I'm part Norwegian. A distant part. I've never been to Norway, but I enjoy making krumkakes for Christmas as my great grandmother did. That's about the extent of my tenuous Norwegian connection. Yet I find myself unwittingly drawn toward structures bearing the slightest hint of Norwegian influence. So it is no surprise that when I was ambling about between design shops in Cambridge a few weekends ago, I stopped dead in my tracks when I came upon the Cambridge Skating Club. I had no idea it was the Cambridge Skating Club, at the time. In fact, from the gable end, I thought it was an impressive residence.
I quickly wielded my iPhone camera and began snapping shots, some up-close of the entrance gable end, hoping my proximity wouldn't elicit a less-than-charmed homeowner (as has happened before). I was in luck. I scurried around to the side and there discovered the identity of the structure. Later, I learned from the Club's website that the Club was constructed around 1930 in a "cheerful Norwegian style".
Vertical board and battens with picket tips in the upper gable-end teamed with horizontal clapboards punctuated with a pointed arch over the entry door, an open rake, and the dynamic color scheme all speak to its Norwegian inspiration. And that's a terra-cotta tile roof, too. Projecting out at the top of the gable trim, is, I believe, a carved red dragon head, which (from what I've just read online) was a Norse motif found in Dragestil (dragon-style) houses in Scandinavia in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Now, I think I want a carved dragon head on the front gable end of my place. Not sure what the neighbors would make of it.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast