The Cross House
After purchasing the Cross House and its carriage house in 2014, both structures received work.
With the latter, it mostly involved tearing out obviously non-original alterations.
At the time, I was only dimly aware of who architect Charles Squires was, and had been told that he did not design the carriage house. Indeed, I had been told that the carriage house was, in fact, not even the carriage house, but a proper house built decades later to mimic the Cross House.
Golly. I’ve come a long way since.
Today, I know:
- The structure was built as a carriage house to the Cross House.
- Around 1920, it was legally separated from the Cross House and sold off, relocated forward on the lot, and rebuilt as a proper house.
- These changes were likely designed by Charles Squires.
In short, today, I see the carriage house in a very different way than I did in 2014.
I know. I know. You are thinking: Had Ross lost his mind? WHY did remove all this?
Well……….because it all seemed so odd. The low plywood walls were obviously not original (being clearly 1970s), which made the columns and brackets suspect, too.
It all seemed like a 1970s alteration to make the carriage house more “Victorian” which was actually a big thing in the 1970s. I am old enough to remember!
I had visions of hippies in the carriage house, totally stoned, and saying: “Cool. let’s do it!” Then they found some salvaged brackets and columns.
Far out, man! Far out!
In removing all these seemingly cobbled-together 1970s hippie alterations, two things soon became apparent. Two alarming things:
OK, this was confusing. So, there were low walls originally? But these were replaced in the 1970s by almost identical low walls? Huh? Why?
After some thought only one conclusion could be reached: During the circa-1920 conversion, the wide cased opening into the living room did have low walls (later replaced), and did have the oak brackets. The columns? They, too, were likely in place.
In 2014, this curious juxtaposition seemed, without question, like cobbled-together 1970s hippie oddness. Today? It all seems very…
Quickly, I had to reassess my assumptions.
The 1970s low walls were discarded. The columns and brackets were put aside, as they have remained sever since.
I have yearned to put all this Squires weirdness back in place but new low walls had to be built. And the Cross House just sucks up all my energy.
By some miracle though….
(scroll way down)
The new low walls are based on careful measurements of the ghost outline on the pine side trim. A particular effort was made to assure that the grain pattern matched the adjacent original trim.
In a few weeks I will pick up the walls and install them in the carriage house. The BIG project will be getting the stain to match the adjacent trim.
Then I can put the columns back in place, install wheel-cut glass globes above, and re-attach the oak brackets!
Stay tuned to this channel for more excitement!