Friday

The Italian Renaissance House

Italian Renaissance style architecture is found throughout the United States in early 20th century houses.  To me, the Italian Renaissance house, with it's low-pitched roof (usually covered in ceramic tile), arched windows and doorways, porches and intricate details like cut stone, decorative brackets and broad eaves is one of the most beautiful.  Most of these houses were architect-designed landmarks in major metropolitan areas.
The house above was built in the Indian Village area of Detroit, probably for a prominent auto-industry executive.  Notice the symmetry, the large eave, the limestone door surround.  This is a beautiful example.

This house is one of my favorites.  Not only because my company built it, but also because every aspect of this house was built and designed to match how it would have been done in the 1920s or 30s.  The original house was a simple one story house built in 1915.  Prior owners had found plans dated 1929 inside the walls of the house by local architect Joseph Pelich.  The story goes that the owners had plans to do the work in 1930, but two months later the stock market crashed followed by the Depression put the plans on hold and they never did the work.  The current owners hired us to do carry out the plans (the new plans incorporated most of the details of the 1929 plans, but updated for today's living).

The entire second story was added, most of the first level was completely gutted and the location of the front door was altered to face the street.  This was one of the most challenging jobs we have faced and the outcome is beautiful.  It was a fun job, as the architectural plans were very precise, the details immaculate and we had great clients to work with.  It is now a landmark house in a beautiful area of Fort Worth.  You can find more examples in Betty Lou Phillps book, Inspirations from France & Italy.


 Here's another perfect example in Indian Village, Detroit.


The above pictures are other great examples of Italian Renaissance style.  The top picture is the famous Vizcaya in Palm Beach.  The next is a David Adler designed house in Chicago.  The bottom two are of a house in Atlanta designed by Philip Shutze.



9 comments:

Jason said...

I stumbled across your blog while searching for information on the 2009 southern accents show house.Have you had the pleasure to tour Swan House? There are several similar homes near Swan House including "the pink palace" which recently underwent a significant restoration. If interested visit www.541westpaces.com. The house is currently on the market.

Trey said...

I have only driven by but not toured it yet. Next time I'm in Atlanta I'll try and carve out some time to do it. In the meantime, thanks for the website. I'll look at it.

Jason said...

I interned at the Atlanta History Center in grad school and got to conduct tours of the house. They recently opened several additional rooms upstairs. It is well worth the time.

Jason said...

If you let me know when you will be in Atlanta, I will be glad to recommend some additional homes to see. Atlanta has a very diverse architectural style with some amazing homes built during the early 20th century. Again, I really like your blog.

Anonymous said...

i love the renaissance scheme. could you kindly tell me dimensions of the antique stone mantle (identified as 'italian renaissance mantle 3').

with thanks

Trey said...

I apologize, but not sure which one you mean. If you could send me an email I'll try and help you from there. Thank you for visiting my blog. Hope you like it.

Anonymous said...

The first house, in Detroit, is not in Indian Village and was not built for an auto exec, though auto execs lived in the neighborhood, which is called Boston Edison. The most famous owner of this house was Berry Gordy.

Renaissance Exteriors said...

There is lot of articles on the web about this. But I like yours more, although i found one that’s more descriptive.

Anonymous said...

Vizcaya was the James Deering residence in Coconut Grove, south of Miami. It's open as a house museum with original furnishings and 18 acres of incredible gardens.