The Old Neighborhood Part I
329 Westcott Street / L. Orlo Blanchard House
- Built: 1914
- Architect: Ward Wellington Ward
This small neat house is a fine example of the modest Arts and Craft style of Ward Wellington Ward, the most noted and probably the most prolific Arts and Crafts style architect in the region. It was built for Orlo Blanchard in 1914, six years after Ward arrived in Syracuse from New York City and established his practice.
The two-story house on Westcott Street is nestle in among many houses built a decade or more earlier. There are many late Victorian houses nearby which are more vertical in appearance, against which the low splaying roof of the Blanchard House stands out. The house has shingle siding and a mixed gable front and hipped roof with multiple dormers. The front porch is framed with Tuscan columns, lattice work and plant boxes. The house is similar to several others we’ve already looked at designed about the same time.
When the house was built Orlo Blanchard was second vice president of Burhans and Black, Inc, a wholesale hardware and building supply firm. He was later president and treasurer of O. D. Blanchard and Co. a wholesale sash, doors, and glass firm. Orlo and his wife (later widow) Norma lived in the house until 1961. Like many of Ward’s other clients in this early period, Blanchard was in the building supplies trade, and no doubt knew Ward professionally, or perhaps had supplied some of his projects.
During a period of eighteen years Ward designed over 200 private residences in upstate New York. Most of these houses stand today as testimony to Ward’s talent, and are much beloved by their owners and occupants, who as in the case of the Orlo Blanchard house have taken exceptional care in protecting and preserving the house’s original character. In this case the owners are art historians Cleota Reed, an expert on the Arts and Crafts movement, and David Tatum, expert on the 19th century American landscape tradition.
The Orlo Blanchard house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(updated August 2020)