Friday, November 18, 2011
Photograph by I.T. Frary. 1922. Scanned from a photocopy of an original in the I.T. Frary Audiovisual Collection at the Ohio Historical Society.
On Wednesday, I illustrated how the changes in landscape around St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church affected the perception of the structure, from something monumental to something more ordinary. Today, I hope to illustrate how more subtle changes affect the perception of a historic structure.
The Congregational Church at Claridon was built in 1831, at the intersection of Mayfield Road (US 322) and Claridon-Troy Road, in Geauga County. (If you took Mayfield Road east from Interstate 271 and continued east for 16 miles, you'd end up there.)
The church is an especially good example of the type built in this area during the time specified.
As you look at these photographs, try to notice how the church has been changed over time.
Photograph by I.T. Frary, in the collections of the Ohio Historical Society. From the Cleveland Artists Foundation exhibition Designing History: I.T. Frary; Interior Design and the Beginnings of Historic Preservation in Ohio.
This photograph, circa 1929, was used by Frary in his landmark work, Early Homes of Ohio, which remains the best work on Ohio's architectural heritage as a whole.
Finally, we have a photograph that I took, back in March of this year.
The most obvious change is that the windows are no longer arched, but now have rounded tops. But there's another significant change. Look at the stairs leading to the church.
In 1922, there are just two front stairs. By circa 1929, there are three. And today, there are four.
Note how much the church feels like it's part of the landscape in 1922. Something's lost in the addition of stairs - to my eyes, it feels more separated from the landscape. Perhaps that was the intention.
As in Tremont, these changes, large and small, make a difference.