Piver House - 125 Ann Street

One of several to be posted from: Early Domestic Architecture in Beaufort, North Carolina - Summer Field Study 2011 - College of William and Mary & Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Dept. of Architectural and Archaeological Research. Photographs and drawings by Jeffrey Klee, Carl Lounsbury and field school participants.

"Thought to be a late eighteenth-century example of a Carolina coastal cottage with an integral front porch contained beneath the slope of the roofline, the story-and-a-half framed dwelling at 125 Ann Street appears to date from the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The south front fa├žade consists of four bays asymmetrically arranged with two windows west of the offset front door and one window to the east of it. The plan of this 28-foot long by 24-foot deep dwelling originally consisted of a narrow, 4 ½-foot center passage with a large front heated room on the west side and a diminutive unheated space opposite it east of the passage. The exterior chimney on the west gable end is now encased in stucco. Two smaller, unheated rooms were set behind these two front rooms. The west one may have originally opened into the front room as it does now while access to the east one was only by way of the back passage.

"The staircase, the upper flight of which has been demolished, ascended to the second floor from a small enclosure opening off the passage near the rear of the house. After a few winder steps, the upper flight rose along the east partition wall. The second floor plan consisted of two rooms, an unheated space to the east at the top of the stair landing and a larger heated room warmed by the exterior west gable-end chimney. A modern exterior staircase on the east gable end now provides access to the second-floor apartment. Two windows on the front wall of the half story help light the two rooms, but these may be mid-twentieth century openings rather than original.

"Some original trim survives on both floors. The front west heated room has a molded base, flat-panel wainscoting capped with a quirked molded chairboard. This detail was repeated in the original passage as well. The mantel in the west room has quirked pilasters supporting a molded shelf that projects at the two ends. The second-floor mantel is a simpler version of the one below. Throughout the house are flat, six-panel doors hung with butt hinges. The apertures are trimmed with single architraves with either quirked ovolo with astragal, or, cavetto with astragal backbands. The smaller east front room has remnants of a quirked chairboard. 

"Access to the attic was limited to a peak through a narrow hatch in the second-floor ceiling. The roof framing consists of sash sawn common rafters that are butted at their apex rather than mortised, tenoned, and pegged as might be expected for a structure dating from the early nineteenth century. If original to the building, then this is one of the earliest examples of a later construction technique. It is also possible that this is a later nineteenth-century roof when such methods became common." - Carl Lounsbury

Mary Warshaw note: This is one of eleven houses studied summer 2011.The group was also in Beaufort summer 2012; those studies will also be posted. 

 Piver Family