A modest 1 -1/2 story Nebraska house with gable front, built around 1880, was given a stylistic makeover in the mid-twentieth century. The new look, reminiscent of an eighteenth century saltbox, was created by adding a lean-to addition with fireplace to one side while the other side gained an attached garage and new side entry. The following two photos show other 1-1/2 story vernacular houses in the region which suggest what the house may have looked like prior to its c. 1950 makeover. The last three photos show the featured house as it appears today – empty, neglected and unloved.
This 1880’s frame house has been encased in wide metal siding, but the window and door locations are original. The small windows below the roof on the side of the house are typical of 1-1/2 story houses of the period (storm windows obscure sash). The house has lost its original porch.
A brick house of similar design which was built in 1880. The front porch is original, though its wood floor was replaced with concrete at some point.
Our featured house received two additions. The roof of the garage and entry, foreground, have a lower roof pitch than the core house and employ diminutive pork chop soffits. Note the original six-pane window below the roof on the side of the original house. To the left of this window, original narrow clapboard siding, painted white, may be seen.
The addition at left makes use of one of the old six-pane window sashes to illuminate the garage. The entry is framed by the vertical siding so frequently seen in mid-twentieth century houses. Now… take a look at the windows. The second story window and the two below it appear to match and be original to the house. The window at far right, in the c. 1950 addition, is smaller. An effort was made to maintain the six-over-six pane configuration, but the original size was not matched (maybe the local lumber yard did not have that size in stock?). A look at the fascia board at right will reveal the vertical seam between the fascia of the original house and the fascia of the addition. A similar change may be seen at the foundation level. Note that the addition has a pork chop soffit while the original eave at left does not.
The two additions and shingled siding gave this modest house a new identity vaguely suggestive of an eighteenth century New England saltbox.