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Curious Cbus: What's Up With The Shutter Cut-Outs In Clintonville?

Crescent moon cut-outs on shutters in Clintonville.
Crescent moon cut-outs on shutters in Clintonville.

A neighborhood's character is often defined by the architectural style of its homes. That's certainly the case for Clintonville.

Grace Freeman wrote into WOSU's Curious Cbus to ask, "Why do so many houses in Clintonville have shutters with cut-out shapes such as crescent moons, candlesticks and clovers?"

According to Mary Rogers of the Clintonville Historical Society, the answer can be found in a catalog.

"A lot of the architecture here in Clintonville is from the 1920s through the 1940s. And during that time period, a number of major companies like Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward were selling kit-built homes," Rodgers said.

One feature of these kit-built homes was a selection of cut-outs for front shutters that builders could choose from a catalog to personalize homes.

This style of home was new for Clintonville. Prior to the 1920s, the Arts and Crafts architectural movement was popular and shutters weren't a part of that style.

Some of the houses that Sears Roebuck offered had a limited number of shutter cut-outs to choose from. The popular cutouts of that time were the crescent moon, the urn, and the shamrock.

Today, homeowners can buy and make all kinds of shutter cut-outs online.

"You could purchase ones that have sailboats or candlesticks. And then there's patterns that you can purchase that allow you to make your own," Rodgers said.

Michael De Bonis develops and produces digital content including podcasts, videos, and news stories. He is also the editor of WOSU's award-winning Curious Cbus project. He moved to Columbus in 2012 to work as the producer of All Sides with Ann Fisher, the live news talk show on 89.7 NPR News.