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Davison Art Center

Davison Art Center


301 High St Middletown CT United States 06459

About Business

Richard Alsop IV House, also known as Alsop House, is a historic home in Middletown, Connecticut. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark on January 16, 2009.Relationship to its surroundingsThis stately mansion faces east towards the Connecticut River from the west side of High Street opposite the intersection of Court Street. It is set back from the street atop a rise. A high iron fence borders the property along High Street. This house makes an important contribution to the elegance and high style which characterized High Street as the preferred residential area in nineteenth-century Middletown.SignificanceThe Alsop house was built in 1838–1839 by Richard Alsop IV for his twice-widowed mother, Mrs. Maria (Alsop) Dana. The short-lived architectural firm formed by Landra Beach Platt and Francis Benne who worked together in New Haven under the tutelage of Sidney Mason Stone was evidently responsible for the design, although it is possible that they drew their inspiration from Ithiel Town's own home in New Haven, which may account for the similarities of the two structures as well as for a former attribution of the Alsop House to Town himself. (Stone's possible contributions have yet to be explored.) The well-known Middletown builders, Barzllai Sage and Isaac W. Baldwin, performed the masonry and carpentry work, respectively. The house remained in the hands of Alsop family until its acquisition in 1948 by Wesleyan University.This house is significant architecturally for its transitional Greek-Tuscan Italianate appearance. The cubical, two-story, central block with overhanging eaves is flanked by colonnaded -story wings. A swag-and-tassel design decorates the frieze of the central block, which also displays a veranda supported by delicate ironwork and surmounted by an intricate balustrade.

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