Built by Cyrus Stafford in 1847, its design was taken from the pattern books of the period: the front entrance, in particular, was copied directly from a plate entitled “Design for a Front Door” in Minard Lefever’s The Modern Builder’s Guide, published in 1833. The house, brick and two-and-a-half stories, has corner pilasters, full entablature and pediment, a raking cornice and a sunburst panel almost filling the tympanum. The great distinction of the structure is in the beautiful and harmoniously-realized detail of the entrance. (Living Places)
The Cyrus Stafford House and its restored carriage barn sit in the heart of the historic village of Essex. Built of red brick, wood, and local greystone this house combines materials prevalent in many of Essex’s historical properties. This Greek Revival home was built in 1847 for merchant, Cyrus Stafford.
The house has beautifully crafted historic details inside as well as out, including outstanding original woodwork in the hall, parlor, and dining room. The architecturally significant front entry has been described as “gem-perfect” (“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” 23).
Corner pilasters, full entablature, and pediment distinguish this late Greek Revival home. Exceptionally fine are the steps and entrance (Essex: The Architectural Heritage. 38).
The gable end faces the street, which allows the triangular roof pediment to resemble a Grecian temple entrance. The architectural details of the entryway similarly echo the clasic Greek influence, especially the recessed doorway that is framed by a pair of beautifully carved, wooden Ionic columns (“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” 23).
“The limestone stoop features carved scrolls with fluted terminals” in the step’s side blocks (Images of America: Essex on Lake Champlain. 48). The locally quarried limestone entry porch includes 100,000 million year-old fossils to add even more interest (trulia).
Additional Resources for Cyrus Stafford House
This map (with satellite image overlay) will help you locate the Cyrus Stafford House and see how its location relates to other historic buildings in the historic district.
View Flaneur’s Guide to Essex, New York in a larger map
References for Cyrus Stafford House
“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” Essex Community Heritage Organization, 1986.
“Essex Village Historic District.” Living Places. Ed. Julia Gombach. The Gombach Group, 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
Hislop, David C., Jr. Essex on Lake Champlain. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009. Print. Images of America.
“Historic Essex.” Historic Essex. Essex Community Heritage Organization. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.essexny.org/>.
McNulty, George F., and Margaret Scheinin. Essex; the Architectural Heritage. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 1971. Print.
Smith, H. P. History of Essex County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason &, 1885. Print.
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