Tuesday, December 6, 2011

North Bennington, Vermont, Walking Tour, #17- 23

#17 – Mosher – here the simple form used for mill housing ( see #11,13, 15,) has turned 90* - gable to the street – to become Greek Revival in style, like its neighbor, #18.

# 18 - The brick school house. How does this building tell us it is a school?? The entrance is in the center, not to one side. It opens into a cloak room and then into one large room. Schools might also have 2 doors on the front, one for boys, one for girls. The second floor windows are decorative: they don’t service a living space.

# 19 - P.L. Robinson House. (Robinson and Parsons mill?) Like the Bruce and Draper houses this house has 3 windows across the front, the usual pattern between 1820 and 1890. The verge boards at the roof line are the beginning of Victorian ‘gingerbread’ – surface decoration. The Elwell House on Bank Street, # 42 has similar trim and a similar porch. This house was deliberately set back and landscaped to separate the house from the hustle of the thoroughfare and give it a sense of ‘retirement’. This is a quite different feeling from the Draper House across the street.

# 20 - Mrs. A. Watson, c. 1830 with a later porch. The corner columns and front door are Greek Revival. These details become much more pronounced in later houses.

#21 - The G. Watson House, c. 1830 with c. 1910 wing. The older, left wing of the house is similar in size, proportion and window layout to Mrs. Watson’s house. The picture window in the right wing, with the small rectangular window at the top, called a ‘cottage window’, was very popular in 1915. There are many in the village.

#22 - The Rufus Towsley House is an ample two story residence. The wide, stylish Greek Revival frieze is only on the side walls as it would have blocked the 2nd floor windows on the front of the house.

This was the only house on Pleasant Street and had great presence when viewed from Main St, across Paran Creek. Today that view is hidden most of the year. In season Pleasant Street affords a view of the creek with its numerous falls, and the stone mill built by EM Welling.

Mr. Towsley’s carriage shop was next door. In 1866 he moved to Bank Street.

#23 - Dr. S F Ranney House. This house has been greatly altered since the 1852 flood. The window hoods on the west side show some of its original character. The flood destroyed the doctor’s office on the first floor.

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