Jonathan Chittenden House

530 Boston Post Road

1843       

Transitional Greek Revival/Italianate

This house was originally built by Jonathan Chittenden. He was a shipbuilder from Killingworth who sought residence in Madison on the basis that it was closer to his work. When he bought the land from Benjamin Hart in 1842, another house already existed on the property. Chittenden’s plan for a new house incorporated that original smaller structure. His finished product plus later additions and decorative embellishments are what remain today.

In this house, built a bit later than the one next-door, the Greek Revival influence clearly takes hold. Among its notable features are the two freestanding columns on the front porch, created in a unique Connecticut design. They have fluted shafts, and their capitals feature an Egyptian lotus-leaf design. The gable includes a rectangular window with a decorative head molding that matches the moldings on the exterior windows as well. The window caps and the cornice of the pediment are supported by brackets—all definitive of the period.

While the house has been gently updated and thoughtfully amended during the past decades, it retains much of its period detail, inside and out. Its original kitchen fireplace, for instance, has survived with its beehive oven, herb drying cupboard, and wood paneling.

When Jonathan died in 1869, his son Charles, fearful for his mother’s wellbeing, started the Charles Chittenden Fund at the First Congregational Church. His intention was to help the needy women of the church.

This home was featured in 2016 on the MHS’s Remarkable Homes tour. Its landscaping and woodland gardens are exceptional, stretching a few hundred feet south toward the present-day Madison Country Club golf course.

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