The Sunday porch: Washington, Kentucky

4-collins-davis-hse-kentucky-1982-library-of-congressCollins-Davis House, Main Street, Old Washington, Kentucky, 1982, by Jack Boucher for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).


This clapboard structure, built in 1875, is the most exuberant interpretation of Gothic Revival architecture in Washington. . . . A mid-western interpretation of Gothic Revival cottage architecture, . . . with three steep gables emphasizing verticality and the porch with stylized Tudor arches drawing attention from the Greek Revival doorway. Notably absent is any vestige of . . . the “gingerbread” often associated with post-Civil War architecture.

HABS, written ca. late 1970s or early 1980s

Looking at Google Maps street view for Old Washington, it appears that the house still exists in good condition.

The Sunday porch: Gothic Revival anyone?

Peter Neff Cottage in Ohio, via Library of CongressEntrance porch of the Peter Neff Cottage, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. Photo taken 1951 by Perry E. Borchers for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Gothic Revival hse. in Ohio, via Library of CongressAnother 1951 photo of the porch, also by Perry E. Borchers for the HABS (cropped by me).

The HABS report for this house said it “may be the finest example of Gothic Revival cottage style and wood detail in Ohio.”  It was built about 1860 for Peter Neff, a co-inventor of the tintype and an alumnus and benefactor of Kenyon College.

All was not happy in this charming abode, however. Neff quarreled with nearby Kenyon over the bells of the campus’s Church of the Holy Spirit, “which he claimed had driven him to the brink of nervous collapse,” according to the Historic Campus Architecture Project.

“Place yourself and family in my location, about seven hundred feet distant,” he wrote in a 19-page open letter. “How would you like this ding dong every fifteen minutes? . . . [It is] machinery wearing out flesh and blood to those who have any nerves. It is too much bell-ringing . . . it is a sickening nuisance.”

Neff finally moved away from the campus and its bells in 1888.

The house is now named Clifford* Place and is the residence of the Dean of Students.

*The name of one of Neff’s daughters.