Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Henry Laurens Kellogg House, Newington, CT

The Henry Kellogg House, Newington, CT. 1874 

Photos: Geoffrey Webster
This exquisite home at 293 Willard Ave. in Newington was supposedly built in 1874, but if so, it is an extreme anachronism. From the style I'd have said 1850s since it displays so many features of early Italianate design; perhaps Kellogg, a factory owner, was just really behind the times. Nonetheless, it's an odd irregular plan house, since there is neither a tower nor a projection for a tower, and the projecting pavilion is longer than the recessed facade, a reversal of norms. The house is entirely faced in flushboards, giving a smooth surface, and the windows are almost all tombstone windows, a real rarity since most Italianates revel in varying window treatments, with very simple surrounds. Several of these have rather elaborate cast iron balconies with Roman-style foliage and (amazingly!) intact fringes on the bottoms. The lack of an architrave molding and the frequent, tightly-spaced brackets are another early stylistic feature. The porch is clunky and surprisingly thick with strong arches and columns that have little precedent. They seem to have the general eclecticism of Henry Austin's candelabra columns (though much heavier), with carved Gothic foliage and lotus petals on the capitals, with paneled, chamfered shafts. The house is currently condos, and I give all credit to the owner for not siding this gem like so many others in the area.

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