Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Architectural Walk

A couple of days ago, we looked at the revitalization of downtown Napa (CA); today we take a brief look at Napa's past.

Armed with literature on an "Architectural Walking Tour," we set out to view some of the restored homes of Napa. We began with this Queen Anne Style (1880-1890) home on Randolph Street. "The home is a nearly perfect example of this style with its elaborate entrance porch,

corner tower,

great variation in textures, including rough stucco, and high multiple roofs."

The colors of the home's exterior were absolutely beautiful.

The webpage of the McClelland-Priest Bed and Breakfast invites guests to stay at the 1879 Historic Landmark. The Second Empire Style " marked by a high mansard roof with dormer windows and chimneys which are classically detailed.

Another grand home on Randolph Street is this residence. It is Queen Anne with its corner tower, porch,

and great diversity of surface texture, but

incorporating Eastlake (characteristics) in its furniture-like spindle work around the windows and porch."

Another Eastlake Style home is shown here; the style " distin-guished by its ornamental curved brackets and knobs that resemble furniture details."

Here is a "...fine example of Second Empire style (c. 1872) with its high curved mansard roof, dormer windows, classically detailed entrance porch, and the wooden 'keystones' over the windows."

The Eastlake Style, popularized by Charles Eastlakes's 1868 book Hints on Household Tastes, is marked by the turned columns and curved brackets under the eaves and appears to have been borrowed from furniture details.

"In 1878, Eastlake denounced this architectural style as 'extravagant and bizarre' and expressed regret that it had become associated with his name."

Mr. Eastlake's regret notwithstanding, his influence has appeared in many Napa homes. In the five photos of this home(c. 1892), the Eastlake spindles, turned columns and brackets are used in profusion.

Elements of the Queen Anne style are also present in this home in the variation of surface textures at each level from the stone foundation to the slate roof and in the treatment of the chimney as a design element.

"This home (c. 1885-1895) is typically Queen Anne with its high multiple roofs, massive appearance, and variety of textured wall surfaces." But I was feeling more confident of my ability to identify some of the Eastlake ornamentation features, e.g., the curved brackets and spindles and the turned porch columns that were also present.

Old Napa was as interesting as New Napa.

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