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James F. Murray House

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1904–1905, J. A. Snyder. 530 Louisiana Ave. (west corner Louisiana Ave. and 5th St.)

This blond brick mansion, designed by an architect from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, surveys Chester and the Ohio River valley from its hilltop lawn. An expansive Ionic porch wraps around the first story, and an elaborate dentiled and modillioned cornice calls attention to the hipped roof, as do numerous hip-roofed dormers and tall chimneys. The grandest house in town, it was built by a former wildcatter who helped develop the area's oil industry.

A frame barn facing 5th Street is almost as grand as the house. Built c. 1903, it served as living quarters before the adjoining mansion was completed and has been returned to residential use. A gable-on-hip roof has an octagonal lantern with an enormous copper eagle poised in full wingspread as its weathervane.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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