Urban Durand was one of the proprietors of the successful Durand Brothers Market in Chester village. When he built this Queen Anne house, it quickly became a benchmark for local design. Its elaborately trimmed full-front porch features a central second-story polygonal balcony, and a three-story corner tower with a shallow mansard roof. These elements disguise an otherwise relatively simple gable-front house with an attached rear ell and carriage barn. The variety of roof shapes and elaborate jigsawn aprons and turned posts with valance brackets on the porches, together with the diagonal boarding and decorative shingling on the tower stages, generate a rich and lively energy in marked contrast to the classically inspired buildings then dominating the village. The elaborate millwork does not appear to be the product of a local mill and was more likely shipped in by rail, perhaps from Bellows Falls or Rutland City.
The year after Durand's house was finished, merchant William Pollard followed suit with a Queen Anne house at Main and School streets. Others soon added new porches with similarly elaborate posts and valances and, in 1899, the Baptists built a Queen Anne parson-age. Today these Queen Anne buildings stand out as an important and distinctive group within the nineteenth-century architectural tapestry of Chester village.