Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Italian job

Wouldn't you just love to explore this house? I would love to see what it's like in the room above the front door, the one with the oriel window, that takes the place of a little balcony on many such houses. What's the entry like, inside the lovely double door with sidelights and fanlight. And of course, what's in the square Tuscan tower with the round-headed window and the bracketed eaves? I'd like to know if the left side of the house is earlier - it has a reserved classical 3-bay look, despite the off-centre veranda and window treatment. The offset placement of the two wings of the house, one with gable end to the street, creates the characteristic picturesque irregular roof-line. There are two verandahs from which to appreciate the expansive grounds. Their adornment is quite different, the right hand one has elaborate woodwork.

The style of the house is Tuscan Villa. This house is the Bell-Riggs house, according to the Hastings County Historical Society booklet, Belleville's Heritage. The house was built about 1855, by John Bell who was the lawyer for the Grand Trunk Railway. There is a wonderful Italian Villa in Kingston. Bellevue House (1838-40), home of Sir John A. Macdonald at some point in his career, is a National Historic site. I'll have to go there to indulge my urge to explore Tuscan Villas.

1 comment:

  1. Well, this IS a beauty, isn't it? I certainly hope there's a comfy window seat behind that oriel window.