Historic Structures

John Pitkin Norton House, New Haven Connecticut

Date added: February 2, 2011 Categories: Connecticut House

Italian villa style residence of two and one-half stories. Original house consists of three asymmetrical units or bays. Center portion has an open three bay loggia, flanked by a tower on the south and pedimented wing on the north. Wings were added on-the south and on the rear, west side, giving house an irregular shape.

Over-all dimensions: Present house, including south and west rear wings measures 75'-10" across front by a total depth of 70'-8".

Floor plans: The main, floor remains basically the same, except for additions, as architect's original drawings indicate, but upper floors and basement have been altered extensively to provide offices.

First floor entrance hall extends full width across loggia, although a temporary glass partition has been installed for a receptionist. The boudoir and small lobby on the south are intact. At the north end of the hall there is a large library with smaller room behind it. The relative sizes of these two rooms are reversed in original plan. The original partition between them may have been removed to enlarge the front room at a later date. The decorative paneled ceilings in each of the rooms are not original. The original main stairway also has been altered, though location to right and rear of entrance hall is the same. Dining room remains intact, though south wall has been removed to connect it to a large room which was added. The wing which was added to the west contains offices and is connected with the stair hall on both floors.

The main stairway was altered. The only original remaining fragment of original staircase is the newel post, baluster rail and panel which date from extensive alterations sometime between 1895-1908. The original winders across the top of the "U" were replaced with a platform landing which extends across the complete width of stair hall. This landing is now quite deep, with a doorway at the rear leading to landing of rear stairs. Contrary to the original plan of the stairs, the existing lower treads flare out as winders,. The heavy turned mahogany balusters and handrail meet the plastic-shaped newel in a smooth transition. Sweeping palm like fronds encircle newel post; base is row of water leaves. Mahogany stair string is paneled.

House is on west side of Hillhouse Avenue, facing east, in a neighborhood of large mansions.