370 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                    Description of 370 Summit Architecture

 

 

370 Summit - circa early 1900s

 

 The architectural style of 370 Summit is most often identified as Georgian Revival although in some sources it is identified as Colonial Revival.  To understand the origin of the terms it is necessary to reference architectural styles in Europe and the U.S. during the 18th century.

 

Historical Background

 In Europe, the dominant style of architecture during the 18th century was known as Neoclassical.  In Great Britain, in the first half of the 18th century, the first phase of Neoclassicism was influenced by the Italian Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).  In the second half of the 18th century, Robert Adam (1760-1792) popularized a simpler, purer Neoclassical style based on excavations in Herculaneum and Pompeii.  Both Palladian and Adam variations of Neoclassicism became known as Georgian because they were popular during the reigns in Great Britain of Kings George I, II and III.

 In the U.S., Neoclassicism (both earlier Palladian and later Adamesque) were referred to as Colonial (before the Revolutionary War) and then Federal (after the Revolutionary War.  In New England, the English Georgian style came to America by way of British pattern books (books detailing architectural styles) and the many masons, carpenters and joiners who emigrated to the U.S. from England.

 The 1876 Philadelphia Centennial sparked a renewed interest in the architecture of the colonial period with the new architectural styles becoming known as Colonial Revival or Georgian Revival.  These new styles gained in popularity and in the early 1900s emerged as a dominant style for domestic buildings in the U.S.  Although both styles were based on the earlier colonial architecture, Colonial Revival tended to rely on carefully researched copies of colonial styles with correct proportions and details.  Although the Georgian Revival style employed many of the details of their colonial predecessors, the strict Georgian sense of symmetry and order was relaxed.

 

 370 Summit Avenue – An example of Georgian Revival Architecture

 The architectural details of 370 Summit which identify it as Georgian Revival architecture are as follows:

 

Overall Features

-         Symmetrical, rectangular, stately and distinguished composition enriched by classical detail.  (The setback/indented wing on the left side is a departure from               classic Colonial architecture and is considered to be “high style.”)

-         Long side of rectangular facade faces street.

-         Intersecting hipped roof with ridge pole running parallel to the street.

-         Two and one-half floors with four hipped dormers.

-         Center entrance door and portico. 

-         Straight lines of windows on the first and second floor. 

-         According to Paul Larson, the home carries “an undeniable air of scholarship and propriety.”

 Materials

-         Red brick façade.

-         Polychromatic slate on the roof. 

-         Limestone foundation with smooth limestone used in belt course at the sill level on second floor and in lintels and keystones above windows.

                   o    Belt course – A horizontal band or molding projecting beyond or flush with the face of a building as a design element.

-         Wood trim painted white.

 Eaves

-          Have a slight overhang and are supported by bracket modillions with a continuous line of block modillions located below the cornice.

                   o   Modillions – Two forms:  1. An ornamental bracket used in a series to support the eaves, and 2. Block or dentil-like structures arranged along the                                 bottom of the cornice.

                   o   Cornice – a horizontal molded projection below the eaves that crowns or completes a building.

                       

Chimneys

-         Five brick chimneys.  The chimneys provide outlet for 11 internal fireplaces and boilers servicing the hot water heating system.

 

Center Entrance Door and Portico

-         Paneled door with four rectangular window panes in upper section.  Fluted pilasters on each side of the door.  Elaborate crown entablature above the door.

                  o   Pilasters – rectangular columns with a column and base projecting only slightly from a wall as an ornamental motif.

                  o   Entablature – The horizontal decoration above the door consisting of triglyphs, metopes and dentils.

                  o   Triglyphs – A projecting block having on its face parallel vertical glyphs or grooves and two half grooves on either vertical end that separates the                                metopes.

                  o   Metopes – Any of the spaces between triglyphs

                  o   Dentils – A series of small rectangular blocks projecting like teeth from a molding or beneath a cornice.

-         Semi-circle covered portico with paired (three on each side) Tuscan columns with classical entablature and dentils above the columns.  According to Paul                     Larson, “Semi-circular front porches inspired by Monticello had also become a part of the American Georgian Revival formula.”

                  o   Tuscan columns – A classical design similar to Roman Doric but having columns with an unfluted shaft and a simplified base, capital, and entablature.

-         Portico roof Balustrade – Although no longer present, the original construction featured a balustrade on the roof above the portico.  This was considered to be a           “high style” design feature.

 

Palladian Window – Centered above the portico, there is a large elliptical window opening within which is a Palladian window with several classical features, e.g., a three-part window, Corinthian columns, keystones, dentils and a fanlight with engaged colonetts.

                  o   Palladian Window – A large window that is divided into four parts. The center section is larger than the two side sections.  A fanlight (window) is                                located at the top of the center section.  The center section is a double-hung sash window with eight over one panes.  The left and right side sections                        each have sixteen decorative “panes” outlined in lead.

                  o   Fanlight – A semi-circular window at the top of the structure.  Wooden fan-like formations spread from the fanlight to the edge of the elliptical                                    opening.

                  o   Corinthian column – The most ornate of the three main types of classical Greek architecture characterized by a column having an ornate flared capital                          decorated with acanthus leaves.

                  o   Colonette – Small relatively thin columns often used for decoration in fanlights and sidelights.

                  o   Keystone – The central wedge-shaped stone of an arch that locks it parts together.

 

Sidelights – Small windows with rounded tops located under the portico on each side of the center door.

 

Fenestration (The design and placement of windows in a building)

-         Windows are arranged in straight lines on first and second floors

-         Correctly proportioned louvered black shutters on twenty-two windows with hardware indicating they could be opened and closed.  Several windows on the                  building do not have shutters due to architectural details that would make such placement inappropriate.

-         In a departure from true colonial houses with single windows, there are two large combination bay windows with three double-hung sash sections separated by           mullions symmetrically located are on each side of front entrance.  The center sections of each bay window are eight panes over one and the sections on each             side are four panes over one.

                  o   Mullions – a vertical member dividing a window or other opening.

-          Windows on second floor are generally double-hung with eight panes over one.  Windows in smaller rooms are generally double-hung with six panes over one.

-         Three large, identical double-hung sash windows in the living room have eight panes over one.

 

Vestibule – Oval-shaped space between the center front door and the door opening into the foyer of the building.