The Cross House

Discovery #5!!!!!!!!

OK!

Let the games begin!

This is the fifth in a series of Discovery posts, and all based on the Bo Adventure!

 

It was a dark and stormy night as Bo and I crept into the abandoned, unlighted carriage house. The house shuddered from thunder, and the windows, for an instant, and then another instant, and another, became electrified with the alarming brilliance of successive lightning bolts.

Slowly, we made our way up the creaking staircase, pushing cobwebs out of our way.

Thunder EXPLODED, piercing the eerie quiet.

And the house shuddered again.

We continued our cautious ascent, step by creaking step.

Our bodies also shuddered. From fear, as the storm raged, as the house shook, and as electric bolts seemingly shot straight through the windows.

Nature ROARED as Bo and I, at last, stepped onto the second floor. We clung to each other, terrified, our eyes wide.

 

EEK!

 

Or…maybe…I am making all this up. Maybe it was, instead, a perfectly fine afternoon as Bo and I went inside the carriage house.

OK. It was.

But, without a dramatic introduction (with cobwebs, no less!), I worry that the following may not prove, um, terribly interesting.

So, I beg your indulgence and hope you will think otherwise…

 

The second floor of the 1894 carriage house features diamond-paned sashes. Now, see how nice & neat all the panes of glass are? They are either full diamonds or half diamonds.

 

But as we stepped into the “tower” room Bo immediately noticed something odd. Something really odd. Something inexplicable. Something which I had not noticed in three years.

 

The diamonds are really fucked up.

 

The diamonds on the right make sense. They are either full- or half- or quarter-diamonds.

But on the left? Huh? What? The diamonds just thoughtlessly crash into the edge of the sash, artful geometry be damned.

Every room on the second floor has diamond sashes. And all of these make sense.

Except for the tower room.

Why?

It kinda looks like the sashes used to be larger and were cut down to squeeze into the window frames of the tower room.

But I don’t think this is the answer.

And Bo had no answer, either.

So, a profound mystery…

 

…on a dark & stormy night.

 

 

18 Responses to Discovery #5!!!!!!!!

  1. Any way they could be the old missing, original, diamond pane windows from the attic of the big house? Cut down for unknown reasons?

    • The Cross House isn’t missing any diamond windows.

      Also, I don’t think the sashes were cut down from larger windows as this is a TON of work, way more work than simply making another sash.

      It is quite the mystery!

      I do kinda have one thought:

      What if construction on the carriage house started first? Had I been the construction manager I would have done just that, to create a staging area and storage.

      Maybe the tower windows were the first diamond-paned windows created? And then the architect saw them installed and went: What the fuck?

      Then he made sure the rest of the windows were done correctly.

      Maybe?

      • Ross, you are absolutely right, the carriage house WAS built first. I looked at a Sanborn map of Emporia from 1893, and it shows the carriage house complete, and the house itself as “Being Built”! Here is a link.

        Your house is in the bottom left corner.

        I also noticed on the pictures of the carriage house tower windows that the bottom sashes are different than any of the other windows, the inside corners are rounded. I think it is safe to assume that the tower windows are not original. Do any of the diamond windows in the carriage house match those in the main house? I don’t think you will be able to determine much more about the tower windows until you strip a little paint, you might be able to tell if the muntins are original to the sashes, or if they were somehow added later on.

        • Hi Mike!

          Please see my next post!

          Also, numerous lower sashes were installed by the previous owner, and these have the tell-tale rounded inside corners you noticed.

  2. What are the window measurements? Are the ‘normal’ windows square while the others are rectangular? Are all the diamonds the same size?

    If the diamonds are all the same size, a rectangular frame will result in some f’d up pieces.

    Personally, I would have had the pattern centred in the window, rather than starting square on one side.

    • No matter the shape of the window, the muntins (the thin wood strips between the glass) can be laid out so no odd bits of glass result.

      Perhaps the sash maker was drunk?

      • Perhaps he was. Or inexperienced. Or uncaring.

        The muntins all have to be laid out on 45* angles to the frame, or else they wouldn’t form squares for the diamonds. In a square frame, this allows for two muntins to run corner to corner perfectly, which they do in the top picture. In a rectangular frame, a muntin started in one corner – laid out at 45* – will not land in the other corner. As seen in the tower windows.

        The sash maker could have forgone starting the muntin in the corner, and centred the whole pattern. That way the partial pieces on either side would at least be the same.

        Note: This would drive me insane! Those windows would have to have curtains.

        • The point is the diamonds don’t have to be squares (and I think the ones in the main house windows aren’t)! All you need to do for evenly spaced diamonds is change the angle according to the window’s width/height ration.

  3. Well, after enlarging and zooming in on the windows, I don’t have an answer, but I do have several observations:

    #1. None of the muntins are at 45* angles, and the diamond sections of glass are not square.
    #2. The muntins’ profile in the tower windows is distinctly different than the muntins in the rest of the windows, so they are obviously from different sources.
    #3. In the other windows, the muntins are integrated into the sashes; in the tower windows, they almost appear to have been applied AFTER the windows were manufactured; pay particular attention to the top sash, where the grid almost looks like it was forced on top of the sash.

    Ross, I wonder if stripping the paint from the tower windows might shed some light. Is it possible that the tower windows were originally plain, and that someone later decided that they needed the diamond pattern and then cut some larger muntin grids to fit the windows? Are the diamonds individual pieces of glass, or was the muntin grid simply placed on top of a single pane of glass for appearance sake? I know that some of the windows in the second story were added when the carriage house was moved and converted to a home, so maybe the original windows were altered to try to match new windows that were being installed?

  4. Ross, it appears as if Mike may have a few good ideas and his suppositions are relevant. Maybe the tower windows/sashes were applied after the windows were installed and perhaps after the carriage house was moved/turned into a home? Anyway it is a good mystery. Are there any major structural issues in the carriage house? Hopefully it might be spruced up in order to have a tenant soon? That would be nice as you would have someone there on site until you move in. When are you moving in or have you already moved in? Oh the kitchen isn’t done yet? I guess that would have to wait until kitchen is ready:-) love the Ross and Bo drama & sleuthing. You are so funny and a flair for the dramatic. Lol

  5. It looks like a stylistic choice to me. I notice it is on the same side of each window, so from the outside it might make the windows appear less static, and more as though they are progressing around the tower.

  6. The diamond panes were nagging at me, until I remembered I visited President Garfield’s home “Lawnfield” in Mentor, Ohio last year. There is a magnificent carriage house, here is the link to vintage photos https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.oh0409.photos/?sp=1
    (I hope that link works). Anyway, there are diamond paned windows on either side of the of the carriage/entry door. Could the wonky-paned windows in your carriage house have been cut-down from windows that were in the first floor when the wide carriage doors were replaced with lath and plaster? Just throwing that out there. Those wide entry doors had to go somewhere…..

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