Quatrefoils (Part 1): Not All That’s Barbed Is Wire

The word for the day is quatrefoil. It’s an architectural term that means “four leaves.” We can think of a quatrefoil as a four-leaf clover set in stone or wood or brick. Here are five quatrefoils (that’s twenty leaves, if you’re counting) seen around town:

Below the rose window and the cross, a quatrefoil on the gabled entrance of St. Patrick Cathedral (1892).

A split quatrefoil on the gable brace of the carpenter gothic house (late 1800s) on Grant Avenue off Samuels Avenue. (Update: Four days after this post was published, the carpenter gothic house was demolished by developers.)

porch talbott-wallTalbott-Wall house (1903) on Samuels Avenue.

The next three quatrefoils are “barbed”: They have points between the leaves, similar to a quatrefoil that dates to 1260 on the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

A gable vent on a house on 5th Avenue.

On the parapet of the Davis house (1914) on College Avenue.

On the Moore house (1906) on Pennsylvania Avenue, a Quality Hill survivor.

That’s enough good luck for one day. In Part 2 we look at a building that is a veritable clover patch.

Quatrefoils (Part 2): Cowtown Gothic

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