205ebrooklyn

Address: 205 East Brooklyn Street
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival; Craftsman
Year Built: c. 1854
Architect/Builder: Robert Wright
Original Owner: Robert Wright

The home was owned and likely built by Robert Wright, an English-born carpenter and stone mason who is credited for building many of Gambier's 19th century homes.  He was born on May 14, 1814.  At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a carpenter and joiner in England.  Wright's apprenticeship came to an end in 1835, so he moved to London to work as a carpenter and joiner in his own right.  Four years later he married Betsey Edmonds on November 27, 1839.  The couple settled in Herdfordshire, where they remained until the fall of 1842, when they sailed across the Atlantic to settle in Mount Vernon, Ohio.  Once settled there, he began working as a cabinet-maker for James Ralff.  Wright worked as a cabinet-maker under Ralff for 18 months when in 1844 he set his sights on St. Louis.  He ended up working in that city for a few months before he decided to return home to Mount Vernon because of poor health.  By April he and his family moved to Gambier, where it is estimated that Wright built approximately 65 homes in the village and surrounding area.  Included in this count is Kenyon House and the Neff House.  A small handful of schoolhouses are also credited to his name.  Wright opened a hotel in Gambier around 1855-1856, which he managed for fourteen years before handing over the position to one of his sons.  Wright established a cabinet and undertaking warehouse in connection with is cabinet and joiner shops in Gambier.  His shops were said to be the best in the county, with the best patterns for his customers to choose from, molding machines, scroll saws, and planers.  He made his son Henry a partner in April 1868.  They made everything from cornices, doors, blinds, and window sashes to interior and exterior moldings.  Wright died on February 24, 1811 from injuries he suffered from a severe accident in his shop a few days before.  Wright was a charter member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 20 in downtown Mount Vernon, which was instituted on June 21, 1843, and was one of the oldest lodges in the state.  Prior to his death, Wright had also served eight years as a Harcourt Parish vestryman.

This house's most prominent Gothic Revival feature is its steep side gables, and an equally steep central gable rising along the main facade.  This gable retains a small ocular window tucked beneath the eaves, which are decorated with a simple vergeboard design.  This decorative element appears to be more in line with the Craftsman style, and may have been added to replace an earlier or missing Gothic Revival vergeboard.  The Wright House has been altered with other Craftsman style features, including wood shake shingles, a Craftsman style front door, and a wide porch that takes up a large portion of the front facade.  The bay window on the east side of the house appears to be original, although the single-story addition on the north was likely constructed at a later date.

 


 

Gambier District

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