Monday, June 20, 2011

Mystery Photos: A Follow Up

Last week, I asked about the location of four buildings photographed by I.T. Frary.

2611 - House
Photograph by I.T. Frary. 1926. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

One, I noted, was located east of Shalersville. On Father's Day, I went with my wife, son, and daughter on a drive, exploring some of the areas that Frary photographed. I succeeded in locating this house.


Here's the house as it stands today, at 6423 State Route 303, Drakesburg, Ohio. The basic form remains the same, but many of the details have been lost.

The wood siding has been covered with cement shingles. The wood shingles of the roof have been replaced with asphalt ones. The chimney, on the left, is gone, and the porch, to the right, has been enclosed. The fretwork - the wood covering the three small attic windows, the detail for which Frary chose to photograph the house - has been removed.

The front door remains unchanged, along with most of its trim - note that the columns flanking the door are mirrored at the edge of the porch. It was this detail that allowed me to be certain I had found the house in question.

The big surprise of the drive was at how few of the houses that Frary documented remained. Of those that remain, on many of them, the detail he chose to document has been lost. This is often the case even on houses that appear to have been restored and well cared for.

The exhibition Designing History: I.T. Frary; Interior Design and the Beginnings of Historic Preservation in Ohio runs through July 16. I encourage you to take a look. The Cleveland Artists Foundation is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue, in Lakewood, Ohio.

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