Monday, August 10, 2015

Meet the Historic Lounsbury House


The American Craftsmen Show is returning to the stunning Lounsbury House in historic Ridgefield, CT for a second year. When I attended last year’s show I could not help but notice how the house’s beauty was such a complimentary setting for the beautiful artwork on display instead of the institutional settings of many other art shows.

There may be a few things about the history of Lounsbury House that might surprise you. Built in 1896 by Phineas C. Lounsbury, a former governor of Connecticut, The Lounsbury House
at The Ridgefield Community Center, located in Veteran’s Park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has all the original charm originally supplied by Governor Lounsbury’s family. This center of Ridgefield life is one of its greatest assets—a shining jewel among the sparkling gems along Main Street.

While attending the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, Governor Lounsbury was deeply impressed with the Connecticut State Building, so much so that when he retired from politics, he built a replica to serve as his family home. Of an elaborate Neo-Classical style, the house is two and a half stories of clapboard with a pedimented, two-story portico, supported by Ionic columns. Its wrap-around porch is as inviting as it is serviceable.

The interior, designed on a monumental scale, reflects the elegance of turn-of-the-20th Century privileged society, and through the efforts of the Women’s Committee, all the original work survives—from the exquisite moldings to the massive doors to the superb staircase with its call to graceful living.

Phineas Lounsbury originally called his home “Grovelawn,” living here with his wife until the 1920s. At that time, the house was surrounded by beautiful gardens, an orchard, a green house and a windmill; it required an indoor staff of 14 plus 12 others to maintain the grounds. In the early 1900's Phineas brought many of his wealthy New York friends to visit Ridgefield-- some liked what they saw and built summer houses nearby, adding more sparkle to the town.

Click here to see a slideshow of Lounsbury House photos from the past.

The American Craftsmen Show would like to thank the Lounsbury House for information about its history.



No comments:

Post a Comment