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Paddock House

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1820. 1520 Main St., City of St. Johnsbury

The sophisticated Federal, brick house that Judge Ephraim Paddock built near the north end of St. Johnsbury's Main Street has no extant local counterpart but numerous Connecticut Valley and Boston connections. The bricks were manufactured on Paddock's land by William Gage, who was brought from Walpole, New Hampshire, for the purpose. The unusual asymmetrical plan behind the symmetrical facade, where the windows to the right of the door light the staircase, is remarkably close to Charles Bulfinch's solution for his own house in Boston (1793). The details, drawn from plates in Asher Benjamin's The Country Builder's Assistant (1797), include the fanlit door, the tall Palladian window, the drilled mutule blocks and rope turnings under the eaves, the urns of the eaves balustrade, the lintel boards of the windows (scored to look like flat masonry keystone arches), and the paired colonnettes resting on balls that flank the parlor fireplace. At least some of them may have come from the mill of Paddock's carpenter brother-in-law, Joseph Fairbanks. The shutters are the work of his nephew Thaddeus Fairbanks. The parlor contains one of only fourteen known sets of scenic wallpaper of the Bay of Naples, executed c. 1816 by Joseph Dufour in Paris, and arriving here apparently via Boston. Four such sets are known in New Hampshire (one is on view in Dartmouth College's Baker Library). The Paddock set was photographed in 1900 by summer resident of the house Wallace Nutting, and published in his Vermont Beautiful (1922).

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Paddock House", [St. Johnsbury, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-CA20.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 277-277.

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