The showplace built by prosperous sheep farmer, selectman, and state legislator John S. Hulett at the western edge of Wells village is among the finest Greek Revival houses in Vermont. It is in a pavilion-with-ells format, two-and-a-half stories in the center with recessed lower wings. Each unit of the flush-boarded facade is framed with paneled pilasters decorated with palmettes. The house's most distinctive feature is a veranda on single-story fluted Ionic columns that wraps the facade, shading long first-floor windows and a handsome pilaster-framed door. The design concept and the quality of the details, down to a curving staircase and elaborate interior woodwork, point to comparisons with the Wilcox House in Orwell (AD39) and suggest James Lamb as the possible designer-builder. As in Orwell, a paneled balustrade once surmounted the single-story porch and the pavilion is fronted by four bays, which is not doctrinaire, but this house lacks the careful proportioning and relationship of column-bay and facade organization found in Orwell. The standardization of Greek Revival vocabulary, which leaves less room for personal expression than does the Federal style, makes problematic any attributions based solely on motifs. In this case, two other distinguished Greek-style builders were operating in the region between Orwell and Wells—William Cowee in Benson and Charles Scott in Poultney. The latter community is an important center of Greek Revival and the next town along the turnpike from Wells, so it might be the place to seek a source for Hulett's fine house.
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