Extreme Makeover c. 1972

Some remodelings are more exhaustive than others.  This structure, for example, was re-imagined somewhere in the past, likely the early 1970’s.  The then-popular mansard roof was used as a device to completely conceal the second story while stucco, diamond-paned windows, broken pediments, and decorative  blinds were paired with it to create a look which defy any stylistic classification.

Most remodeled houses have some clues as to what the original style was.  The changes to this place were so thorough that it is really difficult to tell what it looked like before the changes.  It may have been a house, though its position at the back of a corner lot adjacent to an alley suggests that it may have been a carriage house as well.  The top of the “mansard” appears to be a low-pitched hipped roof with exposed rafter tails.  If original, this could suggest a Craftsman style origin… a Foursquare, perhaps?  Then again, the presence of a cupola at the center of the roof suggest the place may once have been Italianate in style; the rafter tails may have once been concealed by a cornice.

 

What's hiding beneath the fake mansard roof?
What’s hiding beneath the fake mansard roof?

 

Here’s a better view of the cupola:

 

So mysterious...
So mysterious…

 

And a view of the back showing what looks like a former sleeping-porch addition:

 

The backs of buildings often yield more information than the fronts.
The backs of buildings often yield more information than the fronts.

 

Now about those windows…

Here, exterior blinds (commonly called shutters) have been utilized as a type of ultra-wide window frame.   The broken pediments have been strrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttched  apart in order to span not only the window but the adjacent blinds as well!  Historically, windows with broken pediments were not frequently fitted with exterior blinds.  Diamond-pane muntins further complicate stylistic classification.

 

What were they thinking???
What style is it?

UPDATE!  Fast forward to 2017 to see what became of this structure!

 

 

2 Responses to Extreme Makeover c. 1972

  1. I think if you ripped off the fake roof you’d find underneath a flat-roofed building from the 1930s. Even the exposed rafter tails are fake! The best clue as to the original character at the front of the house is the very chunky, very plain, concrete fence posts.

Leave a reply