Eyebrows
Expression for houses

One of the features I pointed out in the sort-of introduction to this series was a half-round dormer window, which I noted was unusual, because normally such windows only describe a circular segment. These so-called eyebrow dormers have always been a big favorite with the wizard, and so I thought I'd show a couple of houses with a more-typical shape eyebrow dormer.

This eyebrow dormer, its panes divided into six with vertical muntins, is quite typical. Note the arched dorway that echoes the round motif, also very common in Washtenaw.

This is a pretty little house (sorry about the car in the picture), very commonly found in my part of the world. I think of it as ‘farmhouse’ style, and it epitomizes the architecture of the region, which commonly includes (in the oldest houses) fieldstone foundations and clapboard siding. Quite often the eaves, which unlike so much modern architecture might only extend 3”, are deep enough to a) function decently (i.e. keep sliding snow and rain from landing right next to the foundation) provide finish to the roof

Eyebrow dormers are not much seen anymore—I'm guessing because they require relatively skilled carpentry to frame the rounded structures; possibly custom window construction, and worst of all, lack the increase in square footage that, say, a shed dormer would add.

Eyebrow dormers are very popular with ‘curved edge’ roofs, such as this one.

However, the farmhouse style is hardly the only one to be found: this fabulous house is one of several of this type (ugh, I really need to find my American Architecture book, if I'm going to keep writing these posts—it's been 20 years, after all, since I took the class) to be found in Ypsi—solid, low to the ground and remisnescent (to my eyes) of thatched cottages. Quite often homes of this type are stuccoed, as this one is. With the trees in bloom, I could think of no better time to photograph this house. I should note, Detroit also had at least one splendid sample of a house in this style, with wavy shingle roofs and eyebrow dormers, located in Rosedale Park on the northwest side.

Gorgeous. Both these houses are located in the Normal Park neighborhood, Ypsilanti.