Monday, May 23, 2011

Residence for James Severance

In 1893, James Severance moved from Evanston, Illinois to Oberlin Ohio to take a position as Treasurer for Oberlin College.  In September of that year, it was announced that Joseph Silsbee designed a home for him to be constructed of stone, brick and shingle.  
The home is a late example of one of Silsbee's Dutch Colonial designs; a style he was popular for in the mid 1880's.  The long face of the gambrel roof fronts the street and is punctuated by a series of large dormers.  The roof gable-end is asymmetrical, with one side flaring out toward the front to cover a recessed porch.  Another unique detail is a curved shingle corner at each of the dormers.
The interior of the home is a showcase of fine woodworking detail.  A classically detailed fireplace with Delft style tile continues the Dutch Colonial theme.  
The Severance home was the earliest of Silsbee's works in Oberlin.  In later years, Severance would champion Silsbee's designs and as he he developed schemes for expansion of the campus, several memorials, an administration building and dormitory.

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