McGuffey House Architecture: Windows and Doors


upper sash remnant

Figure 1: Upper sash remnant

Windows are a key defining architectural element of a building. We know from written histories, oral tradition, historic photos, and structural detective work that the windows of McGuffey House have been modified over the years. We think the original windows on the front portion of the house featured nine-over-six lights. That is, the sashes were divided into nine panes or lights on the upper sash and six panes, or lights on the lower sash. A remnant of the original upper sash can be seen in the east gable end on the second floor [Figure 1].

Parlor Window

Figure 2: Parlor window

You will note many of the lower sashes consist of one large window pane. We believe these sashes were modified during the changes to the house ca. 1910. During the 1860s, in conjunction with the hallway renovation, the McCord family removed the smaller window sashes at the front and west sides of the parlor and installed taller, large-paned six-over-six sashes [Figure 2].


The front door and window transom also date to the 1860s renovation. However, if you look closely you can detect a few arched bricks below the door lintel.These bricks are most likely the voussoirs [Figure 3] remaining from the original Federal fanlight [Figure 4] that originally surmounted the entrance.


Figure 3: Voussoirs

Federal fanlight on former Beta Theta Pi HQ

Figure 4: Federal fanlight on former
Beta Theta Pi Headquarters

Stephen Gordon, Curator
Fall 2006

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