The second story porch was what got me. That, and the roofline – gable on hip, with these curious gable attic dormers, festooned with brackets. Those elements and my penchant for deliberately getting lost – or wandering down side streets – led me past this imposing late-19th century brick house in Campton, Kentucky.
The allure of the drive-by is understandable.* You see an intriguing building, snap a photo, and then you can examine (or puzzle over) it later. But the satisfying mystery of the house you simply drive by is also very frustrating, for unless secondary sources exist documenting its design or historic background, it seems fated to forever remain a mystery. And sadly, most of Eastern Kentucky has been neglected when it comes to the documentation of historic resources.
The form of this 2.5 story house – its shape, the inset central portion of the facade, and the roof – is so compelling. Architectural historians love form and type – it helps us classify buildings, and by doing so, help understand the builder’s intent and what trends or patterns were occurring in the local community at the time of construction.
The two-story porch is a feature seen on many mid to late 19th century houses in Eastern Kentucky, but those are usually what we call I-houses – two stories high, and one room deep, with chimneys at either end. The shape and form of this house and its brick construction (and juxtaposition of frame portions) combine to create a delightful enigma for future musing.
*All photographs are taken from the public right-of-way.