In 1852 George Strong, a builder of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad that launched Rutland's commercial prominence in 1849, also helped establish a prestigious new neighborhood and a new style in his city. He subdivided family land on the hill between the historic and commercial city cores, laying out Washington, Madison, Pleasant, and Prospect streets. At the corner of Washington and Pleasant he built a brick Italianate palazzo house, a style beginning to appear in such builders' guides as Edward Shaw's Civil Architecture (1831) and Samuel Sloan's The Model Architect (1852). A symmetrically organized cubic block, it has a belvedere centered at the apex of a low hipped roof. Its plain walls, heavy entablature with eyebrow windows on the east and west, stone lintels, and door with sidelights and transom are all descended from late Greek Revival. Italianate details include deep eaves carried on paired scrolled brackets, round-arched windows in the belvedere, a two-story bay window on the east facade, and prominent wooden porches. The porches, with clustered posts joined by arches beneath bracketed eaves, frame the front door and extend along the west facade as a spacious veranda. A similar porte-cochere was added later to the west. Strong's house initiated a series of prominent Italianate residential and public buildings, insuring that the style would be closely associated with Rutland's railroad boom.
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George Strong House
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