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John G. Ricketts House

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1924–1925, Levi J. Dean. Southeast side of Washington Blvd., opposite intersection with Wilshire Blvd.

Real estate developer John G. Ricketts commissioned this house to serve as a centerpiece of Ricketts Place, a residential neighborhood he was promoting. A complex, low-pitched roof dominates the one-and-one-half-story house of rough-cut stone. Originally, seven layers of cedar shingles rolled around eaves and curved above eyebrow dormers to imitate a thatched roof. After a 1969 fire, asphalt singles replaced the cedar but were carefully layered to imitate the original covering. The Ricketts House defies traditional stylistic analysis, which is part of its charm. The roof, stone, and casement windows recall a Cotswold cottage, while its low silhouette and expansive porches seem more akin to a bungalow. A porte-cochere and three-bay basement garage, on the other hand, deny any sense of smallness implicit in the terms “cottage” and “bungalow.” In fact, at 16,000 square feet, the house was the architect's largest residential commission.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "John G. Ricketts House", [Huntington, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-HU37.

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