The Cross House

A Finial Triptych

EEK! EEK! EEK! There are THREE finials in the image! Far left, right center, and far right! THREE!


The left finial is on the turret of the carriage house. The finial base design/size was copied from the original drawings, and the swirl on top matches the same on the tower finial.

WF Norman once again did fine work, and was a pleasure to work with. Thanks, Mark!

The finial will look even better when the carriage house is re-roofed to match the Cross House.


Pre-finial. You can appreciate the utter indecency of a finial-less turret.


Ahhhh, decency restored. While the poor carriage house is looking poorly, at least it has a spiffy new finial! Oh, the gargoyle on the roof? That is Josh. He seems tame. Well, for a gargoyle.


For all my considerable excitement, I am also quite vexed.

For, the fabulous new finial is…too small.

And, sorry for my language, but…fuck.

I carefully copied the measurements on the 1894 drawing, but I think the finial should be, ummm, 50% larger. Compared to the other two finials, it lacks presence. And while I can endure many trials, I am uncertain if I can, or even should, endure a finial without presence.


I cannot afford another finial right now (insert another sigh) but because I am nuts, this TOTALLY nonessential item is now near the top of my financial To Do list.

And the current finial?

It will look perfect atop a garden shed!



17 Responses to A Finial Triptych

    • My OCD-ness is specific to the Cross House. I am not like this in other areas of my life.

      I enjoy being obsessive about the Cross House! The house soooooooo deserves it!

  1. I wish I could step in and pay to have the carriage completely restored to it’s original configuration/location for you. If I win the lottery, mark my words – I would… I think that would really set the place off…

  2. Hi Ross, I was wondering have you ever told us about the door on the third floor of the cross house seen in the picture above? It looks like it’s going no where

    • When the carriage house was converted into a house in 1921, an L-shaped porch was built in front. The door in the turret opened onto the roof of the porch.

      • Sorry for the misunderstanding, but I meant the door on the gable end of the main Cross House as seen in the first picture.

        • Oh! That led to a huge L-shaped black fire escape stair.

          It was kinda cool, but SO blighted the house. I removed it.

          I am keeping the non-original door opening, and will put in a discreet railing. It is a nice platform to stand on.

  3. Atop a garden shed? I note that historic photos like the one you posted August 27, 2014 seem to show acroterion (acroteria?) Finials! on the dormer gables and the highest roof peak, which appear somewhat smaller than the front towers’ finials. Might not the base be reconfigured and the finial be re-used there with more dignity for such an important re-creation?

    Great idea for creating a Romeo-and-Juliet balcony using the former fire escape egress. I picture you being serenaded there as you gaze over your domain…

  4. Your OCD is serving The Cross House very well indeed! Embrace your OCD -average people have average accomplishments.

    • Sigh.

      I do not have OCD.

      I am obsessive about the Cross House. But one can choose to be obsessive about something without having OCD.

      If you saw how I live my non-Cross House life, you would instantly agree that I do not have OCD!

      • Please understand that I mean no disrespect! I admire your inexhaustible attention to detail and pursuit of excellence when it comes to The Cross House. I come from a military background; in the Army, an inexhaustible attention to detail is a highly desirable trait for a soldier to have.

        I actually do have OCD, so I know the difference between diagnosable OCD and that of a artisan or artist’s relentless pursuit of excellence.

        For what it’s worth, I, and any other equestrian worthy of the name, am the same way when it comes to anything relating to my horses.


        • Dear Amber,

          Your comment did not feel disrespectful; indeed, I thought you were giving me a compliment!

          My response was only intended as clarification!

          I also enjoyed reading your distinction: the difference between diagnosable OCD and a pursuit of excellence. I might put that on a t-shirt!

          It’s common for people to assume that being obsessive in one area means obsessive in all areas. So, with regards to the Cross House, I am gaining a reputation as having OCD! And I do sigh over that!

  5. Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic. I remember we talked about the finial on the carriage house being a weather vein originally, if you were to add a weather vane to the top (if possible) would that perhaps make it look more significant?

  6. I believe the height is fine, but it needs more weight at the bottom. The ball is almost the same diameter as the flare above it. It needs to be clearly bigger. It’s possible that W F Norman could make just the ball portion bigger.

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