Posts Tagged ‘Charles Bacon Rowley’

At some point in the past, the singer Prince decided he wouldn’t have a name.  He became known as “The artist formerly known as Prince.”  How is that not a name?  I thought a riff on it would be fun for the title of this post which features the door to our house in South Euclid, Ohio.  (Eventually, Prince went back to being Prince.  Good move.)

Although we didn’t know when we bought it, our house had historical significance.  Here’s a short article about it and a photo of the house, a photo taken when we were actually living there.  If you look on the left side of the entryway (as you look at it), that’s our windsock.

The house was designed by Charles Bacon Rowley and built in 1932 by the Ferro Corporation.  It was the first of its kind in the world: a steel-framed house covered with dark brown porcelain enamel shingles.  By the time we purchased it, there was siding over the shingles.  The original windows were still there: single-pane casement windows that either wouldn’t open or wouldn’t completely close.  We replaced them all, a rather large cost we didn’t expect when buying the house.

This is, however, a door challenge.  All the doorways were extra-wide, which the movers loved, and our front door would never have been kicked in by the police!  The rose bush was purchased for $1.99 at a store called Just Closeouts and grew into this giant, flower-covered beauty.  Every year I had to cut it back, as it tended to head for the roof at a rapid rate and, for some reason, a few of the flowers were pink, rather than the deep red of the rest of them.  This was our front door for 27 of the first 28 years of our marriage.

© janet m. webb 2012



I know.  This doesn’t look anything like a garage door.  But trust me, it is…in a way.  This door leads to the (flat) roof of the garage attached to our house in South Euclid, Ohio.  The house was built as an experimental home in the mid-thirties, designed by Charles Bacon Rowley.  (This shot in in the link dates from when we actually lived in the house. The windsock is the giveaway.)  Our house was the first porcelain enamel house in the world, although when we bought it, the dark brown enamel panels had, thankfully, been covered with white siding.  One former neighbor referred to it as “the haunted house.”  Here’s a somewhat similar house, the Armco-Ferro House, using the same ferroenamel.  It was constructed for the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition as an affordable house that could be mass-produced.

The attached garage had a flat roof, accessed from the inside of the house through this door at the top of the stairs.  When we bought the house, we thought that perhaps we could make the roof a type of second-story patio.  That never happened, although I did plant lettuce and other veggie in pots.  Only pole-vaulting deer would be able to eat them there!

This shot was taken after we had the interior of the house repainted and I repainted this door, the metal railing and edging, and re-stained the stairs and all the original hardwood floors in the entire four-bedroom house prior to us putting the house on the market.  I always love the symmetrical beauty of the staircase and railing as well as the invitation of the door, drawing the eye and the viewer upward.

© janet m. webb 2013