Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Prairie-style Pattern

I've discovered three buildings in Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood which are interesting variations on the Prairie style and are so much alike that I wonder if the same architect is responsible for all three.  Here's the first of these four-plex apartment houses.

1018-1024 Osceola Street, Jacksonville, year of construction and architect unknown.  Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Landmarks for the Future shows a house at 349 West Fifth Street in Springfield that is almost identical to this one.  The Springfield house was built in 1915 and designed by the architectural team of Mark & Sheftall.  The most eye-catching features of these buildings are the cantilevered canopies over the balconies.  The effect is quite dramatic.  Note that the roofline mirrors the line of the canopy.

The design of the porches on each side of the house is equally interesting.  Rectangular piers are the base for intersecting crossmembers which, in turn, support the porch roof and the balcony. 

The design adds up to a gravity-defying look on both floors of the building that is unique.

The current owner has done a nice job of showcasing the building's interesting design.  The pleasing color scheme highlights architectural details.

Some of the residents have their own color-scheme going with the flower pots they display!

The building is constructed in a U-shaped plan, which leaves a small yard between each wing of the building.  The apartments are two up and two down, with entrances divided between the porches. 

As I mentioned earlier, an almost identical house on West Fifth Street in the Springfield historic district was designed by the firm of Mark & Sheftall, whose work can be seen throughout Jacksonville's historic neighborhoods.  Did Mark & Sheftall design this house as well...and the two others in Riverside that are so similar?  I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows more about this.

In my next two posts I'll take you to the other houses on Herschel Street and Donald Street which share so much with this one.

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