Falmouth Field Guide

NW Duke and Newton

NW Duke and Newton, By Ben Hays and Edward Chappell The house at the northwest corner of Duke and Newton streets features construction from three different periods: two front portions, which date from the 19th century, and a 20th century addition at the rear. The two 19th century bays are revealed by hipped roofs of unequal width and wood exterior walls while the 20th century addition is marked by a cross gabled roof and concrete walls.

The earliest portion of the house--the western bay displaying the largest hip roof--likely dates from the first half of the 19th century and may be one of the small houses near the Anglican church tower in Adolphus Duperly’s c.1844 lithograph. This part of the house includes two nearly square rooms (roughly 12’ x 11’) of approximately the same size. Both the wall and roof framing are fully exposed on the interior, revealing planed and beaded siding and roofing. Their framing—posts, studs, and braces—are mortised and most framing connections have wood pegs. The interior is painted white up to one foot past the plate, before giving way to older red paint or stain on the underside of the roof.

Original fenestration visible today includes a large, south facing tripartite window in its original stud spacing and one six-over-six, counterweighted, double-hung window on the west façade. If this is the house in the Duperly lithograph, a door on the west wall provided access into the southern room; today, a window replaces the door. Visual evidence suggests windows or doors on the east façade may have matched up with the openings on the western face, though the first addition changed this wall significantly.

Late in the 19th century a narrow, full-length gallery-style room was added to the east of the original building. It measures approximately 7’6” x 22’ long. This room was also topped by a hip roof, though the narrower width made the hip shorter in height. Unlike the early portion, the wall sheathing is unbeaded and the underside of the roofing displays matchboard, creating a finished tray appearance.

Fenestration in this eastern portion includes two large tripartite windows with neoclassical-like architraves on the east, a solitary single pane window on the south, and two doors into the newer north portion. Access between the two 19th century portions is made by means of two solid board doors, located where the east façade windows would have been before the addition, with applied stiles and rails on the side facing the newer portion. Like the east windows of this addition, the doors are hung in frames with neoclassical single architraves.

The newest addition, a rear wing at the North, dates from the middle of the 20th century. It is comprised of poured concrete walls that enclose the modern kitchen and bath.