Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sketchbook - Historic Office at Spring Grove Entrance

Last Saturday Christina and I walked at Spring Grove and then sketched what I thought was a church at the entrance.  Apparently the building was actually the old administration building and is now referred to as the "Historic Office."  It was built in 1863 by a prominent Cincinnati architect named James Keys Wilson and the east addition was done in 1955 by India Boyer, one of America's first female architects (source here).

I thought it might be fun to show the progression of this sketch from start to finish.  It was a nice day so we sketched for about an hour.  I usually only get my pencil sketch done in that time but Christina has often inked her's in at that point.  We then typically take a photo and finish at home.  Some might be purists and say you should stop when you leave, but I find it super relaxing and fun to finish up at home.  If I don't like the sketch I may never finish it but that's OK too. (You can click on the images below to enlarge.)

Pencil Sketch


ADDENDUM: After I posted this Phil Nuxhall, Spring Grove historian, sent me some additional information he had on the building so I thought I would post it because there are some interesting tidbits (i.e. the building cost $30,000 to build!).

Originally, the main offices of the cemetery were downtown at 215 E. Fourth Street for 55 years. In 1938, the offices moved to 212 East Sixth Street, in the Gwynne Building. Then the present building in Spring Grove, by James Keys Wilson, was constructed in 1863. Originally there was a pump and a horse trough at the entrance prior to the erection of the administration building. A letter in the archives dated June 22, 1882 from builder Charles Farnan states: "…propose to furnish material and labor for the change of windows in the public waiting room and office, all made of black walnut, inside blinds all complete for the sum of $45.00". Another letter in the archives dated May 1871 from John B. Mahoney offers to repair decay of building! Schoenenberger recommended white walnut. On the outside of the front door to the front room/chapel is an electrical box that was connected to a bell to alert visitors & employees to closing time, etc. The addition was done in 1955 by India Boyer, first female architect in Cincinnati with AIA. The administration offices remained downtown in the Gwynne Building on 4th Street until the addition was constructed around 1955.  From The Commercial Tribune 1867: “The edifice at the south entrance, built in the Norman gothic style, and completed in 1863, cost about $80,000. As the building on the other side of the gate will be soon commenced, it would be well to select a better quality of stone, and have the work done in better style than previous undertakings of this character. This lodge will contain but one room, and cost about $15,000. There is another entrance on the east side of the cemetery, which is used during high water, when the south entrance is submerged."  Also from The Commercial April 14, 1867: “Old Admin. Bldge was $30,000 and the carriage house was $15,000".

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