Getty Cottage from all sides

I’ve drawn this building from several angles, I realize, looking through my sketchbook. Let’s get the full picture once and for all.

Getty Cottage is a building at Norristown Farm Park, a place where I often run or walk. I’ve written plenty about the park and its history – short story being that the park was once the farm attached to the adjacent Norristown State Hospital. It was thought beneficial for mental patients to engage in work if they were able, and for decades this land provided food and work for the institution.

Before that time, though, it was private farmland, and this house dates to that period. There are other houses similar to Getty Cottage scattered around the park, all of them in a state of disrepair – Getty Cottage is in the best shape of any of them and is still in use, though I am not sure for what purpose.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the place. Here is a view from the back – you may remember it because I posted this picture some time back. The drawing shares a page with a depiction of the hospital’s power house, located not too far from this house.

Here is the back from the other end of the building, from July 2020.

Here is a view of the front, from June, 2020.

I think I will need to visit this location in the winter, find a different angle, and see what I end up with. What do you think?

22 thoughts on “Getty Cottage from all sides

  1. Claudia McGill Post author

    I go to this location pretty often and the house is right near the entrance to the park. Soon it will be winter. I hope I could maybe get some snow scenes? That would be so great, I think, this house would be perfect for the austere look of winter.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Hi Chela, you are right, this house has a lot to say. My understanding is that it is one of the original farm houses on the land that is now the Farm Park, from the time before several small farms were consolidated to make the Farm, back in the 1870’s or so, which became part of the state mental hospital grounds next door and functioned as a source of food for the hospital as well as providing employment for patients up until the 1970’s. Then it became a county park. Anyway. Here is a post on the cottage itself and something about the park:
    https://claudiamcgilladvice.wordpress.com/?s=getty+cottage
    and here is a post I did on the state hospital itself: https://claudiamcgilladvice.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/walk-or-hike-on-hospital-grounds/ which explains the institution the farm was intended to support. There are so many layers of history in this bit of acreage of farmland, and today it is a happier place with lots of people enjoying it, but I always think of the number of people who have walked or worked this land for centuries before me, when I am there.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. You know, I think buildings are very easy to draw. I’ve always like buildings, houses, whatever, and I like them more than people, too, most of the time, so maybe my focus on them as a subject is what others find in depicting faces.

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    You’re welcome. I don’t know why, since I have no connection to this park or the hospital, but I have always been very interested in these sites.

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. We see this kind of building all around my area (often surrounded by or neighbors to shopping centers, or a school, or office park). Remnants of the past that are easy to overlook. But I try to look for them, I enjoy thinking about or figuring out how things were in a certain location or area in the past.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. There are several buildings of this era in the park, left from the farms that were there before the land was assembled into the farm that was attached to the mental hospital in the 1870’s or so. So these houses have a lot of history. Wish I could get inside and take a look…

  7. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I have another photo of this house I want to work on. Don’t know why it appeals to me so much but I keep returning. I also like working in just black and white and the very fine pen is soothing to use (you have to draw slowly and carefully, it calms me down).

  8. Pingback: House at Norristown State Hospital | Claudia McGill and Her Art World

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