Noank is a charming seaside village within the town of Groton that is centered on a peninsula at the mouth of the Mystic River where it spills out into the Long Island Sound. Historically, the area was known as Nauyang (meaning “point of land”) and was a summer camping ground of the Pequot people, but they were driven out in 1655 following the Pequot War. White settlement was slow here until the mid-19th century, when the shipbuilding and fishing economy took off here. As a result, houses, stores, churches and industries were built, and an entire village was formed. Most extant homes here were constructed starting in the 1840s as the village (and nearby Mystic) saw economic growth from the maritime trades. This house, the Moses Latham House, was constructed for Mr. Latham in about 1845. The house is Greek Revival in style with flush-board siding, a fan light in the gable which reads as a pediment, and a simple portico supported by fluted Doric columns.
Greek Revival House
Dr. Ashbel Woodward House // 1835
The Ashbel Woodward House in Franklin, Connecticut was built in 1835, on land purchased by Doctor Ashbel Woodward, a prominent local physician, a year prior. Woodward, was a graduate of Bowdoin College, and he began practice in Franklin in 1829, serving as the town’s primary medical practitioner until his death in 1885. Though in his 60s at the outbreak of the Civil War, Woodward perhaps lent his greatest service to his country when he served as a battlefield surgeon and medical facilities inspector for the Union army. Besides his work in medicine, Woodward collected literature and numerous artifacts pertaining to Franklin’s past and eventually wrote a book detailing the town’s history. The Ashbel Woodward House is an excellent example of the Greek Revival architectural style in a five-bay form. Interestingly, there are semi-elliptical windows in the pediment gable ends on the side elevations, seemingly a nod to the Federal style that was waning out of style at the time. The property is in use today as a museum, documenting the life of Dr. Woodward and the people of Franklin, Connecticut.
Dr. Stephen Sweet House // c.1845
Connecticut has some of the most stately early 19th century homes in New England, from the larger cities to rural towns like this beauty in little Franklin, Connecticut. This dwelling was built in the 1840s for Dr. Stephen Sweet (1798-1874) a physician near the town green. It was built after his second marriage, after his first wife’s death. His second wife, Matilda, died in the home during childbirth at age 44, along with their son just days later. The house is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style, with a gable roof running parallel to the main street, central entrance and corners framed with pilasters and frieze band at the cornice. At the side of the house, which also fronts a street, the stately home commands the corner with a second entry (maybe for in-patients), and a pair of quarter-round windows in the pediment.
Tew Brothers House // 1845
This Greek Revival house in Newport was built in 1845 for the Tew Brothers. The home was likely a double-house with two doors for each family, as the current entry looks to be of a more recent vintage. The house features a full-length columned porch which has small brackets in the eave, an early nod to the emerging Italianate style. The property was recently renovated and sold for just over $1 Million. Talk about a steal!
George C. Gardner House // c.1834
On Nantucket, even the little houses can pack an architectural punch! This is the George C. Gardner House. The house on Main Street was built in 1834 for sea captain George Gardner, a descendant of Richard Gardner, an early white settler on the island (who’s house stands nextdoor). The house exhibits a five bay facade with Ionic columned portico and balustrade at the roof and widow’s walk. By the end of the 20th century, the house was sitting, decaying after years of deferred maintenance caused by a bitter divorce dispute between the owners. From this, locals told stories about the house being haunted, including stories of a Chinese servant of the Gardner family who was hanged after becoming infatuated with one of George Gardner’s daughters. The body is rumored to have been buried on the grounds of the house. There is not much to substantiate these stories of local lore, but they are always interesting to hear. A truth is that the home was purchased in the early 2000s for millions and restored faithfully before being sold for shy of $10 Million. Now that is really scary!
The Cheese Factory // c.1850
This absolutely charming vernacular Greek Revival home was built in the mid-19th century in East Dorset Village. By the end of the 19th century, it was converted to a cheese factory a model in adaptive reuse and historic preservation. In the late 1930s, as Dorset became a popular summer colony for artists and upper-middle class residents of New York and the Mid-Atlantic, the cheese factory was purchased by artists Norman and Silvia Wright. The artists relocated the small building to the Kent Hill neighborhood of town, restoring the home and adding wings onto it. I also love the chocolate color paint!
Gilbert Sykes House // c.1850
This stunning Greek Revival house in Dorset Village was built around 1850 and was long the home of Gilbert Mortier Sykes (1834-1920). Gilbert Sykes operated a general store in Dorset and held various public offices in town and later in the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate. The house has fully embellished entrance with paneled pilasters carrying an entablature and an amazing triangular window with diamond panes in the gable.
Peru Congregational Church Parsonage // 1850
Just five years after the Congregational Church of Peru was built, the congregation acquired land and built this home as a parsonage for their pastor. The parsonage was designed in the Greek Revival style similar to the church. The home sits amongst beautiful, mature trees and exhibits the best in Classical design with bold corner and entry pilasters and a five bay symmetrical facade. They sure don’t make them like they used to!
Cory House // c.1859
I stumbled upon this Greek Revival farmhouse located on one of many dirt roads in Landgrove, Vermont and had to snap a few photos! I couldn’t find much on the history of the house besides the fact it was listed on an 1869 atlas as the property of an “I. Cory”. The five-bay farmhouse has an elaborate door treatment and bold corner pilasters all perched behind a historic stone wall. The house telescoped outward with additions, eventually connecting it to what is now a garage. This farmhouse purchased in the 20th century by John A. Brown, who worked as Dean of Students at Princeton University.
Joshua Bennett Townhouse // 1834
Just steps from the iconic Louisburg Square in Boston’s exclusive Beacon Hill neighborhood, a man named Joshua Bennett in 1834, purchased two recently completed townhouses built by housewrights Samuel H. Mitchell and Loring Dunbar. Joshua Holden Bennett (1792-1865) was born in Billerica, Massachusetts and split his time between his hometown and Boston. Bennett and his family owned the two identical bowfront houses until about 1930, likely renting them out to middle-upper class families. The home on the right (pictured) was later purchased by Benjamin B. Gillette an organist at a local church. After WWII, property values in Beacon Hill began to falter and this property and its neighbor became lodging houses of rented rooms to a more wealthy clientele than those on the North Slope of the hill. The home last sold in 1989 for $753,000 and is estimated at a value today at over $4,000,000!