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Wednesday, November 17. 2010
Is this an antique Colonial or a reproduction? Defend your judgement with details.
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Fake. Not enough Chimneys. Any colonial I can recall, or lived in, had multiple chimneys. It is nearly impossible to heat a house like this from a single location.
It's real. Nobody would build so close to the road these days. It's situated right next to the stone wall, which has bushes that have been there for decades, and it looks like there's a gap in the foundation. A new house would have a standard foundation. The roof looks new though.
Mighty Moose, I think bigger houses had more chimneys.
Realize that the only experience I have with such things is Williamsburg. The fireplace could have heated it all, if there were fireplaces on each side of the chimney, and both floors. That's my only clue to it being original.
The center chimney could allow for 5 fireplaces. It's close to the road and new construction would call for more ground clearance in the rear of the house.
Fake. The chimney would not be in the middle, but along a gable end.
Difficult to tell the roof ridge line has no sagging and the chimney brick work does not look old. With that said this is a circa 1785 center chimney with three fireplaces on the first floor and none on the second floor.
Chimney is not big enough and in most colonials the widest portion of the chimney is facing front-wards.
I say fake. Chimney flashing, though that could have been an upgrade. The roof is too symmetrical, though this may simply indicate my bias for saltboxes. Least it seemed to me that big old houses tended towards saltboxes. At least pre-Federal houses. Cottage-sized houses, no saltboxes.
Many/most old houses have had additions over the years, so that they look rather topsy-turvy. Too neat.
Though built close to the road does indicate old. Could have been built over an old foundation.
Federals tended to have shutters and smaller window panes. OTOH, could have been an upgrade. A friend with a 300 year old house has a living room floor that is 100 or so years old, and NOT an improvement.
Above the door looks Victorian or Federal , which would support its being old- added on.
It looks to clean/neat to be old.
Fake.....It looks to balanced to be an authentic early Colonial......it looks to be an attempt at a Georgian Colonial but the lower windows would likely have been 9 over 6 and not 9 over 9......a Georgian would also have end chimneys not one center chimney.......also upper windows seem to close to the roof.
Too far for my eyes to tell for sure.
I doubt a modern builder would put it that close to the road. And, the chimney is in the right place. Modern builders like to slap it on the end – actual Colonists ran the chimney up the middle to heat the entire house – often with multiple fireplaces.
A colonial used to stand there...now probably one wall of the original structure remains to meet a historic district's requirements.
It's too close to the road for new construction and the stump in the front yard along with the stone wall (having been 'upgraded' on one end years back to accommodate someone's sensibilities) suggest the situs is original. It looks like they poured a new foundation and the chimney is too pretty to be original work. The whole structure is too geometrically perfect.
That's my guess.
Nicely done rennovation/refurb?
Close to the road with an old stone wall.
Ie even if newly built close to the road, the wall probably would not be there.
Seems too plumb and lacks the sag for old.
Fake. Everything is at true right angles and looks too new.
If it ever had any original material in it and was restored, it was done too aggressively and killed the patient.
I'm guessing the site is "real" based on proximity to the road. But the house is a restoration with probably no more than one original wall. The windows are large enough to meet current codes which is untrue of even 40 yr old houses in my area and, as others have mentioned, materials look modern and lines are too straight for "old" or "original".
Some of us use the road proximity to guess old and some new.
I'm going with new because of the utility of being near a paved road. It works too well for automobiles.
Just a guess (hard to see details) I'd say reproduction - straight roof, architectural shingles, chimney (the flashing looks brand new) and what appear to be double hung windows although that could be way off base. The set back is about right for new construction in an older neighborhood.
Now, on the other hand, my brother's home in Norton, MA is an old colonial (1795) which used to be the coach house on the old colonial Providence to Boston road. They had the home restored which included a new roof, siding, architectural shingles and new chimney for the four fireplaces they have in the house. They had new windows installed custom made to match the original window casements. This could be a twin to my brother's home.
I'm sticking with my original assessment though - reproduction. It cost my brother a literal arm, leg and one family jewel by the time the refurb was finished. New construction would have been cheaper by a long shot.
Those are my arguments. Which is it?
Fake. It's got the requisite five windows across the top but their placement is wrong.
Reproduction OR Addition to Original.
Being near a road and a wall is a great fake out. But the chimney in the middle is a giveaway. I lived in an original and the chimney(s) are typically on the end of the roof, as they were built to provide some structural support and putting them at the end also reduced some of the fire hazard.
It's possible that over the years, the original house has been improved. So it could be an original that has undergone alot of renovation and addition. We have an antique colonial that has 3 additions here in town. Chimney in the middle, rooms built around it as they added on. House looks VERY modern today.
The new shingles, etc. could be a result of years of upgrades.
As the need for fireplaces as heating appliances diminished, the chimneys sometimes also disappeared piecemeal. The exposed above the roof portion first, as it is cheaper to just dismantle it down to the roofline and board over it than it is to strengthen, re-point, and properly flash a non-useful chimney.
Also, we've known for some time that chimneys that are not on outside walls draw better. In the UK antecedents of this house the chimney would be in the centre.
Likewise the existance of modern architectural shingles and plate glass could be more testament to the fact that houses require maintenance, repair, and upgrades than to modern provenance. My last two houses got new roofs, and those were both houses built during my own lifetime.
Houses pre 1770 had center chimneys it then fell out of fashion as the side chimneys or two off center chimneys would give you a center hallway. Some of the older homes had the center chimneys removed and replaced with the two off center or side chimneys. There is a house in Deerfield MA that had this done in the early 1770’s as two chimneys cost more than one poorer folks opted for the older style of the center chimney.
This is a 1785 house with the same type of front.
This is a 1720’s home center chimney. I know it’s listed as 1650 but the first settler was in 1680’s and that was on the other side of this town.
Retired RE Appraiser here... This looks tricked out to me, but it could be the result of a partial tear-down and newly configured interior spaces to get rigidly lined up windows on the front.
re massive renovation on an old house, at what point does 'grandpa's axe' come in?
(if dad replaced the head, and i replaced the handle, is it still grandpa's axe?)
So what is the answer??????????????
I've seen a lot of these articles over the last few months (tractors, dogs, guns, etc.) and never seem to see the answer posted.
I don't know.
I figured our readers would be good detectives.
I think it's a renovated antique.
Retired appraiser here too. I say there is not enough information to tell. All of the exterior and materials could have been changed over the years and probably were even if it isn't THAT old. The fireplace doesn't bother me. I don't like that it is above road grade though. Right on the road seems older. And the foundation is up a bit, not right at grade. Is it a rock foundation? The road might be the indicator. If the road looks old, ie follows a stream, curves around a hill or otherwise could have been a horse trail - then old. Otherwise, I'm thinking newer.
A detective tip for on-line photos: Put your cursor on the photo, right-click your mouse, select "copy", open an Excel spreadsheet, right click again, select "paste." You will now have the photo on the spreadsheet. Now, right click on the Excel photo and you can "format photo." One option is to increase the size.
I increased this photo by a factor of ten. By doing this, I could see the siding in sufficient detail to show that the siding is curled and very old. I also changed the contrast of the photo to deepen the shadows. The front siding is randomly curled across the face of the house. So, it is either an old house or an expensive replica.
The tree stump must be at least 100 years old and the wall is probably at least that old. The widows seem to be a bit narrower than newer windows.
Finally, as others have said, the house sits close to the road. And, it is a busy road. There is a yellow stripe on the road, typically not found on back streets or cul-de-sacs.
Perhaps the most obvious clue that it is an old house: no garage.
The one thing that makes me think it is newer is the depth of the house. Most older places are shallower.
My wife, who is paid to know these things (American historian/curator), says it looks like colonial revival to her.
Separate question - is this house on Route 7 near Kent, by any chance?
I agree with "Not Norm", the house is suspiciously deep. And the 1st floor ceiling is very high.
I lean toward reproduction, but the image is too fuzzy when you enlarge it to see the detail needed.
Chimney brick seems too new and uniform in color.
The roof peak - and all the other edges on the house - seem too straight and crisp. Claboard seems too uniform as well.
I agree with an earlier post - the proportions, especially the window relationship, seem off. Regulating lines don't line up.
There is a driveway on the side, and it is reflected in the stonework. Either someone cut the old stonework (historic society no-no!), or it is new.
My $0.02. Again, I'm going on very limited information and my architectural experience in Massachusetts. Use my arguments at your own risk. Your mileage may vary.
Chimney is ok. I have a house where half built around 1790, chimney in middle. Then house added on to to make nice square house. The addition has outside chimneys.
The thing I am not sure of is the six over six windows. Seems like they should be six over four to be really old.
Nothing I see in this photo rules out this house being an authentic colonial. However, if it is authentic, it has had some substantial work done along the way.
The center chimney is a correct period feature. Here in NH we have many 2 century center chimney houses. Ridgelines tend to get quite swaybacked as things shrink and settle, but can be renovated to make them straight and true again. The really old places have 9 over 6 windows, but at some time in the 19th century, they went to using 9 over 9.
We think it's a very good reproduction, maybe on an original foundation. The corner boards are a little narrow and the roof looks to be less than 10 in 12. The roof peak is way too straight and the chimney looks new.
Possibly a Connor Home? Or a rebuild after a fire?