Saturday, December 30, 2017

The R. F. Beck House, Vicksburg, MS

The R. F. Beck House, Vicksburg, MS. 1875. Source: Steven Martin

Source: Steven Martin
The next few posts we will be looking at Italianate Vicksburg!

The R. F. Beck house was built by a building contractor in Vicksburg, MS as a showplace of his own design and construction skills, and it does not disappoint. It is a decidedly individualistic irregular plan house, with sparing detail, partially due to a rather unsympathetic paint job, but a rich treatment in woodwork. The house is irregular in plan, with a side that forms a pavilion plan façade, but lacks the tower component, instead suggesting a tower by the central placement of the octagonal cupola at the junction of the l-shape (although the entrance, as typical of this plan, appears in the center). The windows, all segmental arched except for the full arches in the gables, actually do have hold moldings, articulated in brick, something of a development of the 1860s and 70s, but these are hardly apparent because, unlike their probably original paint scheme which would have differentiated them from the façade, they are painted the same salmon color as the brick. The side façade, oddly, has deeper and more articulated moldings, with several layers, rather than a flat expanse. The entablature is of the paneled bull's eye type and features single s scroll brackets. An odd feature, the brackets are spaced somewhat oddly on the house and not at all aligned with the windows on the long section to the right, while there are bunches of three brackets at the gable peak, a very odd feature. The porch as well is noteworthy, being a rather lacy Gothic concoction with trefoils in the spandrels. The door surround is nice and thick, suitably emphatic, with chamfered panels arranged onto a typical pilaster and arch surround. These same panels are answered in the chimneys, a feature of the panel brick style.

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