Colonial Revival Architecture in Litchfield Connecticut

My home from 1970 – to 1976 !  I never appreciated Litchfield while I lived there, having moved from Greenwich Connecticut, I though it was the dullest place in America!  Litchfield is actually an beautiful Colonial town founded in 1719.  A prominent town in the 18th C.,  Litchfield was the 4th largest settlement in the state and home of possibly the first law school in the United States.

The town’s fortunes fell as it wasn’t well suited for industry but in the late 19th C.  it became fashionable once again as a vacation area.   The Colonial Revival style of architecture was fashionable.  The town is chock full of beautifully built homes with white paint and white shutters.  Perfect for the Martha Stewart and the Shabby Chic crowd, Litchfield once again became popular in the 90″s as New Yorkers discovered the town.

Colonial Revival Architecture

My mother always called our house a “Victorian” but its really a nice example of “Colonial Revival” or “Dutch Colonial Revival” architecture.  This style is a so called “American” style although its based in European and Georgian styles.

Identifying Characteristics

The “Gambrel” roof – designed to create more space for the upper floor

White paint with black shutters

Pairs of windows

Symmetrical plan yet porches like this were common

Although the style took cues from Colonial America – by the end of the 19th C – machined dimensional lumber and the ability to purchase siding, shutters and other items that formerly had to be hand carved – allowed the Revival style to be more elaborate and fanciful.

Large front doors often with elaborate sidelights

The interiors are also much grander  than Colonial homes with 9 or 10 foot ceilings, intricate mouldings and fireplaces

This old house always needed a paint job – much to the chagrin of my Step Father who spent hours fixing it up.  Also an energy hog – those windows were super leaky – no insulation – a grand candidate for a full renovation!