Eldridge House and Barn
48 West Church Street, Fairport NY 14450
This article was written in 2014 and does not include any changes occurring since that time.
The Eldridge home and barn at 48 West Church Street in Fairport was designated in 2014 a historic landmark by the Fairport Historic Preservation Commission (FHPC). This property with a large house and carriage barn was named for Irving B. Eldridge, the first owner of this grand Queen Anne home.
History and Ownership
On the 1858 map, the land and an earlier home was owned by R. B. Hewes. Oscur Wilcox owned the property in 1872. The current home was built for Irving B. Eldridge, the foundation being built by his uncle, Edwin Stanley Jordan, a mason and farmer. Eldridge came to Fairport with his wife, the former Marion E. Lovett (Lovett's Corners in Penfield is named for her family), about 1900. Irvin, was a farmer in Penfield Center in 1869-70 and in Webster in 1878. He was the village of Fairport President in 1905.
The barn on this property originally was part of land owned by Martin Austin. An 1885 Beck and Pauli lithograph shows a back entrance to the barn and orchards. The door opening to this land indicates that it was probably used for farming and possibly a threshing barn. On the 1902 map, it shows the barn was a part of land owned by Martin Austin, who lived next door to the Elbridge's. By 1924, the property was a part of 48 West Church Street.
Another person of note who owned the home for over 40 years was Fenton D. Jordan, who was a part of the Jordan family apple drying business that was located on North Main and East Avenue in Fairport. He was the son of the mason, Edwin Stanley Jordan. David Jordan, Fenton's son, became a Fairport police chief, attorney, library trustee and town councilman.
Queen Anne in Spindlework Style
This home is an outstanding example of a cross-gabled Queen Anne, popular between 1880 and 1910, with first level front and side porches, two upper porches and spindlework detailing. About 20% of Queen Anne homes are of this cross-gabled subtype. The gables on the west and east are lower, making the front gable more prominent. The front porch entry is recessed into the right side of the front gable.
The style, Spindlework, is commonly called gingerbread ornamentation or Eastlake detailing. This decorative type is seen in about 50% of Queen Anne's. The Queen Anne, like the Stick style, uses wall surfaces as primary decorative elements, avoiding flat walls and using materials for texture. In addition, Queen Anne houses often have wraparound and inset porches and cutaway bays.
The Eldridge home has front and side gables with individual patterned shingles and vergeboards with a fluted band. The front gable has crisscross timbering, horizontal and angled bands with a raised medallion pattern. The front and side porches have turned posts, brackets, cut patterns, cut spindles and quatrefoil fretwork under the porch roof. The two second story porches have dentil detailing, flattened arches and curved railings.
There is a one-story west side bay window and a rectangular stained glass window on the west side, a cutaway bay on the east side that has a corner overhang with consoles (curves or scrolls). There are two paired windows in the front gable with four panes surrounded by smaller panes. The side gables have square windows that have a large pane of glass bounded by smaller panes.
The carriage house or barn has a Gothic Revival style form common between 1840 and 1880. It has a steep roof, side gables and a front center gable. The front gable has the same detailing as the house with a double hung window and hayloft door. The barn has hand-hewn beams, mortise and tenon joining with treenails. There are wide vertical boards on the inside with sawmill marks that indicate that the boards were likely planed between 1790 and 1850. The barn has a horse stall window on the west side and the side gables have picket-style boards.
Feature of the Neighborhood
This home and barn are very visible on West Church Street, a main thoroughfare. It is located across the street from a designated property, Potter Memorial at 53 West Church Street. It was featured along with other homes on West Church Street on the Society's annual Historic House Tour in 2012.
For more information on the FHPC and designated landmarks, go to the village preservation page or the village website. For more examples of carriage barns in the area, see the Barns and Carriage House page.