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The craftsman
Volume XXX, Number 6 (September 1916)

"An ancient home of peace:" how the modern architect adds comfort to beauty,   pp. 616-623 PDF (2.6 MB)


Page 616

 
"AN ANCIENT HOME OF PEACE:" HOW 
THE MODERN ARCHITECT ADDS COMFORT 
TO BEAUTY 
                 "Somewhat back from the street 
                 Stands the old-fashioned country seat." 
                                   -Longfellow. 
              MONG the private papers of Henry Ryecroft, we 
              read this delightful comment which will find echo in 
              every sensitive heart: "When one is at home how 
              one's affections grow about everything in the neigh- 
              borhood. . . . Beginning with my house, every 
              stick and stone of it is dear to me as my heart's blood; 
              I find myself laying an affectionate hand on a door 
post, giving a pat as I go by to the garden gate." Deep rooted in 
every normal man's and woman's heart is a love of the home that 
sheltered them in childhood and the one that later they created for 
themselves when they left the parent nest. This love of the home is 
of a different quality from any other form of love. It is on a par with 
that marvelous instinct or heart hunger that guides the birds through 
the tractless air back to the very nest in the orchard or on the ledge 
by the sea, where they first looked out upon the world and found it 
good. 
    Though man, like the birds, travels thousands of miles away from 
his childhood home, though he has founded a finer house in a better 
land, yet his affections cling to the old home with unaccountable ten- 
derness. We are constantly hearing of men who have perpetuated 
the memory of the log cabin or the tiny cottage in which they were 
born by incorporating it, unchanged as possible, into a splendid new 
house. We know of a man' who built a great inn around the one-room 
adobe hut that his parents had built in their pioneer days. All through 
New England we find beautiful country mansions with the little 
house of the grandparents forming a most pathetic and altogether 
charming little wing. Even the passing stranger loves to see these 
outward, visible signs of man's respect for age, for family history and 
old-time picturesqueness. 
    We also come across many splendid old mansions remodeled to 
 suit the needs and ideas of the present day so skilfully that all the 
 simple, sweet, ancient flavor is kept unspoiled, yet every modern de- 
 mand and need has been supplied. Unfortunately, however, many 
 of the finest of this country's old houses have been irretrievably in- 
 jured by unwise, unsympathetic restoration. 
    The foundation of Colonial architecture is perfection of propor- 
 tion with dignified delicacy of detail. When the roof lines are altered,
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