The Sonnentheil House, located in the 1885 fire district, is one of the architectural mystery houses of the East End. No architect claimed it at the time of its construction when the Galveston Daily News regularly reported on new construction and it has never been persuasively attributed. What makes this lack of documentation—an architectural drawing of the house survives but does not identify the designer—frustrating is the extraordinary virtuosity of its wood gallery screen. Curved and angled advances in plan are projected volumetrically through framed panels of openwork arches and diagonal lattices linked by perforated frieze bands. The designer's understanding of how this screening would work in the strong sun-and-shadow conditions that prevail in Galveston is exceptional.
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Jacob W. Sonnentheil House
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