The John Hauck House in Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood is a monument to Italianate style with a striking façade of carved stone and an interior of marble mantels, extensive woodwork and finely painted ceilings. Many of those painted ceilings were created in the 1800s by highly skilled artisans and craftsmen using stencils.
However, during an on-going extensive restoration of the house, beautiful hand painted Rocco style murals were discovered under layers of paint and wallpaper.
“This is a rare and unique find,” said Ken Hughes of Decorative Restoration who is leading the Hauck House renovation for Cincinnati Preservation Association which owns the property. “We believe these were created after John Hauck’s death in 1896 under the guidance of his daughter, Emily. At that time the style leaned heavily towards the use of wallpaper. So to find these delicate and beautiful murals after more than 100 years is very exciting.”
The first hint of the murals appeared as Hughes and his team began work on the walls underneath the stairs in the entry. Using very delicate techniques, the crew began uncovering the murals. They soon discovered the murals continued along that first wall and along the top of the opposite entry hallway.
The murals are not restricted to just the entrance hallway or the parlors. There is stenciling and/or hand painted murals in every room of the Hauck House, including the servants’ quarters.