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Thread: My favorite old house

  1. #1
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    My favorite old house

    This is one of my favorite old houses.

    Known as the “Matthews Mansion”, this historic home of John Matthews, considered the “Father of Indiana Limestone Industry”, was constructed between 1879-1880, entirely of limestone in the French Second Empire Style. Contemporary history maintains the house was designed by architect Jean-Louis Charles Garnier, most noted for designing the Opera House in Paris, France. The house has spacious light-filled rooms and a partially finished, walk-out basement. It is constructed of very large limestone blocks laid without mortar. The limestone walls are 22 inches thick. There are 2 double-flue, capped chimneys to provide a flue in every room. Zinc-lined gutters. Dormer window frames are zinc. The walls and original ceilings are horse-hair plaster. Etched glass panels called “flash glass” originally filled the transoms and 3 remain (2 cobalt blue, 1 ruby above back door). The mansard roof of hexagonal slate tiles is topped by an ornamental cast iron railing. Most of the woodwork is black walnut. 3 working fireplaces with stainless liners. The Mansion is part of the Matthews and Sons Stone Co. Historic District in the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Smithville fiber optic ready. All city utilities. Detached, insulated 4-car garage with storage room above. Historic dry-stack stone fence. Property is zoned Light Industrial with Historic Preservation Overlay.

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6...5595828_zpid/?

    Not sure I like the flooring they put in the house when it was remodeled. A little too modern without the imperfections of age.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    This Second Empire house could fit right in my neighborhood. the mansard style is ours.

    Ours are not constructed of limestone, though, they have brick walls, and thin limestone blocks on the front to look as tjough they are constructed of limestone. Limestone foundations here.

    You are too kind about the new floors, they are hideous.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Beautiful house--not the style I would choose to live in, but great history, and great "bones." I agree with you about the floors--they could have done much better there. But it is a majestic old house.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I am reminded of The Addams Family house.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I am reminded of The Addams Family house.
    Is that a good or bad thing to you…

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    This Second Empire house could fit right in my neighborhood. the mansard style is ours.
    I was not familiar with Second Empire, so I looked it up and this is a nice summary of its history and characteristics for those as ignorant as I am of this style. The description DOES reference Addams Family (and Psycho)

    https://www.wentworthstudio.com/hist...second-empire/
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Oh my, that's a handsome house. The first thing I thought of was "haunted," which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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    It's just so... BIG! Way too big for me. I don't know if it was flash on the pictures, but all the areas look very bright, and I do like lots of light.
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    This is our friend John’s house up dor sale, a classic Fremch Victorian in the Second Empire style. We have been to many parties in this house.

    This shows the limestone front, a thin-ish piece maybe 4” deep affixed to brick front with a skim coat of plaster over it.

    https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...4_M71534-79193

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    That house is beautiful! A lot of house, but the architectural detail is beautiful! And those windows!!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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