Forbes-Evarts House

Forbes-Evarts House

Site: V09-5
Municipality: Windsor, VT
Location: 38 Main Street
Site Type: House


Forbes-Evarts House, 36 Main Street, 1796-97, Federal style.
As early as 1790, Windsor was a prosperous political and industrial center. Newly arrived professionals and successful early settlers built fine homes that reflected their wealth in the first major architectural style to spread widely throughout Vermont, the Federal style (c.1790-c.1835). Inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Rome, the style was first introduced into America through English handbooks and later through builder's guides such as Asher Benjamin's The Country Builder's Assistant (1797) and American Builder's Companion (1806).

While living and practicing in Windsor, Asher Benjamin (1773-1845) had a partner named Savage, who was enlisted by General Abner Forbes in 1796 to build this house. From within his Federal style house, Forbes and a group of men planned the establishment of Kimball Union Academy, a private school in Meriden, New Hampshire.

Typical of the Federal style, the Forbes-Evarts House is formal and symmetrical with an elaborate, yet graceful center entryway, which has a transom window above and pilasters (engaged columns) on each side. Delicately carved swags, urns, and floral motifs were seemingly plucked right from the pages of Asher Benjamin's handbooks to adorn this house. As you proceed to the next house, note the wood fence supported by grarute posts. Watch for similar granite posts further south along Main Street.
(Source 49)

The Sherman Evarts House, North Main St., is a narrow two-story dwelling with a low hipped roof and an extended ell in the rear. The facade is distinguished for its finer elements of mass and proportion. The classic detail, executed strictly in the Adam mode of the period, conveys a sense of restrained sophistication. Conspicuous features are the urns and festoons carved on the door and window headings, the delicately paneled pilasters, and the exceptionally fine cornice with its slender triglyphs.
(Source 90:146)

Abner Forbes House. Federal style, 1796.
Erected by Abner Forbes, the house was also owned by William Maxwell Evarts and was one of the three houses, the others being the Zebina Curtis House and the John Skinner House, with Evart's residential compound. A clapboarded, 2-1/2 story, frame T-house with an extensive hip and one interior chimney on each end elevation, the house is elaborately detailed with a roof entablature in the Greek Doric Order, garland-draped entablature supported by paneled pilasters framing a transom light and entrance. The ell of the house is of brick, load bearing construction.
(Source 127)

16. Abner Forbes House. Date built: 1796.
DESCRIPTION: A 2-story, wood frame, Georgian style house with a hip roof. Roof entablature in Greek Doric Order; entablature above first floor windows and entablature with double swags supported by pilasters with garlands framing entrance with transom on front elevation. The house was erected by General Abner Forbes and was later owned by William Maxwell Evarts. The present owner is Archibald Cox.
(Source 130)