Benedict House and Shop

Facade of the house and shop, facing north; Source - NRIS 98001440.
Address:
57 Rockwell Road
Town:
Ridgefield »
Year:
c. 1740
Historic Designation:
LHP, SR, NR
Property Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Benedict House has a three-bay facade and an off-center rubble stone chimney stack, capped with brick above the ridge. A hipped-roof porch supported by square posts extends across the facade to the one-story, gable-roofed shop on the west side. The shop door to the lower level is located in its facade foundation. According to local sources, all the rubble stone masonry was dry laid, but it is likely that at least clay mortar was used for the chimney. Today the stonework is mortared, except for the base of the chimney. Historically, the facade clapboards were painted white, the rest of the walls were red. The roof, presently asphalt shingled, was once wood shingled on the front slope and covered with tin at the rear. The present house incorporates additions and alterations made by architect Cass Gilbert in the 1920's and the family of the present owner after 1931. [2]

Significance of the property:

Architecture, Social History, Industry: The Benedict House and Shop , two of the oldest surviving colonial buildings in Ridgefield, have considerable local significance. In addition to their historical association with the Benedict family and the later early industrial history of Ridgefield, these buildings are a well-preserved illustration of the life ways of a colonial artisan. The buildings are exceptional and rare examples of vernacular colonial architecture, enhanced by the integrity of their unusual terraced setting. Considerable ingenuity was needed to develop this difficult site and still orient the house for solar gain in winter. The survival of the house and shop in this century is largely due to generally sympathetic restoration and remodeling, first by architect Cass Gilbert and then the Wohlforth family. [2]

Relationship with the Surroundings:

The Benedict House and Shop are located just southeast of the center of the Town of Ridgefield. Situated on a steeply sloping lot at a curve on the north side of Rockwell Road, this c. 1740 Cape and its attached cobbler's shop face south. The property is surrounded by woodland with scattered buildings visible from the site. The boundaries of the historic property encompass all the land and historically associated buildings constructed and restored during the period of significance (c. 1740 - c. 1940). [2]

Features:
Buildings, Open space
Historic Use:
Residential, Cobblers Shop, Agriculture (barn, well house)
Present Use:
Residential
Architectural Style:
Colonial/ Post-medieval English or expanded cape
Era:
Mid- 18th Century
Ownership:
Private
Owner:
_
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ridgefieldct.org/.
[2] Benedict House and Shop, Ridgefield, Wohlforth Eric, Historic Resources Inventory, Building and Structures, 2000, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information retrieved from the town website [http://www.ridgefieldct.org/content/46/312/default.aspx].
[NR] Cunningham Jan, Benedict House and Shop, National Register Nomination Number- 98001440 NRIS, National Park Service, 1998. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/98001440.pdf.http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/98001440.pdf

Map:

Map of the historic property retrieved from the study report.

View photo
Date of Compilation:
12/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation