sunset

Address: 102 College Drive
Architectural Style: Classical Revival; Italianate
Year Built: c. 1858; c. 1925; 1990
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Francis Wharton

The house was built by Francis Wharton sometime around 1858.  Professor Wharton taught at Kenyon College for many years and at one time was the department chair of English Literature, History, Politics, and the Bible.  Sunset House later served as the residence for several Kenyon College presidents.  The two frame wings, one on the northern side and one on the southern, were added sometime in the 20th century.  The main central brick portion of the house is the original, and exhibits characteristics of both the Italianate and Greek Revival styles.  Because it was built into the hillside, the basement level has been left exposed at the rear, western side of the house.  The main facade, facing College Drive, is divided into three bays and is defined by a large 2nd-story balcony.  Four Tuscan columns support the base of the balcony which has the appearance of a Classical Revival entablature.  Four additional Tuscan columns support the balcony roof, also of Classical design.  A spindle balustrade stretches between the 2nd story balcony.  The main entrance is located in the southern bay of the original building, with fluted paired pilasters and a transom surrounding the door.  Directly above the entrance is a door leading to the 2nd floor balcony.  It is interesting that the northern bay of the main facade is, and was originally, left with no windows or doorways.  All of the windows are tall, Italianate style double windows, although the thin, plain lintels and sills suggest a conservative Classical Revival design.  The cornice is defined by a series of small, plain brackets, further adding to the Italianate flavor of the house.  Like the front, the rear of the house has a two-story balcony and porch combo, although the balcony extends from the main floor because of the exposed basement.  The rear of the 1st-floor of the southern frame addition has a large bay window.

 


 

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