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Roueche House


The Roueche House (762 Park Ave.) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Roueche House is a two and one-half story, irregularly shaped, frame structure with multi-gabled and hipped roofs. This classic Queen Anne structure is a text-book example of the style. The Rouche House combines the use of brick, clapboard, fish-scale shingles, and pebble-dash panels, creating a complex and ornate surface.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Roueche House is the large curved brick chimney which covers the front corner of the house. This chimney not only has decorative brick work but has a round-arched window incorporated into the chimney itself.

Ornate balconies and a round projecting porch are located at the corner of the front and side elevations. These balconies and porches are decorated with spindles, brackets and thick round pillars. Above and behind the round porch, set into the corner of the house is a three-story hexagonal tower. Fish-scale shingles separated by bands of molding decorate the tower as well as pebble-dash panels and a round window.

Windows throughout the Roueche House vary in size, grouping and location, though they are all basically one/one double hung sash.

FIRST FLOOR

Center entry hall on east side has 7 panel double doors; each with etched glass windows with the monogram "R". Paneled oak, hand-carved wainscotting (oak-leaf design) and stairway with many spindles, bulls-eye block design, 6 spindle-top hand carved newel posts, and 6 hanging spindles. Window has upper stained glass sash (opaque lights — pink, blue, and yellow), and is set in an arched alcove. Plaster cornices supporting the arch have leaf-type design. The hall has decorative plaster ceiling molding and a 3 tier crystal chandelier. The doors throughout have original hardware, and the woodwork has the original varnish.

The room opening directly south has 5 panel double sliding doors, leaded glass and beveled glass arched sash over the window, decorative plaster ceiling molding with swag-type design, corner fireplace with carved oak mantle and firetile. Floor boards are laid sideways with narrow edge up.

Second room opening to the south from hall has maple paneled wainscotting, maple woodwork with same bulls-eye block pattern and additional column row design, a maple corner fireplace with firetile and matching scene, overmantle with carved gargoyles, and leaf design mantle with claw feet. An opaque stained-glass, circle window has matching maple frame and woodwork, and maple beveled-glass doors on upper two-thirds of west wall. Windows is pink, yellow, blue, and brown with a bowed center panel.

Small pass-through room has same oak, bulls-eye block design as first two rooms, now painted, as does the back room, southwest corner. Back stairway door opens into the room (5 panel), and stairway wall has turned corner guard. Exterior door has two etched glass window panes.

Exterior door of northeast room opens from side of front porch and has beveled glass pane. The room has bay window, fireplace with firetile and matching scene (each fireplace has different firetile design), mantle and overmantle of carved oak, overmantle has 5 open panels, (missing glass or mirrors?) and one spindled shelf (one missing).

The center room on the north side has interior and exterior foyer doors with beveled glass center window, and interior door has designed wood molding around glass. The woodwork repeats the bulls-eye block design with simpler oak paneled wainscotting than previous hall. The oak stairway has an opaque lamp-type design stained-glass window on the first landing. The foyer has a ceramic tile floor.

This room is at the northwest, back corner of the house and has dark stained pine paneled wainscotting woodwork and fireplace mantle, which is flanked by columns. The fireplace has firetile also. The arched stained-glass window is in matching frame and woodwork and has opaque purple, green and gold design with a clear, beveled glass insert in the center.

Small room at back (west) has oak wainscotting (painted), and cupboards reaching to the ceiling. The woodwork repeats the bull-eyes block design.

SECOND FLOOR

North hallway and landing have same bulls-eye block design oak woodwork as does the room opening to the west. It also has a fireplace with firetile and mantle supported by columns.

Southwest room has matching bulls-eye block woodwork.

Matching woodwork is also in this next room as well as a small etched glass window

Across the hall on the north is a 7 panel sliding door opening into room having a bay window, a doorway opening onto a balcony, and a doorway opening onto the front hallway. At the sides of the doorway are a mirror with scalloped and oak trim. The woodwork is the same bulls-eye block pattern.

Front hallway has an attic stairway with a ball topped newel post and spindles. Small room opening to the south has a window with two etched glass bottom panes and oak wainscotting under wall covering is exposed behind water closet and same woodwork.

Center south room has bay window, same woodwork pattern, and a corner fireplace with matching scene.

Southeast corner room has window alcove with leaf design plaster cornices. The corner fireplace has firetile and a carved oak mantle.

The turret room has matching woodwork.

Significance

Often explained as a reaction to the high Victorian Gothic style; the Queen Anne style was an attempt to return to a more picturesque period in architecture. Characteristic features of this style include irregular massing, elaborate chimneys, turrets, porches, varied surface treatment and small and ornate details. This style became very popular throughout Pennsylvania during the 1880's to 1900. Part of its popularity was probably based on the catalog-type ordering of a complete residence offered by many local builders. The George Roueche House is just such an example.

Built in 1899 by the local Meadville builders, the Roueche brothers and Albert A. Huttelmayer, 762 Park Avenue was a full-size model of their building ad. This particular style seems to have been popular throughout the United States as evidenced by similar advertisements during the 1800 to 1900 period.

The significance of the Roueche House lies in its detailed reproduction of the "catalog" style and its fine preservation. The architectural research and study potential of the Roueche house adds to its value and significance.

An interesting story associated with this structure is related to its twin located in the near-by community of Saegertown built by the other Roueche brother. Supposedly, the two houses were built simultaneously in a race. This story is not documented, and further research must be conducted before the Saegertown Roueche House can be nominated. The Meadville structure is the more elaborate and preserved of the two.

References

Meadville Tribune. September 26, 1979, July 6, 1973.

Meadville Times News, June 20, 1976.

Whiffen, Marcus. American Architecture Since 1780, MIT Press, 1969, p.115-20.

  1. Sternby, Charlotte, Roueche House, nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Roueche House Map

Street Names
Park Avenue

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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