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Elihu Emerson House

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1820, Elihu Emerson. Main St. at Elm St., Norwich village

This is another of the Federal houses (WS11) built by one of the Emerson brothers. It is typical of their I-houses with hipped roofs and ornate cornices. Built by and for Elihu, who arrived in Norwich in 1792, its composition and vocabulary recall Asher Benjamin's Hubbard House (1791; demolished) in Windsor with its Doric frieze, low central pediment, and segmental-arched fan window. A Doric porch shelters a sidelit door framed by bold terminal pilasters and a two-tiered elliptical fanlight. First-floor lintel boards are embellished with reeded panels. The sophisticated design embodies Emerson's midlife career and prosperity. When considered in relation to his brother Thomas's elegant Congregational church (WS10) that originally stood across the street, the house also reflects the sophistication and prosperity of the town as a whole in the first third of the nineteenth century.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Elihu Emerson House", [Norwich, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 357-357.

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