Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Grace Crosby's Home

Gothic Revival with limited alterations in Craftsman style - 1867

The Grace E. Crosby House is located at 413 West DeWald Street, immediately northwest of the Williams Woodland Park Historic District. The Crosby House was built c.1867 on the south side of West DeWald Street, in mid-block between Fairfield Avenue and Hoagland Avenue. It has a modest setback from DeWald, matching the setbacks of other houses on this portion of the street. The lot is slightly higher in elevation than the park strip and the public sidewalk in front of the house; this elevation change requires one step up in the sidewalk that leads toward the house from the public sidewalk. Concrete sidewalks lead to the front door of the house, as well as to a porch on the east side of the house. The landscaping that surrounds the house is well-established; with some of the foundation plantings identifiable in a 1962 photo of the house.

The Grace E. Crosby House is a one-and-a-half story, wood-frame house. It was built in the rare Gothic Revival style c.1867, with limited alterations in the Craftsman style c.1915 designed by Grace E. Crosby. This gable-front house is composed of a rectangular primary block with a steep gable facing the street. The house rests on a brick foundation. There is a long shed dormer on the west side of the primary roof in the Craftsman style. The east side of the house has an over sized side porch in the Craftsman style. The rear of the house is extended by a slightly-setback wing; other sections are one-story with flat roofs. There is a large two-car garage on the rear of the lot that can be reached by an alley that runs parallel to West Dwelt Street. The rear yard is fenced by a combination of wood picket fencing and chain-link fencing.

The Crosby House has a steep-pitched, asphalt shingle-covered, front gable roof with enclosed eaves. The eaves are supported by pairs of thin scroll-cut brackets that are placed at the center of the gable, the front corners of the house, and midway between. The eaves are outlined by a flat frieze board with details and a molding. The west side of the roof contains a shed-roof dormer that also has enclosed eaves, but only a simple molding. The south end of the gable at the rear of the house has a simple brick chimney. Flat roof sections at the rear of the house appear to have built-in gutters.

The Crosby House has wood clapboard walls on all sections of the structure. Thin corner boards are used that terminate in a wood water table that provides a visual break, just above the brick foundation. The windows of the Crosby House are varied; some are original to the Gothic Revival structure and others date to the Craftsman additions. The facade of the house has two, two-over-two windows on the first floor and a grouped set of three windows on the second floor. The set of three windows has a large one-over-one window in the center, flanked by two narrow one-over-one windows. The front door is offset to the right (or to the west) on the facade. It is a single door with glazing at the top, with a transom above the door. The transom contains leaded glass. All openings on the primary facade are capped by pedimented hoods with decorative moldings. Other windows in the house include two-over-two, one-over-one, and casement windows. The dormer contains a ribbon of six-over-one windows. The windows of the facade originally had operable wood-louvered shutters, as shown in a c.1962 photo. Although the shutters have been removed, the mounting hardware remains and the shutters are stored in the basement of the house.

The porch on the east side of the house was built c.1915 in the Craftsman style. It has a flat roof with boxed eaves. The roof is supported by slightly over sized square columns with classical details. A clapboard wall balustrade stretches along the east side of the porch. The porch can be accessed from the front by a set of wide wood steps, or from the rear yard as well. It can also be accessed from the interior of the house. The single front door on the facade has a set of concrete steps with iron railings. There was originally a small wood stoop and wood steps with iron railings at this door.

The garage at the rear of the lot has a low gable roof with a ridge that is parallel to the alley. It has enclosed eaves and wood clapboard siding without corner boards. A large, single garage door faces west, with an asphalt and concrete apron in front of the door. The current garage likely dates to the late 1960s. It replaced an earlier garage or small barn that was lost to fire c.1965.

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