Category Archives: Drag Queen Architecture

Former Italianate Feigns Colonial Past

Looking like something out of a post-war subdivision, this ostensibly Colonial Revival four-plex would have gotten away with its charade if it hadn’t been for those meddling architectural sleuths that happened upon it!  Located just a block away from the gloriously monolithic historic preservation endeavor known as the Cross House, the facade looks a bit newer than those of its neighbors.

The cover-up was quite thorough, but the conspirators slipped up (they always do).  What gave the plot away?

From the front, there is nary a trace of the structure’s more flamboyant 19th-century past.  But turn the corner and look up.  The eaves are not only a bit too deep for a mid-20th century Colonial, but they are bracketed in the Italianate style – even going so far as to sport drop finials!  For whatever reason, the brackets were left in place when this former house was remodeled inside and out… there’s always a smoking gun!



From the front it is not apparent that this structure with its Colonial Revival trappings had actually started out in the Italianate style.



But turn the corner and WHAM – the brackets pop out in stark contrast to the watered-down Colonial themes below them.


The side elevation shows the low pitch of the original roofline – still sporting Italianate brackets.  Image courtesy Google Street View.



A closer and (sorry about the pixels) fuzzier view of the brackets.





Neo-Mediterranean Makeover of Former Queen Anne

Dating to the 1970’s, this remodeling of a former Queen Anne style house into a Neo-Mediterranean showplace is strangely captivating some 40-odd-years later. The original c. 1900 Queen Anne feautured clapboard siding and boxed eaves which were arched and shingled in the gables for interest.  At some point – possibly in the 1920’s – the clapboard siding… Continue Reading

From Good to Bad to Contrived

When I first photographed this small commercial building I was smitten with its Brutalist / Modernist vibe – not something one expects to find in an obscure corner of “flyover country”.   I loved the concrete, oddball windows and corner emphasis.  I knew it was much too interesting to survive unmolested, so I took this photo to document it.  The second… Continue Reading

Erasing Character

With the proliferation of television programs devoted to house renovation (designed to sell products and stimulate the economy – not to instill a passion for history and actual cultural preservation) it’s not surprising that many formerly styled houses end up resembling currently popular trends in new construction which lack specific styling. Too often renovation projects involving styled… Continue Reading

Superficial Bracketing

The two houses shown below have each been augmented with brackets.  Both houses date to somewhere around 1910 and are vernacular examples of the foursquare form.  Neither house is specifically styled, but each has characteristics common to both Colonial Revival and Prairie houses; both styles were popular when these houses were built.  Neither house was intended to have… Continue Reading