I love old houses; I know it’s some kind of a sickness… I just can’t help it.
They are drafty, have obsolete floor plans, lack modern conveniences and people think they’re spooky…
Here’s my old house:
Does it really look so spooky? Well it may be a pain sometimes, but it is not scary!
It is part of the Highland Park Historic District in Rock Island, Illinois. It’s said that Mr. Frank Kelly built it in 1895, choosing the Queen Anne style in honor of his wife Anne. It is, I believe a design from The Cottage Souvenir No. 2 (1891) by famous architect George F. Barber, and it appears to me that it is a modified Design 33, floor plan 2 from that classic catalogue.
Mr. Barber was a product of a time in which people believed that everything should be a work of art, houses, locomotives, furniture, and household items of every description. It may sometimes seem to be a bit much to modern eyes, but designs and patterns were in everything. Note the detail in this photo (sorry for the pole!) and then take a look at the same view in 1899
Yes, those people back in the 19th Century may have used too much ornamentation, but I have a hard time condemning a people who put too much effort and craftmanship, not to mention art, into everyday things when I look at the lack of artistic effort and craftsmanship that we put into things now. It’s like we always take the cheap and easy route… maybe we are the ones who should consider changes!
Well, I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you all that. One last thing: There’s nothing better than an old house in the Fall, when the yard and the neighborhood, like Victorian exteriors and interiors, seem to be a little cluttered and somehow not quite perfect…
Way too many colors to be modern…
Way too many leaves on the old weathered steps…
…and on the old brick sidewalks.
Yes sir, Fall and Victorian houses have a lot in common, and I thank God for both of them!
- George F. Barber homes (caro-interiors.com)