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.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
The Alexander Magruder House, Vicksburg MS
The Alexander Magruder House, Vicksburg MS. 1850 Photo: Wikimedia
This house was built in 1830 as a single story house in the Greek Revival style by Richard Featherston, but was remodeled into a two story Italianate structure in 1850 by Alexander Magruder, a doctor. It is a five bay symmetrical design, reflective of its Greek Revival roots, with sparing details, and a noticeable lack of window surrounds (the tracery looks to be an addition of the 1890s). The facing appears to be some kind of stone or perhaps a very deeply scored and textured plaster, with quoins in the corners, giving it a rather grand frame. The entablature on both the porch (with thick, square, Greek Revival pillars) and the house match, following the paneled style with sharply angular brackets. Perhaps its most attractive feature is the main door, which has an elaborate pilastered surround with panels matching the entablature, curvaceous brackets, and a fine basket handle arch transom. The house is currently a place one can rent to stay in. The fine and tastefully decorated interiors can be seen here.
I'd like to mention another Italianate here, the demolished rectory of St. Paul's church (all images from HABS).
It was built in 1866 and designed by the priest, Jean Baptiste Mouton, and pieces appear to have been prefabricated in Ohio and shipped down. Despite the Gothic detailing, the house is solidly Italianate, given its cornice with angular brackets closely spaced, its symmetrical five bay plan, and its hip roof. It is one of several hybrid Italianates, like Indian Italianates, with a different stylistic vocabulary applied to a Italianate frame. Here, the Gothic details consist of window labels in a Gothic vein, a Gothic porch with a heavy ogee arch, and pointed windows. This last feature is an interesting transformation of the typical Italianate triple arched palladian into a Gothic formation. The whole façade was stuccoed and scored to appear like stone, making the undoubtedly brick house match the grandeur of Gothic stonework. Unfortunately, this was demolished in 1972.