In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, pattern books enabled people of moderate means to build their houses in the fashionable styles of the day without hiring an architect. The builder of the Crosby House probably used the design of an “ornamental villa” from Samuel Sloan’s pattern book, The Model Architect (1852). Indeed, the house suggests an Italian villa. Two stories in height with a cruciform plan, the house has a tall octagonal belvedere, enriched with dentils and brackets. Oversized brackets and dentils (most of them paired) ornament the deep eaves. At the center of the main block, a one-story porch extends from the projecting entrance pavilion. Square posts with foliated capitals and jigsaw-cut brackets frame the porch, and a dart molding enriches the frieze below a plain cornice. A porch-roof balustrade and balconets at the front windows have been removed, and an ell with a large octagonal room has given way to a screened porch.
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James Crosby House
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