Lockwood-Boynton House/Brookwood Estate
National Register Nomination Information:
The Lockwood-Boynton House occupies a prominent central site in North Springfield village at the northwest corner of Main and School Streets. The present Federal style, two-story, five by five bay, hip-roofed house of square plan dates from circa 1813 when a wood-framed enlargement was made of a rectangular-plan brick tavern constructed circa 1800. The identical brick street (east and south) facades of the house display arcaded first stories arranged symmetrically around central entrances; the rear (north) elevation reveals the original brick tavern wall abutting the clapboarded enlargement while the west elevation is wholly clapboarded. The house stands amid informally landscaped grounds sheltered by large deciduous shade trees
The original circa 1800 hip-roofed tavern presented its five--bay main (east) facade to what became School Street; the arcaded east and south walls were laid up in Flemish bond while common bond was used in the north wall. The circa 1813 wood-framed addition extended the building westward by two bays under an enlarged hip roof, giving it a square plan and a five-bay south (Main Street) facade also with a central entrance. The south front of the addition was built of brick (also laid up in Flemish bond) and arcaded on the first story to match the appearance of the original block. The enlargement is attributed to Benoni Lockwood II, whose father owned the first brickyard in North Springfield.
The most distinctive feature of the house's design consists of the five semi-circular blind arches that extend across the first story of each street facade, surmounting the inset window and door openings. Intermediate brick piers rise from the stone foundation to a stone stringcourse at the impost level, from which spring the keystoned arches. On the second story, the window openings are relieved by flat arches. The openings on both stories have stone sills. Currently (1981) the brick facades are painted white to match the other elevations of the house
The School Street (east) entrance consists of a paneled door surmounted by a semicircular fanlight; the doorway is sheltered by a circa 1955 arched canopy (with a semielliptical fanlight) supported by square pillars. The exposed Main Street (south) entrance is distinguished by a rectangular transom.
The west elevation and the west one-third of the north elevation (the east two-thirds of the latter being brick) are sheathed with wide clapboards that were applied in the 1950's to replace the original narrow clapboards; the corner boards carry modest capitals. Unlike those on the street facades, the window bays on the west elevation are arranged asymmetrically into a closely spaced group of four separated by a blank from the fifth; like those on the street facades, the windows themselves consist of two-over-two sash.
A simply molded wood cornice with a moderate overhang encircles the house at the eaves. The hip roof is shingled with slate, and carries an interior brick chimney both on the north and south hips.
The interior of the Lockwood-Boynton House is arranged on a central hall plan oriented toward the original main (east) tavern entrance, and retains largely intact its early nineteenth century appearance. Original or early nineteenth century paneled doors (with hardware) and simply molded door and window surrounds, chair rails; and base boards remain generally in place. To the left of the stair hall on the first story, the former barroom possesses a tier of original tavern shelves inset into its west wall next to a fireplace with a paneled mantelpiece. The single flight of stairs rises to a second story landing protected by a balustrade that curves to enclose the stairwell The entire second story of the tavern was devoted to an open ballroom with a coved ceiling; during the circa 1813 conversion to a house, the ballroom was subdivided into two corner rooms flanking the landing but the coved ceiling was left in place
Attached to the north elevation of the house is a one-story, wood-framed and clapboarded wing with a slate-shingled gable roof. The wing was constructed during the 1950's, replacing an earlier shed wing with attached small barn; the present wing contains an enclosed west porch and three garage stalls with segmental-arched openings on the east elevation. A similar ell (also built in the 1950's to replace another small barn) projects eastward from the wing's north end, lighted by semicircular fanlights in the east gable end and a north roof dormer; a small hip-roofed ventilating cupola crowns the ridge of the ell.
Constructed in its original form circa 1800 to contain a tavern, the Lockwood-Boynton House holds historical significance for its association with early social life in the village of North Springfield. Within two decades, the building was enlarged and converted into a Federal style residence by a prominent local family, the Lockwoods. The house possesses two arcaded brick facades - an uncommon feature for Vermont domestic architecture - and its early nineteenth century interior fabric remains largely intact, giving the house primary significance for its architectural character.
It is not known who built the rectangular brick tavern north of the former village green at the present intersection of Main and School Streets. This first public house in North Springfield soon became the social center of the emerging village, attracting also Native Americans who performed dances in front of an enormous dining room fireplace (now probably hidden inside a later wall). More formal dancing occurred on the second story where a ballroom with a coved ceiling extended the length of the building.
Benoni Lockwood II (1786-1863) is credited for the circa 1813 enlargement and conversion of the tavern to the present Federal style house of square plan. A respected surveyor and justice of the peace, Lockwood was a son of the owner of Springfield's first brickyard and a grandson of William Lockwood (who arrived in Springfield in 1768 to build the first sawmill at the Black River falls that later powered Springfield's great machine tool industry). By adding two bays in brick to the tavern's south elevation, Lockwood created an arcaded five-bay south facade with central entrance that matches almost exactly the original east facade in design and arrangement. On the interior, however, the conversion brought about the alteration of the building's most important space; the second-story ballroom was subdivided into bedrooms, although its coved ceiling survived within the resulting rooms.
Probably circa 1870, Durant J. Boynton (1831-1917) acquired the house and thereafter lived in it for many years. Boynton operated a nearby sawmill and held many positions in Springfield town government, including representative to the Vermont General Assembly in 1894.
Since the early nineteenth century enlargement, the Lockwood-Boynton House received its most notable changes during the 1950's. The original narrow clapboards on the west elevation were replaced with the present wide clapboards, and the entire house was painted white (for the first time in the case of the brick walls). On the east entrance, an earlier gabled entrance porch was removed in favor of the present arched canopy with fanlight. The most substantial alteration involved the north shed wing and attached small barns; the barns were demolished and the shed wing was rebuilt and extended to contain the present combination of kitchen and garage.
Recently (1976) the house has been adapted to a community care home for elderly persons, known as Brookwood Estate, although without any substantial alterations. Much fabric of the original tavern - including the arcaded brick east facade, the coved ceiling of the former ballroom, and the barroom cupboard - survives to complement the mostly intact fabric of the circa 1813 house. The appearance of the Lockwood-Boynton House, therefore, continues to evoke strongly its early nineteenth century character, ranking the house among the outstanding examples in Vermont architecture of its period and functions.
1. Baker, Mary Eva. Folklore of Springfield. Springfield, Vt.: The Altrurian Club, 1922.
2. Beers, F. W. Atlas of Windsor Co., Vt. New York, 1869
3. Hubbard, Charles Horace and Dartt, Justus. History of the Town of Springfield, Vermont. Boston: Geo. H. Walker and Co., 1895.
4. Luce, Gladness Wharton, ed. Historic Houses of Springfield, Vermont. Springfield, Vt,: Historical Committee of the Miller Art Center, c. 1967.
DATE ENTERED: May 4, 1982.
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