Housing the founding fathers

Here are some sketches of the houses of the founding fathers. George Washington’s Mount Vernon occupies, of course, pride of place. Benjamin Franklin’s house does not remain, alas, not unlike houses of some of the other founders, but at least Franklin’s memory was not besmirched by the sort of abomination that “represents” Franklin Court, in Philadelphia. As I could not find an image of Samuel Adams’s own house, I used the house he was hiding in at Lexington when the British were coming.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, drawn in 1803 by Robert Mills. (pinterest.com)

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, drawn in 1803 by Robert Mills. (pinterest.com)

John Adams's house in Quincy, Mass. (famousamericans.net)

John Adams’s house in Quincy, Mass. (famousamericans.net)

John Madison's Montpelier. (etc.usf.edu)

John Madison’s Montpelier, near Orange, Va. (etc.usf.edu)

House of Jonas Clark, hideout of Samuel Adams, in Lexington, Mass. (paulreversriderevisited.wordpress.com)

House of Jonas Clark, hideout of Samuel Adams, in Lexington, Mass. (paulreversriderevisited.wordpress.com)

John Hamilton's Hamilton Grange. (uptownflavor.wordpress.com)

Alexander Hamilton’s Hamilton Grange. (uptownflavor.wordpress.com)

John Jay's Bedford House, in Bedford, N.Y. (famousamericans.net)

John Jay’s Bedford House, in Bedford, N.Y. (famousamericans.net)

John Hancock's house. (freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com)

John Hancock’s house. (freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com)

Fairmont Waterworks, c.1800, near Philadelphia Museum of Art. (halifaxbloggers.ca)

Fairmont Water Works, built 1812-72, near Philadelphia Museum of Art. (halifaxbloggers.ca)

Not even HABS has an old image of Franklin Place. So, unable to bring myself to conclude this retrospective with the modernist kitsch of Venturi & Rauch inflicted upon historic Philadelphia in 1976, I offer the Fairmont Water Works. Glimpsing it briefly but frequently from Amtrak, I’d always believed to be college crew boathouses, they were designed in 1809 and built in 1812-72 to disguise the pump equipment of the city’s former water system, atop the reservoir for which the museum now sits.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to Housing the founding fathers

  1. westfall2 says:

    Nice collection. Alexander Hamilton?

    Bill *Carroll William Westfall* Professor Emeritus School of Architecture University of Notre Dame


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