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Phillips–Wright House

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c. 1765 with 20th-century additions. 2 Foster Center Rd. (at Plainfield Pk. [Route 14/102])

Unprepossessing on the exterior, this is nevertheless one of Foster's best-preserved one-and-one-half-story half houses with end chimney. (A deed of 1801 from its probable first owner, Ezekiel Phillips, to his son Augustus, specifically refers to the “½ house where I now live.”) The essential preservation of the interior (not open to the public) and its original plan is notable in making clear the nature of this small, mid-eighteenth-century house type. On the first floor, the entry, with a straight flight of stairs to upper bedrooms, opens into the side of the principal keeping or great room opposite that of the fireplace. This arrangement varies the alternative squeeze of the stair into the box of space between the side of the fireplace and the outside wall as a tight twist of short stair runs and landings, familiar from the Eleazer Arnold and Thomas Clemence–Irons houses ( LI14 and JO3). In place of the stair beside the dominating fireplace, here the nook is fitted with shelves and a cupboard. As in some other half houses already visited, clapboarding conceals the masonry back of the fireplace outside. Two bedrooms in back off the keeping room, plus upstairs sleeping quarters, complete the compact living arrangements in the original house.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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