When wealthy wheat farmer Joshua Munro built his great house in South Shaftsbury, he followed the model of Jonas Galusha (BE11) and David Robinson in nearby Old Bennington (BE25). In many ways his house is a refinement of the Robinson design that shows the influence of Bennington's recently completed Old First Church (BE27). The elegant Ionic pilasters, lotus capitals of the door surround, Palladian window, and splayed lintels above the windows all suggest a craftsman who had worked on the Bennington church. The sophistication of the design is evident in the relationships of the parts, the pilasters carrying a full entablature, and the coordinated progression of pediments from door to Palladian window and roof, which echoes that of the church facade. This has led some to attribute this house to Lavius Fillmore. While he may have designed the house, he did not execute it, for he had moved to Middlebury by the time the house was built. At the least, this house is a testament to complete design coordination by a master joiner and a vivid indication of the influence that an innovative building like the Bennington church had upon its immediate region.
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