© Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant
Below are a few examples of Richardson Romanesque homes from across the continent:
The Cupples Mansion forms part of the St. Louis University Museums. The Mansion displays several architectural elements typical of Richardson Romanesque style residences: A tower and semi-tower; rough stonework, an irregular plan, giving rise to a picturesque roofline of gables, dormers and chimneys; and squat short columns supporting the entrance porch.
The forty-four room home was built in 1888 – 1890 and was designed by architect Thomas B. Annan.
A light and airy guest bedroom in the Cupples home – seen shortly after construction – belies the rough masonry that envelops it on the outside. The wallpaper and fabric used on the window pelmet is William Morris’ “Garden Tulip”, which gave a light floral motif to the interior decoration.
Garden Tulip wallpaper and fabric designed by William Morris in 1885 used in the Cupples mansion bedroom above. This wallpaper design was only three years old when installed in the Cupples home, making it thoroughly modern at the time.
The Cable House at 25 Erie Street in Chicago – as seen shortly after construction in 1886 – was designed by architects Cobb and Frost. The house was built for Ransom R. Cable, the president of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, in a neighborhood filled with homes of Chicago’s social elite.
Today, this splendid Chicago Landmark, designated Heritage on October 2, 1991, sits on a downtown street corner and now serves as high-end offices. Its golden stone façade adds a gracious counterpoint to the modern buildings that now surround it.
An 1886 Photograph of the porch of the Cable house in Chicago at 25 East Erie Street.
The entrance porch, seen here in a 2010 photograph, features three typical Richardson Romanesque squat columns with splendidly carved capitals.
The intricately carved capitals of the porch columns are trademarks of the Romanesque style.
The carving under a second floor bay window is naturalistic in design, yet formal in layout, adding a lightness and delicacy to what could be a heavy feature of the building.
The corner tower over the entrance has a finial with a sunburst support, and more fine stone carving both above and below the curved windows. The tower formed a good observation point in the upstairs bedroom, allowing a resident a good view to the street below – a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by before television and computers distracted people from busy city life.
Even the Carriage House was built in the same Richardson Romanesque style to match the house