramatically while the sides are flat. The first floor windows are long with simple molded surrounds, while those on the second floor are segmental arched with deep hood moldings. The simplicity of the first floor windows is warranted by the elaborate porch that encompasses the majority of the first floor. The porch itself is impressive for the contrast between its heavy cornice with brackets, panels, and central pediment, and its impossibly thin posts, which make the roof almost seem to hover. The central second floor window on the front is particularly elegant with paired segmental arched windows with a bracketed projection over the window; over this is a fancy jigsaw cut out that is a vernacular version of rococo designs. The house's entablature is tall, with pairs of c and s scroll brackets, that surround segmental arched windows. The engaged open pediments (pediments with an open molding in the bottom) have arched windows, dentils, and centrally placed bracket pairs (somewhat uncommon). The cupola is particularly fine with a strong architrave molding and brackets placed both at the top and bottom of the wall, easing the transition from roof to cupola. The repetition of shapes in this house is a model of harmonious design. Images of the richly decorated and finely preserved interior can be seen here.

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