Greetings to one and all! On Friday morning we will welcome the annual visit of The Victorian Society. The Victorian Society, under the direction of Professor Richard Guy Wilson, runs a summer school program for architects and other related professionals out of Newport, RI. For more than thirty years, this group of architects and art historians have visited North Easton to see the H. H. Richardson buildings. At our museum we exhibit photos of the five Richardson buildings in North Easton, and give a brief history of the Ames family, the Ames Shovel Works, and how the buildings came to be. The group will also visit the Frederick Lothrop Ames Gate Lodge, the Oliver Ames Free Library, the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall, and Unity Church. It is a very nice event and introduces our architectural treasures to people from all across the United States and other countries.
Usually our June open house features the same exhibit of our Richardson buildings each year. This year, I will change things up a bit, and include other buildings by Richardson. Can you name a Richardson building outside of Easton? After visiting us Sunday afternoon between 1-5 p.m., you'll be able to! Over his relatively short career, more Richardson had more than seventy buildings erected including some after his death in 1886. He influenced a generation of architects who followed including Frank Lloyd Wright. There area many buildings in the United States that can trace their architecture to the Richardson Romanesque style, and even today, more recent buildings in Easton and the surrounding area have Richardsonian features. Did you know that Richardson also designed furniture? Many architects do, but little study has been done on Richardson's. On display will be a brochure that features a few of Richardson's designs for chairs and benches. And finally, I think that there was once a sixth Richardson building in Easton! I have found, in an old photo, a building that may have been the freight station designed for North Easton. It looks very similar to a known sketch that Richardson did for a freight house here. See if you agree! Until next time, Frank