Tuesday, April 30, 2019

PS - Dutch, Georgian, of Federal Colonial: Confused About True American Colonial? You're Not Alone ...

(Please see my updated cheat sheet with further details/easier ways to tell HERE.)

In case you're confused about Georgian, Federal and Dutch Colonial homes in my prior post, you're not alone.  But first, remember, you're literally watching our U.S. story unfold via architecture, transforming from plain under King George colonial rule and/or religious persecution into adornments previously only afforded to government or royal buildings before your very eyes.  Without a word being spoken - you can witness the most recent major human-society transition and progression take place, via architecture :)

The fairly rapid transition of American Colonial home architecture captured the spirit of what was happening in our country, in a sort of semi-conscious monument: People from various ethnic and faith backgrounds began to let go of persecution and oppressive pasts to embrace new cultural ideas, while still retaining the best aspects of their ethnic cultures.

Despite their differences, they began to unite together under the same basic human principle that binds all of the human species together - the desire for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" through autonomy and the right to freedom of speech, worship, and expression - birthed into fledgling reality as the first Democratic Republic in the world to provide legal separation of church and state - a government by the people, for the people - and began to reflect that in their architecture :)

I actually didn't realize that until today, but it's pretty cool, isn't it? I mean, of course I realized history and cultural influence could be reflected in architecture, duh! But I mean that you can literally still see the birth of fledgling freedom grow into bold and proud expression, through still-standing home architecture, all by itself, just by looking from one house to the next, right next door :)

Yes, those ideas of "all men are created equal" and "freedom of expression" have still not matured into adulthood in America, we still have a long way to go.

However, the rapid transition in colonial architecture is monument to what can happen when a glass ceiling placed to prevent opportunity is either willingly removed by the oppressors or shattered in battle with them.

Testament to the fact that when a group of people obtain freedom and equal access to opportunity,  they can accomplish brilliant, beautiful things in a short period of time, in collaboration - that we all can enjoy together :)

And where else in the world can you see so many historical homes with such diverse cultural and ethnic influences, all on the same block - retaining the best of their own culture, but also incorporating new cultural elements from their neighbors - and yet still somehow living harmoniously right next door to each other, blending in well with others on the block, without (mostly) being an eyesore to each other or the landscape?

So, in addition to watching the birth and and growth of freedom, you're also witnessing how it's possible for so many diverse ethnicities and faiths blend and unite for the same basic human cause - freedom and equal opportunity - just through architecture :)

Yes, America, I'm talking to you - learn our true history from colonial architecture - that a united, peaceful balance of past and present CAN be done - letting go of the worst of our culture, retaining the best - being open to the best new cultural ideas :)

It's not all or nothing - just like everything else, it's a balance - and sometimes you've got to sacrifice a little, to gain a lot - it's called growth and progress :)

Let's begin with distinguishing between Georgian and Federal, because these are the two even experts become confused about, so no wonder we are :)

However, before we begin, note that none of these homes are in Kentucky like my last post - I needed to use the best examples - the originals from along the Eastern Seaboard/early colonial settlements :)

So, the oversimplified, cheat-sheet guide is - the more elaborations on a Georgian Colonial, the more Federal Colonial it actually is - particularly if it has Neoclassical (Roman/Greek) Republic symbolism over its door or window moldings, pillars/columns, porticos, and domes :)

With, of course, any American Eagle molding over doors and windows of course being a dead giveaway it's actually Federal rather than Georgian :)

Though Georgian Colonial government buildings were beautiful in their simplicity and symmetry, you can tell nothing about their personalities, who they are as people, their spirit, their beliefs - and certainly, NO EAGLE moldings, anywhere in sight :)

Gradually, you began to see who they truly are - you see  the slow and slight emergence of Federal elements in Georgian homes, rather than just on government buildings:  Rounded dormers, semi-circle windows over doors or atop rectangular windows, or full circular windows, keystones over the windows - with increasing Neoclassical/Republic moldings over the doors and windows, the beginnings of domed or angular neoclassical porticos with Republic friezes or reliefs, Doric columns or pillars. 

These homes are still Georgian, but you can see every-so-slight expressions of "turning Federal" along with the country - claiming architectural elements that previously adoring only royal/government buildings as their own, that they belong to the people themselves  :)

Now we're to true Federal homes -  note the bold and brazen usage of the Neoclassical Republic/Federal symbolism carved moldings and Doric Columns and domed porticos:)

In fact, Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello is considered epitome of federal architecture, because he chose to design himself and incorporate all elements that previously reserved for royal government colonial buildings into his home - to an exaggerated degree  :)

Monticello is brilliantly designed, but it makes me laugh - because Monticello is clearly Jefferson's "FU! In your face" federal freedom of expression monument message to King George and company, about government actually belonging to the people.

A full domed roof, Doric columns, semi-circle/circular full windows, symmetrical windows, fencing tops, "Federal" Republic molding - check, check, check, check, and check - Federal architecture - on steroids :)

I wonder how many people realize that about Monticello?

Ah well, let's throw in Dutch Colonial to make things even more confusing lol.

Again, oversimplifying, there were basically 2 styles of Dutch Colonial in America, which are unofficially separated into essentially traditional Dutch homes and the more rural cottage style - although especially in the Northeast, the styles became mixed, and often incorporated Federal elements.

*However, one tell-tale of a true Dutch Colonial - original Dutch Colonials were never built with brick, only siding or stone.

So if it's in brick, it's actually a Georgian/Federal mix or brick was placed over the original for stabilization as it aged.  (Good to know for renovations and value;)

The traditional Dutch Colonial is identified by multiple small-paned windows, with straight strips/slats separating them.

(Sometimes the windows are "halved" by one thick vertical slat in the center, with smaller panes and slats on either side side of it, and it opens left and right, like shutters, or French Doors, rather than raising it up and down.  The windows can be very narrow in width compared to their height.)

They often have German Tudor/wood paneling elements, and sometimes wooden flower boxes.

The original part of this house (on the left) is true traditional Traditional Dutch Colonial (note that the windows are often tall, but very narrow, width-wise.

The newer half (on the right), though Traditional Dutch Colonial in style, but was obviously built later, in brick, with a portico/fenced porch and the chimneys are visible from the front, reflecting its Federal colonial influence.

The more rural style Dutch colonial also may have some German Tudor components, but the telltale mark is a barn-shaped roof, and perhaps fence-like structure atop the portico or porches or the roof (like a widow's walk).

 Here are the oldest and rural/cottage-style Dutch Colonials (before incorporating Federal Elements).

The Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial mix was extremely popular in the Northeast and over to Pennsylvania, well into the late 1800s, later mixing with Victorian.

But as for the Dutch Colonial Cottages built in the late 1700s/early 1800s,  the more "Republic" Federal elements you see, the more you see evidence of letting go of past persecutions, still maintaining the best of their own culture, incorporating in the new :)

Think "Amityville Horror House" and you've got the perfect stereotypical Northeastern Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial mix :)

One with German Tudor wood-slats on the outside, but still a Dutch Colonial/Federal Mix ...

The next three homes are Dutch Colonial/Victorian mixes :)

Got it?

Yeah, me neither, really - it doesn't help that most houses mixed elements.

And still, watching architecture tell your history without ever speaking a word, is pretty cool, yes? :)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Spring Walk Around Central Kentucky :) (Updated)

 ... and the dogwoods are in bloom :)   Sundays are my only full day off, but the past 3 have been rainy.  However, the rain ended early today, so we visited Raven's Run Nature Sanctuary (Fayette/Jessamine County, Kentucky), as well as visited the grounds of "Ashland" - the Estate of Henry Clay (Lexington, KY).

I'm not sure, but I believe the white flowers below the dogwoods are Autumn Angel Azaleas, which only bloom briefly in spring (and again in August/September, for longer); thus, you have to catch the dogwood/azalea combo at just the right week to see them bloom together - which we did :)

After early morning rain, we decided to take a little hike to the river at Raven's Run Nature Sanctuary :)

Opening trail at Raven's Run ...

Blue-Eyed Marys and Yellow Wood Sorrel  ...

Blue-Eyed Marys and Dwarf Larkspur ...

A wood clearing with Blue-Eyed Marys and Larkspur in bloom ...

Dwarf Larkspur in purple and pink ...

Dwarf Larkspur and Jacob's Ladder ...

Jacob's Ladder (LOVE this wildflower) ...

 Red Columbine (grows only at the cliff around the river) ...

A lime kiln and stone fences (original portions of which were built by Irish indentured servants,1790s to 1840s) ...

Just some other lovely sights along the way :) ...

After our hike, we went downtown for pics of the best dogwoods in town, before they're gone, which happen to be at the homes near Henry Clay's Ashland Estate.

For those unaware, Henry Clay was a attorney, orator, and politician from Lexington, who ran for POTUS three times and lost all 3 times (but very nearly became the 5th POTUS) - and this is speculated to be because though he was a strong Federalist, he believed in everyone having a voice, so he was more or less an independent, trying to understand both sides of an issue - which brought him accusations by both parties of not truly being committed to either cause and disloyal, rather than a more reasonable person lol.

(Yes, from the beginning, people expected you to force yourself fully into 1 of only 2 boxes and then check every single issue box on every single issue your party threw your way, lest you be frowned upon and distrusted by both parties. Except unlike today, virtually no one accused anyone else of being "Satanic" over politics, likely because of the outcome of shameful  Salem Witch Trials, just the the century prior.)

Nevertheless, he was still well respected by both political parties for his ability to negotiate compromise between them (which particularly came into play between the North and South), who bestowed upon him the title of "The Great Compromiser."

He is most famous for negotiating "The Great Compromise of 1850," in which the slave trade was federally abolished, unfortunately in exchange for leaving actual slave ownership laws up to each state to decide - which Clay engineered in the hopes to stave off war (which worked, until he died).

Much like Thomas Jefferson, Clay was a slave-holding emancipationist - which is NOT the same as an abolitionist (I wish).

Essentially, that means that though both Jefferson and Clay felt guilty about slave ownership not being true to "all men are created equal" values (and worked locally to find legal ways to emancipate them, particularly after their deaths) - they were too cowardly to do anything about it and become true abolitionists, because they cared too much what the neighbors thought - so they continued to own slaves due to the social status it gave them, and so as not to lose power in Southern politics  :(

He felt that by working slowly to emancipate slaves in Kentucky, other states would follow suit. (However, he was too slow and too personally conflicted on the issue of slavery himself, so no one followed - thus the war ensued 7 years after "The Great Compromiser" had died.)

HOWEVER, he was best friends with Abraham Lincoln (through Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, also from Lexington), who also once owned slaves, but unlike Jefferson and Clay, had the courage to emancipate them within his lifetime and became an abolitionist.

It is suspected the Abraham Lincoln/Henry Clay friendship is the reason that Kentucky had it's a "middle state" status, despite being the gateway to the South via the Ohio River/Mason Dixon line - and as such, Kentucky residents were given an option to serve either the Union or Confederate side without true military penalty.

(In fact, some members of my family fought for the Union side, some for the Confederacy - and though rare, there were literally cases of brother fighting brother as far as middle state residency, during The Civil War.)

In fact, his "middle state" legacy continued in our state for another 150 years, because until the 2000s (Bush II's administration), our state was roughly 50/50 Republican/Democrat.  Since then, Kentucky has become strongly and angrily red, with just Lexington and Louisville being blue (just the city districts themselves, Fayette and Jefferson counties are not fully blue).  Just like everywhere else in the election in 2016, the more rural you go, the more red you see).

Regardless, here is his Italianate estate, just west of downtown Lexington, just off Main Street/Richmond Road ...

The smokehouse (which currently holds The Gingko Tree Cafe) ...

The ice houses: Before refrigeration, wealthier southern Kentucky slave-holding families would carry ice up from the Kentucky river (roughly 25 miles away) via wagon and put them in semi below ground domes ...

The gardener/groundskeepers house  ...

The sun peeked out just in time for us to snap this pic of the poppies :)

In addition to both walled and free gardens, Henry Clay had a fondness for gardening, particularly trees (Ash Trees, from which the estate gets its name).  He liked to import and plant on his property every kind of tree indigenous to the United States that he personally liked, as well as trees found around the world, to reside on his property.

Dogwoods, Ash, Pear, Silver Maples, Wild Cherry, Elm, Sycamore, and Walnut ...

In fact, Henry Clay was the first person to bring the first Gingko tree to the United States from Asia ...

The Eastern Redbud (note the reddish hue to the bark) ... 

As well as the red flower buds off the main trunks and branches ... 

A silver birch from the the northern United States ... 

A tulip tree ... 

 Though I appreciate his taste in architecture and trees, I'm much more proud of his great-granddaughter, Madeline McDowell Breckinridge ...

... who was a Christian social reformer and suffragette, famous for not only helping to end child labor laws and create a Baby Health Service,  but abolishing residual Jim Crow laws in Kentucky and helping women obtain the right to vote.

In fact, she died just after she saw the 19th amendment ratified by the State of Kentucky, which was due in large part to her efforts :)

Additionally, she was the editor for the Lexington's newspaper, The Lexington Herald (Leader) at a time when most women only dreamed of such things, especially in more rural states :)

Having grown up at Ashland, this plaque in her honor also graces the grounds of Ashland :)

(And from what I understand, there's talk of a statue of Madeline Breckinridge to replace the statue of Jefferson Davis at the state capitol building in Frankfort - please God, let that rumor be true!:)

That's right, you heard me - she was a very feminine, old-school feminist and Christian Social Justice Warrior - ya know, back when the terms "Christian" and "Social Justice" were not an oxymoron (just because politicians told you they were) ;)

(And I dare anyone - especially in THIS town - to to even try to besmirch the saintly reputation of the much-beloved Mrs. Breckinridge as being a "Marxist femnazi social justice warrior" - instead of what she was - a very kind-hearted woman, acting naturally on her Christian compassion :)

And of course, like me, she was also Episcopalian - Go Pisckies! ;)

Mark and I decided if we ever bought a home in Lexington, it would be in the Ashland neighborhood, rather than the flashy, newer communities:  A mix of Italianate, English Cottage and Tudor styles, Irish Stone Cottage Style, American Colonial, Federal and Cape Cods, Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial, and Prairie-Style and Craftsman homes, sprinkled with a few Southern-style Antebellum and Greek Revival homes :)

*There are a few German Tudors, but not too many - you will see them more from Northern Kentucky and above into the Midwest.

** Also, there are no Victorians in the Ashland (Downtown/East) area - they are all in downtown Lexington, just north of Main Street, approximately three-quarters of a mile from Ashland.

Spanish Colonial/Italianate mix 

Irish/English Tudor and Federal Colonial mix

Georgian Colonial 

Traditional Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial/Prairie Style/Greek Revival mix

Spanish Colonial/Italianate mix

Federal Colonial/Greek Revival/Antebellum mix

Traditional Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial mix

Irish Cottage/Federal Colonial mix

Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial/Greek Revival mix

Federal Colonial/Greek Revival Mix

Federal Colonial/Dutch Colonial mix

Federal Colonial/Traditional Dutch Colonial mix

Traditional Dutch Colonial /Federal Colonial Mix

 Ha-ha-ha! JUST KIDDING!

 Because though they're not the oldest or largest homes in Lexington, these homes built from the 1850s to the 1940s will still cost you $1.5 to $4 million dollars.

Or if University of Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Coach, John Calipari ever decides to sell his renovated Italianate mansion, right on Main Street/Richmond Road (and about 5 houses down from Ashland), make that  at least $5+ million :)

So ... maybe the smaller ones near Ashland?

(Renovated) Federal Colonial

Prairie Style/English Tudor mix

*** The home below is actually my favorite house in the Ashland/Chinoe/Woodlake neighborhood ...

English/Irish/German TudorMix

By the way, out-of-towners - "Chinoe" is pronounced "SHIN-oh-way."

It's supposedly a Native-American word - possibly Shawnee - but nobody can remember where it came from or what it means lol.

English Tudor/Cottage and American Craftsman Bungalow mix

Georgian Colonial/Cape Cod Mix

Georgian Colonial

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Just kidding again!

Because even the smaller Craftsman-style homes on the Ashland side of Main Street/Richmond Road will still cost you $650,000-$850,000.

Perhaps the Craftsmans on the opposite side of Main/Richmond Road, then?

Dutch Colonial plan, American Craftsman California Bungalow

Dutch Colonial Plan, American Craftsman California Bungalow/Prairie Style Mix

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Maybe - but they're still $375,000 to $500,000.

That is because even though they are smaller and on less land, than those nearest Ashland, they are still only 1 of 3 neighborhoods in the city of Lexington where you can even find an original Frank Lloyd Wright inspired true Craftsman  Bungalow :)

(The other two areas are the Bell Court neighborhood, also near downtown, and the Roselawn/Arcadia neighborhood, nearer to Baptist Health and UK Hospitals).

Can you believe these Craftsman bungalows above and below - Frank Lloyd Wright's California Bungalows and PrairieStyle Homes - were bought via $2000 kit from a Sears and Roebuck Catalog, and the average cost was $2000?  

Here is an example of an original add for a Dutch Colonial style American Craftsman California Bungalow  ...

*I had written here earlier that Sears went the ToyRUs way and bit the dust, in 2018, but upon checking, it appears Sears was saved in the 11th hour in January 2019.

Lastly, though dispersed throughout these photos, just one last peek at the dogwoods before they're gone for the year ... :)

In case you were curious, the house is Dutch Colonial/Federal mix, btw.