The Backside of the J-6!

Last weekend I happened by a J-6 house by the Harris Brothers and it occurred to me that we previously had only see the front and side of the house in period  material and contemporary photos. What does the back of one of these look like?  Will the back match the floor plan?

Here is one floor plan offered by the Harris brothers; they offered a slightly larger plan (the J-16) in addition to the “J-6 Regular” plan:


Note that the area by the back porch projects slightly on the first floor plan but not on the second floor plan.


Here is the back of a J-6 in Kansas.  While there have clearly been additions to the first floor at the back of the house, the “bump out” on the second floor may well be original though not reflected on the floor plan above.


Even more interesting than the bump-out is the profile of the distinctive turret roof. It is undeniably awkward from this perspective.  The horizontal window makes sense for the bathroom shown on the floor plan.


Here’s an additional view of the side of the house.


8 Responses to The Backside of the J-6!

  1. From the similar cornice returns, it does look like the bump-out is original. I’d be curious as whether the high window is, though, as most houses I’ve seen of that era were built with clawfoot tubs and a full-height window behind, if there was one. That’s how our house in Omaha was.

    The back view of that turret really makes it look even more awkward!

    • It’s true that a surprising number of vintage bathrooms have full-height (or close to full-height) double-hung windows on the bathtub wall. The fact has complicated bathroom renovations for countless people wanting an enclosed tub/shower in that space; the windows are highly vulnerable to moisture damage. The window here may well have been altered as you suggest. I just noticed that it is not quite centered within the gable – in keeping with the slightly off-center window shown on the tub wall of the plan. Maybe there were other floor plans available in addition to the J-6 and J-16… if not, this plan may have been customized.

      • We replaced our clawfoot tub with a skirted one (cast iron, though: I hate plastic tubs), and tiled the walls to allow for a shower. I was concerned with the window issue, so I used marine paint on the sashes and replaced the trim and casing with tile borders. I then made a plastic shower curtain to cover it, which kept it from getting wet at all. I had a good vent fan in the room, and over 6 years, the window was just fine. It was something I initially puzzled over, and in the end was no real issue at all.

        • A good, and period-appropriate, solution! Many people find the sensible shower-curtain-over-the window solution objectionable, for some reason. The early showers used the the hoop-type shower rod which made the issue moot, but people don’t seem to find them practical either. Probably because so many people are super-sized today!

    • It does seem like something a local builder or carpenter could improvise easily enough.

      BTW, have you found any examples that aren’t covered with nasty vinyl or aluminum siding yet?

      • LOL! I’ve never seen a J-6 which was not entombed in replacement siding of some sort (what are the odds?!) but, if I ever do, I will celebrate the discovery with a post all about it! Maybe Lara knows of some…

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