Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Shutze house has connections Jefferson, Askins

This is a Shutze house. Do you like it? I've been cruising it for decades, always noticing but never knowing. This must be Mr. Shutze's most straightforward and least likely to become a white elephant. Many families have lived here. It's probably been enjoyed by more residents than any other of his houses.

I'm going to the
2010 Philip Trammell Shutze Awards on February 20th in Atlanta You should too. In the run up to the awards I'm doing a batch of posts about Shutze in my "neighborhood." The first was about high school bricks. No pro photography or pro architecture was committed in this post.

If I've learned anything about Mr. Shutze, it is that the foundation for his designs were the "old" designs.

This house has connections to Palladio via Thomas Jefferson in colonial Williamsburg with a tangential connection to scholarly research by Atlanta architect Norman Davenport Askins.

Now I'm about to go a bit over head.

I learned that the model for this house is the Judge Semple house in Williamsburg. I don't know if Mr. Shutze ever saw this house, a drawing or a picture. But it's certainly an architypical American farmhouse. A city house probably couldn't spread it wings like this. Here you go:

The Semple house may have been designed by Thomas Jefferson. In architecture speak it has a tripartite form. A bit more arch speak just so you don't think it's really so simple, "pulvinated frieze, rich guiloch, modillions and dentils is unusual when used in conjunction with the Doric order tripartite pedimented houses."

Look again. Tripartite means 3 parts.

I want to know more.

Turns out that Atlanta architect Norman Askins, who had a "...four year...detailed apprenticeship with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation," documented the Semple House is this report:
"ARCHITECTURAL REPORT SEMPLE HOUSE BLOCK 2 BUILDING 7 Colonial Lots 257 & 258 DRAFT This Architectural Report were prepared by Norman D. Askins for the Architects' Office. 1971-72"
Here is a quote:
"The champion of this new influence was Thomas Jefferson, who introduced into America the ultimate classical expression in architecture -- the temple-form building (Virginia State Capitol). It is the temple-form building, or more specifically, the tripartite pedimented house which is the subject of this paper. Loosely defined, the tripartite pedimented house is a three-part composition: a center pedimented pavilion, two stories in height, flanked by matching one-story wings, the whole very much in the Anglo-Palladian style. Although readily categorized within the Palladian sphere..."

Here is the Semple house nomination for the National Register of Historic Places.
More on Shutze coming soon.


P.S. If you are joining me at the Shutze Awards, send me an email: terry @

P.P.S. Coming soon: Do you know this Shutze building?


  1. Terry -
    Great post! I love Schutze and Reid. Where is this house? I adore the Semple Williamsburg house - have seen it in person, but not been inside (my husband grew up across the James River from Williamsburg).
    Looking forward to more Schutze posts.

  2. I must admit, I prefer the Shutze house to the Williamsburg one that it is based on - the proportions are more pleasing, and it has a friendlier appearance.

    Great post!

  3. Hi, Terry, been off a bit, just played catch-up on your posts, great and fun as always. Hope you've been well!

  4. Adore how your mind meandered thru crevices of facts about the architecture of this house.

    You let me think I know more than I do!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  5. Oh, I do want to explore inside these houses.

  6. Terry, I enjoyed the architectural jargon. It will take some time for me to process it all though.

  7. Scale being so important in architecture, I also prefer the first home by Shutze.

    So different that our homes much history.


  8. Love this house - it has a calm, confident appeal to me and looks like it would be a nice size, not too huge.

  9. Do you know the paint color of this brick? I love it!

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