An eye-catching composition of provincial grandeur, this house (not to be confused with the identically named home of James Madison; PI16) crowns the top of a hill with views in all directions. The core of the house dates from c. 1780, when Francis Thornton built the structure for his son William (unrelated to the physician-architect). The front facade has a Palladian window. In the mid-nineteenth century end wings were added, and the whole was united at the rear by a huge Tuscan colonnade raised on a basement and crowned by an Italianate cornice and pediment. Aggressively unacademic, it dominates the surroundings.
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