Sunday, December 2, 2012

I wasn't sure what caught my eye on Rocky Ford

I stopped, turned turned, and took a picture. There was something familiar, something that triggered memories.

Rocky Ford is a street in Edgewood Kirkwood (thanks to Anonymous for straitening me out. Edgewood's boundaries go from Moreland to Arizona and I-20 to La France). I presume it "forded" Sugar Creek to the south. Folks just live there. Drivers just look straight ahead.

You'll never see it on a tour unless you are touring with me.

The flare on the verge board caught my eye at 30 mph. When I looked closely, I found this massive architrave with details galore. The chipboard in the gable window didn't put me off at all.

It's a 1930(?) hip-roofed bungalow with a leafy minimal landscape and a double-wide next door. This could be anywhere in the south.


There's a very grand portico with a hint of Tudor-asian-classical-craftsman, painted out in white. The chimney is proud and handsome, the foundation is unfussy and sturdy. The porch pokes out and is recessed in. The steps are massive. The verticals of the chimney and columns, the diagonals of the roof and half-timbering look just right with the horizontals of siding, sill, and eave. The gable, the pointy hip roof, and chimney reach for the sky.

You could build this today, don't you think?

Rocky Ford is not historic, not high style, not designed, not planned, not gentrified, not balanced, not harmonious, not zoned into conformity, not messed with too much.

But it has rewards for architecture tourists. I'm glad I stopped.


  1. Hi Terry! I love your blog. I used to live in Atlanta but I relocated to Chattanooga in 2001. My husband and I used to professionally restore historic homes (before the real estate bubble eliminated our business) and we have had the pleasure of restoring in and living in lots of historic homes. I love the prominent Asian influences of some Craftsman-style homes. Excited to dig into your archives!

    1. Thanks Chttafab, I needed a Chattanooga blog in my roll.

  2. We looked at a few house in Rocky Ford a few years ago. Lots of fun houses there and it is really so unassuming.

  3. That picture makes me want to give that house a sound cleaning, landscaping and paint job. How can home owners be so neglectful of their property? The house does have some lovely qualities, Thanks for the tour. Just as well we don't go inside! Ann

  4. Hi Terry! I enjoy your blog. The house in this post is just a few blocks from me. So, a couple of points -- it is actually in Kirkwood, not Edgewood. Kirkwood is a great neighborhood where a variety of folks "just live" -- including several architects! While this particular house may not be on tour, Kirkwood has a great tour of homes each year in May, which always features a variety of homes from bungalows to victorians. I encourage you to check out the Kirkwood Spring Fling and tour of homes - you'll love it!

    1. Thanks Anonmous. I have loved ones in Kirkwood. but it's kind of like "Buckhead" or "Dunwoody" in how folks describe where they live. Even cooler that Dunwoody's had a hand in early Kirkwood. There's a Dunwoody Street in Kirkwood. And a Kirkwood Avenue in Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown. I think I need a nap.

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