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A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Jersey City's Van Vorst Park Historic District
A Walking Tour of Architectural Styles
1. The Barrow Mansion (Ionic House), 83 Wayne Street

By Herbert J. Githens

DIRECTION: From the front entrance of the Main Branch of the Library (472 Jersey Avenue), walk north along Jersey Avenue (away from park), cross Mercer Street and turn right (east) on Wayne Street. Just beyond Saint Matthews Church on the right (south) side of the street is – the Barrow Mansion (Ionic House) at 83 Wayne Street.

This mansion, dating from the 1840s, is an outstanding example of high-styled Greek Revival architecture. Here a porch supported by two-story columns of the Ionic order, a Greek favorite, is arranged in a very formal way. The entrance is also composed of simple classical forms. The two piers that flank the entrance on either side support an entablature (beam). Two sidelights on each side of the door and a transom over the door provide a traditional Greek Revival arrangement for lighting the hallway with natural light. All of these features have wooden components, representative of the carpenter's dominance in the early-nineteenth-century construction industry.

The windows on the first floor are actually triple-hung sash with sills on the floor, yielding a tall vertical effect. Each sash has six panes of glass. At the second floor, the size of the windows diminishes, to double-hung six-over-six sash.

Proportions are important features of architecture. Notice the relation of width to height and window to wall of the Ionic House.

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