Dropped friezes - wide bands below the roof cornice, lend these lofty houses an elegance that very few features can, panelled and ornamented to within an inch of their well beyond functional lives (their function being to support the roof brackets.)
Until this past spring, however, my admiration has been tempered by the need to keep the car from wandering onto someone's manicured lawn, or drifting through that tricky three way stop at Belleville Road and Bridge Street.
Finally I got a close look. Because May's installment of ACO Quinte's entertaining and informative (and fiendishly difficult) architectural scavenger hunts, this one put together by Evelyn and Doug Sloane. The target? Napanee, a leafy and very interesting neighbourhood along Adelphi, Thomas, East and John Streets.
And although many of these cornice details were not on the scavenger hunt list of 36, for which my dear one was on a quest, I did manage to shoot a number of these very elaborate wide friezes. And what an astonishing array to select from, every way I turned. Stokes and Cruickshank draw attention to a few details about the sheer Victorian excess of cornice friezes, in the glossary of The Settler's Dream.
Frieze decoration began with classical details, as one would expect, and blossomed into the large elaborate, paired brackets of the Italianate, with their acorn drops suggesting dripping icing just waiting for an impulsive child with itchy fingers.
I was still spotting them as we followed the group down to the estimable Waterfront Pub along the river to cap off a terrific day.