We are so grateful that the original Norris House front doors survived the purge. These doors, their surrounding trim and that decorative gable bracket up top are the only exterior features that made it through the 1930s construction phase at Norris House. Today we'll focus on these gorgeous doors.
The process of etching glass was established by the mid-1800s, and was first popularized in pubs as a way to obscure the patrons inside. It was quickly adapted for residential use, and the Victorians lost little time in applying decorative skills to the production of ornate images within the glass. We have not discovered the origins of the doors at Norris House, but they do feature original etched glass panels. The panels feature ornate designs: each depicts a lady draped in classical garments standing atop an ornate floral pedestal framed by floral elements. A close look will reveal that the decor on the pedestals were the inspiration for our Norris House logo. Our logo medallion is not only beautiful - it was pulled directly from the glass on the front doors!
The doors housing these glass panels are quite ornate, with all kinds of applied panels and heavily carved elements. Underneath untold layers of paint, most recently a dull chocolate brown, there are hand carved details to be uncovered. The doors continue the original Italianate aesthetic of the original Norris House facade. Both doors have been removed and stored for safekeeping to protect that beautiful original glass.
We can't wait to see these restored! We do know that they are old growth pine. It is unclear at this point whether we will be able to get the doors back to stain grade, or whether they will be painted. It's clear they will be beautiful either way! Once we get the layers and layers of paint off, the depth of the designs and carvings will be brought back to life. We hope to keep the original hardware, and repair the areas were additional holes were bored for deadbolts over the years.