473 North Main Street
“Site Seeing” An Architectural Sampler, Fenton Historical Society, 1991
(The Fenton Historical Society sponsored a tour of several prominent buildings in Jamestown on August 16, 1991.)
The spirit of the 17th Century French architect, Francois Mansart, haunts this dignified mansion which dominates the southwestern corner of North Main and Fifth Streets. The mansard roof, a device revived in France in the 19th Century, became an important feature of the architectural style known as Second Empire. The Tew House with its high mansard roof, distinctive dormer windows, ornamental roof cresting and cut stone bands connecting windows and walls, is a splendid example of that style.
The house was built by the Tew family in 1885, but served as a residence for only ten years. A private men’s club, the Jamestown Club, occupied the building until 1920. While the exterior of the building remained basically unchanged through the years of the mid-20th Century, much of the interior decor and spaciousness was lost as rooms and whole floors were divided into offices and apartments.
This building was a part of the Fenton Historical Society’s 1989 “Site Seeing.” It had only recently become the property of the United Way through a generous grant from the local Gebbie Foundation. At that time the process of restoring the interior had not begun and visitors had a “Before” view of the restoration plans and techniques. The 1991 “Site Seers” will view the “After” phase. The building now boasts a carefully reproduced 19th Century interior within which very modern 20th Century needs are being served.
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