This prominent Federal Style house at 14 Liberty Street in Chester, CT was built for Captain Gideon Leet, a merchant and shipbuilder who was active in the West India trade. It appears that the home was purchased soon after completion by Dr. Richard Ely (1765-1816), who may have completed the home in the Georgian-Federal transitional style we see today.
Dr. Ely graduated from Yale College in 1785 and became a prominent surgeon in Middlesex County, often seeing patients at his home in Chester (then still a part of Saybrook). When Dr. Ely died in 1816, the home was willed to his son, Richard B. Ely (1798-1869) and then two later Richard Ely’s in succession.
The Leet-Ely House is a great example of late 18th century residential architecture. The home has a prominent central chimney, modillion cornice, rusticated corner quoining, a fanlight over the door, and an ionic columned portico.