Historic Structures

Skinner-Trowbridge House, New Haven Connecticut

Date added: February 7, 2011 Categories: Connecticut House Greek Revival

Fine Greek Revival house of five bays, two-and-one-half stories, with a prostyle tetrastyle portico. Attributed to Ithiel Town who built many other New Haven structures based on Greek designs. Early photographs indicate house was derived from Greenough Villa in Regent's Park, London by architect Decimus Burton, 1823.

Early photographs indicate that alterations destroyed the cruciform shape of second floor. Existing shape is now an off-center Tee with an additional projecting portico on the east.

Additions made in 1907: Northeast corner second floor north side bay window (to enlarge dining room which also enlarged basement laundry room), west side open porch west two floor addition to provide kitchen-dining area on ground floor and den on first floor.

Second floor, southeast corner added between 1860 and 1870.

Overall dimensions: 57'-6-1/2" x 84'-9-1/2". Five bays, two and one half stories. Due to alterations, existing plan shape is an off-center Tee with additional projecting portico on the east.

First floor: Wide entrance hall leads from south entrance porch to dining room on north. Hall turns at right angles to the left near dining room door; main staircase is on the north wall. In the angle between these two halls is the library. To the east of the main entrance hall are three rooms; reception room drawing room and music room. Music room opens onto dining room. Two doors at the end of the hall lead to exterior and to rear wing which contains a rear stairway, pantry and billiard room. A stairway under this set of stairs leads to the cellar.

Second floor follows the general plan of the first floor accommodating bedrooms, sitting rooms, closets and baths.

Attic: One large open Tee-shaped space which clearly defines the original limits of the house with a half-brick wall dividing space from the attics under the roof of the second story corner additions. The attic space over the rear wing on the west is sub-divided into servants' quarters consisting of two bedrooms, sitting room and bath.

Cellar: Under the rear wing is the kitchen and scullery. Under the main house are a modern laundry, utility and storage rooms and servant's room separated by the main, bearing walls of the foundation. Of particular interest in the cellar is the fact that the exterior bearing wall on the north follows the contour of the bay window which was added in the dining room above.

The house faces east on a short street of large mansions of high quality. The property extends through the block to Prospect Street which is the west boundary.

The extensive grounds are enclosed, front and rear, by a decorative iron fence with red sandstone gateposts.