National Register Nomination Information:
Site 79: 54 State Street
54 State Street is a c.1794, Georgian style, two and a half story, gable roof, wood frame, five by two bay house, parallel to and facing the north side of State Street. The post and beam frame main block, approximately 45 feet (front) by 20 feet (side), fronts the approximately 50 foot by 30 foot rear ell; the front (south) end of the ell appears contemporaneous with the main block; the rear portion of the ell, with its broad gable roof wall dormer on each side, appears to be a c. 1850 addition. The rear ell is one and one half stories in height, except along the front portion of west side where the exterior wall elevation extends a full two stories. A c. 1950s two-story, shallow gable roof porch, which projects from the rear (north) end of the ell, is open on the first story, and enclosed on the second story, with an enclosed exterior stairway on the east side. Significant Georgian features include the Asher Benjamin style front door surround, with its fluted entry pilasters set on molded bases, supporting a full entablature enriched with a heavy denticulated cornice. The paired central entrance doors, with rectangular, opaque glass lights, appear to be a late nineteenth century replacement. Main block window surrounds have architrave trim, and heavy Georgian style caps top the window surrounds on the main block first story, and second story gable end windows. Windows are primarily six over six double hung sash, with two, small, square openings (missing sash) in each gable peak of the main block. A gable roof dormer and a shed roof dormer on the east roof slope of the ell appear to be historic. Clapboard siding covers the main block front façade and west gable end; replacement synthetic siding covers all other facades; the rear porch is covered with clapboards, with beaded boards in the tympanum on the enclosed stair walls. A simple box cornice trims all eaves with a returning box cornice at the gable ends of the main block. Asphalt shingles cover the main block roof, sheet metal roofing covers the other roof surfaces. An historic interior end brick chimney extends from the west end of the main block, a recently constructed wall chimney spans the east gable end of the main block, and a brick chimney, centrally located along the ridge line of the ell, appears historic.
The interior of 54 State Street appears generally intact, although it has been divided into five apartment units. The central hall Georgian plan interior of the main block has been preserved on both the first and second stories. Many historic interior details remain, including paneled wainscoting, door and window surrounds with architrave trim, paneled doors with wrought iron hardware, hardwood flooring, and lime plaster wall surfaces. An original and rare, interior feature that was recently revealed in the southeast parlor/living room is the interior sliding, wooden window shutter system. These shutters are built within the walls, adjacent to the window jambs, and although not now functional, formerly would slide closed, covering the window openings from the inside of the house.
Site 80: 8 Phelps Court
8 Phelps Court is one of two similarly designed buildings constructed c. 1885 as worker's housing on a lot adjacent to, and set back from, the rear of 54 State Street. 8 Phelps Court is a vernacular style, two and one half story, gable roof, wood frame, three by three bay apartment house, aligned facing west, to the east of 10 Phelps Court. The main block, approximately forty-four feet (front) by twenty-seven feet (side), fronts contemporaneous, twin rear, two story, gable roof ells, approximately fifteen feet (side) by fourteen feet (end) in size. Distinctive two story, trapezoidal bay windows dominate the front façade and are original to the building. The c. 1950 one story, shed roof central entrance porch replaces a former one story porch that spanned the bay windows. The two story shed roof porch on the south gable end, the nearly full length shed dormer across the front façade, and a narrower shed roof dormer on the rear roof slope of the main block, appear to have been added around 1950 and are probably not historic. The windows are primarily two over two double hung sash (possibly the original sash), and smaller six over six double hung sash are located in the gable peaks and dormer windows. The building has clapboard siding and asphalt roofing. Trim details include corner and frieze boards, and a box cornice at the raking eaves. A wooden, three story fire escape at the rear of the building is a modern addition. Twin brick chimneys are regularly spaced along the ridge line of the main block, and a similar brick wall chimney on the south wall of the south ell pierces the roof of the side porch.
The interior floor plan of the five unit building appears generally intact, and most hardwood floors remain. A center hall divides separate apartment units on the first two floors, with one apartment located on the third floor.
Site 81: 10 Phelps Court
10 Phelps Court is one of two similarly designed buildings constructed c. 1885 as worker's housing on a lot adjacent to, and set back from, the rear of 54 State Street. 10 Phelps Court is a vernacular style, two and one half story, gable roof, wood frame, three by three bay apartment house, aligned facing south, to the west of 8 Phelps Court. The main block, approximately forty-four feet (front) by twenty-seven feet (side), fronts two, contemporaneous, rear, gable roof ells approximately fifteen feet (side) by fourteen feet (end) in size. The eastern ell is two stories tall; the western ell is one story tall. Distinctive two story, trapezoidal bay windows dominate the front façade and are original to the building. A one-story front porch originally spanned the bay windows; today the front porch with enclosed second story sleeping porch appears to be a c. 1950 replacement. The small shed roof entrance porch on the east gable end appears to also date from around 1950. The windows are primarily two over two double hung sash (possibly the original sash); smaller six over six double hung sash are located in the gable peaks; paired eight light casement windows are located in the sleeping porch; and six light casements are located in the rear façade of the main block between the ell projections. Original siding has been obscured by replacement synthetic siding; the roof is covered with asphalt shingles. Cornice bracket details across the front façade appear historic, and the original returning box cornice remains. Twin brick chimneys with corbelled caps are regularly spaced along the ridge line of the main block.
The interior floor plan of the four unit building appears generally intact, and most hardwood floors remain. A center hall divides separate apartment units on the first two floors, with an additional bedroom for each second floor apartment located on the third floor. A distinctive interior feature is the wide tudor arched opening between the living and dining room in each unit.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The amendment to the Windsor Village Historic District (entered in the National Register on April 23, 1975) includes the addition of three residential structures to the existing historic district. The contiguous properties located at 54 State Street, 8 Phelps Court, and 10 Phelps Court contribute to the architectural and historic significance of the historic district. They are eligible for inclusion in the National Register under criterion A for their contributions to the patterns of state and local history and under criterion C as being good examples of Vermont Architecture dating from two very distinct stylistic periods. All three buildings retain integrity of location, design, setting, feelings, association, materials, and workmanship.
The three structures are on two lots that since the mid-19th century (and possibly earlier) have been historically associated with the same owner. Located just west of Court Square, the first village center, 54 State Street was built c.1794. This is during the early settlement period of the newly organized town of Windsor. The house is believed to have been built by Zebina Curtis, who was a representative to the Vermont General Assembly in 1796-99, and 1815. Owned for most of the 19th century by physicians, the house was sold to Dr. Nahum Trask in 1794. Dr. Trask was one of the incorporators of the Vermont Medical Society, which was incorporated by the State Legislature in 1813 as the first state medical society. Dr. Elisha Phelps bought the house later in the 19th century. Dr. Phelps practiced medicine in Windsor until his death in 1870, and his wife lived in the house until the 1880s. Known as the Elisha Phelps House, 54 State Street is significant for its basically intact Georgian style façade and interior floor plan and details. The distinctive front door surround may have been designed or influenced by Asher Benjamin, a noted New England master builder who was living in Windsor at the turn of the century.
The two vernacular style multi-family housing, 8 and 10 Phelps Court, were constructed c.1885 during the significant period of Windsor's history after the Civil War, when the village was a leading manufacturing center in New England, and housing for the rising numbers of workers was in demand. They are also good examples of late 19th century vernacular worker housing in Vermont. They display stylistic characteristics in their massing and interior floor plans.
Verbal Boundary Description
The boundary increase of the Windsor Village History District includes tax lot 650008, 650010, and 740054, on Tax Map 25, recorded in the Town Clerk's Office, Windsor, Vermont. A copy of this tax map has been included with the Windsor Village Historic District Boundary Increase documentation.
The boundary increase of the Windsor Village Historic District, includes all buildings and the surrounding land historically associated with 8 Phelps Court, 10 Phelps Court, and 54 State Street and that maintain historic integrity.
MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
Archival and historic research material in the possession of Historic Windsor Inc., Windsor, Vermont.
FORM PREPARED BY:
Liz Pritchett, Historic Preservation Consultant, Liz Pritchett Associates, 58 East State St. Montpelier, Vermont 05602, (802) 229-1035, March 6, 1996.
DATE ENTERED:June 25, 1997
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