Saturday, February 28, 2009

For symmetry's sake

The front steps at Morris House lead to a window, instead of the door -- which is to the left.

This house, visible at the right of Cyrus McCormick in my post of two days ago, was built in the early 1840's as one of a set of four faculty residences. It is now used as a seminar and reception center, as well as guest accommodations at Washington and Lee. The designer of these varied houses made rather free with classical proportions in the porticoes, for starters, (as can be said of many such buildings in Lexington, including Washington Hall and Stono,) and you can view such deviations as charming un-academic improvisations, or provincial ignorance, (or both,) as you prefer.

(Posting rather late today, due to computer trouble.)


Fernleigh said...

The specific issues, certainly with regard to Washington Hall's columns and substantially so with regard to the later faculty houses, are (a) the architect's failure to / decision not to use entasis and (b) the distance between the abacus and the necking band. See Roster and Lyle's Architecture of Historic Lexington , p. 181, for a discussion of the second point.

Fernleigh said...

err... "Lyle and Simpson's" ;-)