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Rosson House Analysis Essay

The Rosson House Museum named after Dr. Roland Rosson and his family is located in downtown Phoenix. It was built in 1895, by an architect named Alexander P. Petit. It is over 120 years old and is one of the few historic houses in Arizona that still stands in its original foundation. The house is about 2,800 square feet, with ten rooms and five fireplaces. In todays day the Rosson House is now a museum open to the public. In addition, the Rosson House is full of history. The House was first built for the Rosson family.

Dr. Roland Rosson was a physician and surgeon, but was also highly involved in politics. In my visit to the museum I was able to see Dr. Roland Rosson’s office where patients would come to ring the doorbell that sounded all the way to Dr. Roland Rosson’s bedroom. In the doctor’s office there was all sorts of tools, including a tool used for constipation, which in my opinion looked terrifying. On the left wall an antinomy chart of a man that was dated back to 1886, surprisingly it’s only worth about a thousand dollars, due to their being more copies.

Dr. Roland Rosson had seven kids, two which died at a young age. Furthermore, in June 3, 1897 the Goldberg family had purchased the Rosson House. Aaron Goldberg the father owned Goldberg’s clothing store and like Dr. Roland Rosson was involved in political activities. Aaron and Carrie were Jewish and had three kids; Chester, Hazel and Selma. In the girls room, there was Selma’s doll that was dated to 1915 and was still in perfect condition. Moreover, the Goldberg’s sold the Rosson House to S. W. Higley on September 7, 1904.

Mr. Higley was a partner of the AZ republican newspaper at the time. He lived with his wife Jessie and their children Thomas, James, and Jessie Jaen. The couple later on sold the Rosson House to the Gamul family on August 22, 1914. The Gamuls were the longest family to live at the Rosson house. They only had three daughters and decided to rent the rooms upstairs. The Gamuls had a lot of changes done to the house which included painting the house white and closing the upstairs patio. After living at the Rosson House for 35 years they sold the house and became a rooming house.

Finally, the city of Phoenix bought the house in 1974 and began to restore the Rosson House to its earlier state. In todays day, the Rosson House is listed on the U. S National Register of Historic Places. This means that the Rosson house takes part as one of the Nation’s historic residences and is protected by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The National Register is part of a national program in hopes to help identify and defend America’s extraordinary history and resources. Properties that are significant in American history, architecture, engineering, and culture can be Registered.

It is also important because it helps keep the property intact many properties under the U. S National Register of Historic Places may qualify for tax incentives to help preserve the property. I believe this is an important law because it gives the opportunity for an important landmark to survive for decades. Allowing for future generations to see and experience what our ancestors have left behind. In addition, these landmarks show us our history. For example, the Rosson House shows us how people lived in the Victorian time and for a moment let’s us live in their shoes.

In continuing, as mentioned before the architecture of the Rosson House style is called Victorian. Victorian architecture first emerged in the reign of Queen Victoria between 1830 and 1910. It all started off with Gothic architecture and French, Italian, Egyptian and other styles were added according to the taste of the designer to create beautiful homes or buildings. Usually Victorian residents stood two to three stories high, were painted with vibrant earth tones, and were asymmetrical. In my opinion Victorian residence resemble a dollhouse or even a castle due to their steep, multi-faced roof and towers.

So how does the Rosson House show elements of Victorian architecture? The Rosson house is two stories plus an attic, which makes it quiet large and impressive. It has a very unique, and detailed trim and a fantastic porch downstairs and upstairs that goes around half of the house. The colors the Rosson House displays are vibrant earth tones such as green, yellow and red-brown. My favorite part of the architecture of the Rosson House is the Tower in the front of the house and its lovely roof. The roof helps the house seem taller at some points, as if it could touch the sky.

I like the fact that the roof is not all in one level, instead it gives the allusion of it being staggered, as if each part of the house had its own roof made specifically for each room with different shape, length, and height. Furthermore, Alexander P. Petit was influenced by different styles and cultures. For example, he demonstrates Italian, French, and Asian influence. The Rosson House’s hooded windows are Italian, the dome is French, and the doors are Asian style. Making the Rosson House unique and mesmerizing.

The Rosson House does not only have evidence of Victorian architecture, but it also has Victorian influences in the interior design. When you first walk in you notice the purple wall paper with the same Pattern repeating throughout the house. In the Victorian times it was really common for houses in that era. In the dinning room there is a wooden dinner and a large grandfather clock made in 1823. What makes this grandfather clock so special is that fact that it portrays the different phases of the moon on its face. Another common thing for houses to have is detailed pressed tin ceilings.

The Rosson House had white tin ceilings placed on the first floor and light green pressed tin ceilings upstairs. As mentioned before, there are five fireplaces in the house and each had its own unique fireplace over mantel. In the girl’s room which is located upstairs it’s fireplace over mantel is the original piece that the Rosson placed and it was found in a vintage store when its renovation began and brought back. The bed in the same room was angled which was normal at the time. Ropes were used to hang up pictures on nails that were nailed to the picture rail. Throughout the Rosson House there was a unique picture frames made.

For example, pinecones, real dry ducks and even fancy work also called hair art was used to decorate the frame. In the kitchen, the kitchen table was low to roll pie dough had a belly drawer which means the drawer were rounded so that flour or sugar wouldn’t be wasted. A high chair converts into a rocking chair was also in the kitchen. Other Victorian furniture includes an old Wooten desk with wheels meant to travel with you, a baby halo cradle, Lace curtains, pitcher and wash basin, and claw foot tub in the bathroom. The Victorian taste in furniture and interior decorations were very convenient and elegant.

American society in the Victorian area was very different from the society we live in today. For one, women are free today and not seen as their husband’s property. At that time man would send their wife’s to a separate room in order to talk about politics while they smoked cigars and drink brandy in the smoke room. Women’s fashion has also changed from the Victorian times. Wealthy women’s clothing involved underwear, corsets (which most started wearing at the age of five), hoop skirts and dresses. The wealthy also had maids that were usually 13-15 years old.

In the Rosson House three of the family’s that had lived there had maids that came from an Indian school. They would help cane food and do chores around the house. The oven would also be moved outside at times, so it won’t warm the house in the summer. Because the Rosson House didn’t have air conditioning, the family’s that lived there would open all the windows and spent most of their day outside to catch breeze. At night they would sleep on their porch, on top of a wet bed sheet in order to stay cool on those infamous hot summer nights. As you can see our society and lifestyle has changed for the best.

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