Thursday, October 30, 2014
The perfect haunted house
Isn't it simply divine? The perfect place to pass out candy on Halloween! It just screams Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
This dear reader is not a parody, or a piece of photoshop art, but was the Taylor Residence, built in Washington, DC., at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue NE, and 3rd Street NE. (We are looking north northwest in this picture.)
I first learned about the house some 30+ years ago when I lived in DC and it graced the cover of the first paperback edition of Capital Losses by James Goode. Capital Losses was a book that really made a huge impact on me. A social history of the destroyed architecture of Washington, DC, the book tells you something about the structure, and then tells you about the people who built it, or are most closely associated with it.
Goode called the Taylor House, built in the 1870s, an exuberant cottage. Evidently it was well known that stereoviews of the house were sold in gift shops. The Taylors also owned the lot next door on the Massachusetts Avenue side, leading me to believe that this fanciful mish-mosh of everything American Victorian was the start of something a bit larger, but it never made it beyond this stage.
Alas, what made it charming in 1876 didn't age so well - much like our opinion today of 1960s "Brutalist" architecture - and the Taylor House was razed for the Congressional House Apartment building in the early 1920s.