Falmouth Field Guide

54 Duke Street

Towards the western end of Falmouth, across from the Anglican Church, the house at 54 Duke Street is in a part of town developed in the 1820s and 1830s. Even though the church and churchyard had anchored this part of town since the 1790s, residential development was slower to move in. “Church View” on Duke St is an example of a small, early 20th century, one-story residence found throughout Falmouth. The central mass of the house is constructed of timber-frame walls and brick noggin (also called Spanish wall), covered by stucco, demonstrating the persistence of traditional building techniques into the twentieth century. The house, excluding the porch and the addition, is raised on stone piers to elevate it above the ground and help ventilate the interior. Other details, such as the wood vent transom above the front door, are strategically used for ventilation. The front porch takes up nearly 2/3 of the front elevation and includes decorative cement block railing. A concrete addition with a shed roof, which directs water away from the slab foundation, extends across the entire back of the house. A typical hipped roof sheathed in corrugated metal covers the earliest part of the house. A short roof crown tops the ridge of the roof, an architectural detail that links this building to older structures found throughout Falmouth.

The fenestration displays simple trim patterns that include mitered and butt joined trim. The front windows are three-over-three double hung sashes while side elevations feature vertically oriented six-over-six sashes, matching the verticality of the three-over-three windows on the front. The height and narrowness of the windows emphasize height over width, an aesthetic decision to solve the problem of balancing openings in the wall expanse. Two casement windows in the shed addition are less finely detailed in terms of trim and window style.