An outlet for material I have uncovered in a quest to document the work of architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee. In the absence of a publisher, this is an effort to present that research to a broader public.
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.
To date, over 400 buildings by Silsbee and his firms have been uncovered yet no monograph exists cataloging his work and life. In the process of preparing a monograph on Silsbee's work, I am blogging a sampling of these structures with some information about each and its context to help organize my thoughts. Comments and additional information on buildings and clients are always appreciated.