Wood is Dramatized in Colonial Built at Lancaster by Ohio Lumberman
ALMOST a full century after his great-grandfather built one of the staunchest houses in Lancaster, Ohio, Robert Giesy, prominent Ohio lumberman, has erected on the identical site a Colonial home that, in architecture and appointments, quite properly ranks among the finest homes in the Buckeye state. Bob Giesy, who is manager of the H. H. Giesy & Bros. Company, wholesale lumber firm of Columbus, Ohio, and Mrs. Giesy spent many years planning this home that has become one of the show places of Southern Ohio.
It is built on a hillside which is part of the 113-acre farm located at the south corporation limits of Lancaster. Bob is the third generation of his family to own the farm, his father having acquired it in 1910.
A prominent portion of the estate is the 150' x56 barn in which 15 show horses and other farm horses are kept.
Here, in picture form, is the history of the Giesy farm house. At the top is a pencil sketch of the original house build in 1850 by John U. Giesy, great-grandfather of the present owner.
Pictured, the original home after it was remodeled by Robert M. Giesy, Sr. He added the porch and many other touches.
The hillside site is shown to proper advantage in the lower photo. The farm came into the Giesy family as a Revolutionary grant.
28 Months Abuilding
At first the Giesys considered remodeling the original house, which had been built in 1850 by John U. Giesy, the great-grandfather. But the structure proved a difficult problem because of its huge solid brick walls. Consequently, it was decided to tear down and start over, incorporating many materials from the old home in the new one. Construction got under way in the spring of 1939, and the house was far enough along by the fall of 1941 for the Giesys to move in.
As might be expected of a family whose roots in the lumber industry are quite firmly entrenched, the home dramatizes the peculiar advantages of many woods. Some of the treatments are shown in the accompanying photographs.
Entrance to the Giesy home at Lancaster would be difficult to improve. Note the grandfather clock at the far end. All the lighting fixtures in the house were specially made.
Furnishings From New Orleans
The interior of the home fulfills every promise of the imposing exterior. Mr, and Mrs. Giesy spent years studying and selecting the furnishings. Many of the pieces, including the grandfather clock in the hall, had been in one or the other of their families. But the majority were carefully selected from all sections of the country, New Orleans probably was the most prolific source of any city.
The 25' x 28' living room provides view both of the paddock in which the horses are exercised and the hillside which climbs past the huge barn.
From top to bottom: Living room, Library and Dining room. The spacious living room is approximately 25' x28'. Note the wood carving above the fireplace; it is a seascape and may be illuminated.
The Library is done in curly redwood, with redwood block flooring. Many of the books are collectors' items.
The Dining room is 17' x 21', and is distinguished by chestnut ceiling and walls, with trim of walnut. The plate glass window provides a sweeping view of the countryside.
The House: First and second floor plans
The mammoth barn on the Giesy farm is the scene of many family activities. All members are enthusiastic horsemen and horsewomen, and the wall of the reception room leading to the stables are adorned with blue ribbon won in various competitions. The barn houses 15 show horses and several other used for farm work. The barn is 150' x 56', with living quarters for the grooms on second floor.
Pecky Cypress Game Room
There is a 25' x 17' game room off the living room, with kitchenette and bar attached. The game room is a popular rendezvous of lumbermen friends. It has pecky cypress walls and ceilings, and random width oak plank floors.
The 17 x 21' dining room is noteworthy for the picture window of plate glass that extends from the floor to a heighth of 7 feet, and permits a remarkable view of the farm. Walls and ceiling are of chestnut, with wainscoting, trim and cabinets of walnut.
Plenty of time to play, and ample place in which to do it at the new Giesy home.
The game room on the first floor offers walls and ceiling of pecky cypress. The half log that forms the mantle above the woodburning fireplace is also cypress. Kitchenette and bar are not shown
Lighting Fixtures Made to Order
Lighting fixtures in all rooms were especially made. Ceilings, as a rule. are Upsonboard.
Possibly the coziest room in the house is the 21½' x 13' library, done in curly redwood. Floors are 4" x 6" Redwood blocks 2" thick laid over plywood. A tile fireplace occupies one corner. In this room the Giesys have compiled many collectors' items.
On the second floor is the master bedroom suite, which includes the 25½' x 1912' bedroom,
a dressing room, and bath with stall shower. There are three other bedrooms for members of the family and guests on this floor, with two additional bedrooms for servants in the wing above the garage.
Wormy Chestnut Recreation Room
The basement is a network of service and utility rooms, housing laundry, gas heating units and supply rooms. Under the living room end is the 24½' x 26' recreation room, which has wormy chestnut walls, ceiling, beams and trim. This is one of the showrooms of the house and includes huge stone fireplace with flagstone hearth and Dutch oven. A set of bunk booths, which serve as refreshment tables during the day and evening, can quickly be converted into four double beds when the occasion demands.
The architectural firm of Pettit & Oman, Columbus, had charge of the construction. Walter S. Morris, of Lancaster, a carpenter-contractor of the old school, and "one of the best," according to Bob Giesy, was on the job every day for two years and a half. The millwork was furnished by Grandvlew Lumber Company of Columbus.
The photo shows the 25'x 26' recreation room in the basement with walls, ceiling, beams and trim of wormy chestnut. This room has two sets of refreshment booth that can be converted into four bunks, on short notice.