Unnoticed Exuberance


This is the dining room bay on the north side of the 1894 Cross House. The edge windows are curved. The Long Bedroom is above.



Last week I removed the dining room stained-glass windows for restoration. While doing so, an opportunity was afforded to take some close-up images! A pair of brackets visually hold up the second-floor, and this was a common detail for architect Charles Squires. There is another such bay on the south side. The petite ceiling is beautifully mitered beadboard.



The brackets are also nicely mitered.



The brackets are like protective arms nestling rather astounding gigantic swirls. Ya’ gotta love Squires for doing this.



The brackets have some subtle carved detailing on their sides.


In short, in a couple of square feet there is a LOT of wondrous detailing going on. Sadly, none of this exuberance has been noticed for decades, the results of unflattering and poor paint jobs.

But, as was shown dramatically with the Before/After images of the Diamond Brooch on the north side, a good paint job in complementary colors can do wonders for a 122-year-old-girl.





  1. Cindy on December 20, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    That 122 year old girl is gonna get the Mr. Ross spa makeover. Eeeee!!! I can’t wait!!
    Happy Holidays to you sir!

  2. Californianinkansas on December 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I love this! Mr. Squires left a treasure for you to find.

  3. Melody on December 21, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I can’t wait to see the after!

  4. Seth Hoffman on December 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Beautiful! I think attention to these kind of seemingly minor details are one of the biggest things that set both common and high-end homes from the pre-war era apart from contemporary ones now. Even $1million-plus homes now almost universally have awkward details, and poor harmony across the entire structure. I guess this is to be expected from “Mr Potato Head” residential architecture today (slap random features on a box).

    BTW, I find it interesting that the beadboard was installed perpendicular to the perimeter, rather than parallel was was traditional for wood soffits. It looks good in this case, but how is it done elsewhere? I’m wondering if this was a deliberate choice by the architect, or an on-the-spot decision by a carpenter.

    • Ross on December 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      I have no doubt that the boardboard was designed as such by the Architect, Charles Squires.

      The Cross House has no soffits. But all the porches have beadboard ceilings.

      • Seth Hoffman on December 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        The tin cornices really are cool. Yours is the first house that introduced me to them.

        BTW, I’m jealous every time you post a photo of your curved windows. I’m sure they make you pay for their beauty, but are well worth the struggles.

        • Ross on December 23, 2016 at 3:38 pm

          Yes, the curved windows delight. I love washing/polishing them!

          Only one is broken; the big one on the first floor of the tower. About $600 to replace the glass. Ouch! And on the To Do list!

  5. Liz on August 13, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve been eyeing this detail every time you post about the porch there. I think it’s such a special section. Thanks for showing it up close!

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