A Second Empire Survivor

Update: See also this earlier post on Midtown’s Second Empire legacy.

See that house on the right? It must have been knocked down years ago, right? Take a look at the map below; Washington Avenue used to keep going straight, before it was realigned with its western half.

And that Italianate and Second Empire mansion from 1874, one of the oldest houses in Midtown left? It still stands in the shadow of the early Twentieth Century skyscrapers and theaters of Grand Center.

As you can see, newer buildings moved in on the mansion, pushing up to the former streetline of Washington, and the home probably became a boarding house.

Apparently, it was owned at one time by Ellis Wainwright, of the eponymous skyscraper.

It was designed by William Cromwell Slicer.

I like how the roof fish scale shingles are left as is, original as far as I can tell and having much greater character and patina than replacements.

It’s a beautiful, if somewhat hard house to define architecturally, containing a Mansard roof typical of the Second Empire, but the first floor windows and massing are similar to an Italianate house. Regardless, recent building permits pulled for the property show it has a dedicated owner who has restored it to it former glory.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Imran says:

    Love how the rope detail around the door changes directions at the top to create symmetry and interest. Typical of the attention to detail/workmanship in these victorian beauties!

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