Whether you notice it or not, Ridgefield’s history is illuminated by the very buildings that comprise the town. This tour seeks to explore prominent architectural styles in their historical context, as well as to highlight the colorful individuals who built and inhabited these living relics. Download the free ConnTours app today!
Below is a sample stop on the Main Street Architecture tour.
Stop #1: Lounsbury House
Ahead of Its Time
Ridgefield’s iconic Lounsbury House was built in 1896 and is an example of the Classical Revival style, which reflects an early 20th century interest in an 18th century architectural past.
Built by Phineas Chapman Lounsbury, a native Ridgefielder who, with his brother George, born in Pound Ridge, NY, established a shoe manufacturing business in New Haven, which grew and became Lounsbury, Mathewson & Co. The Lounsbury House was ahead of its time as it was modeled after the Connecticut State Building at the 1893 Chicago Columbia Exposition, which drew inspiration from the grander houses occupied by the state’s founding families.
Lounsbury boasts many of the hallmarks of a traditional Georgian: a symmetrical façade, ornate detailing, an elaborate doorway, and neo-classical portico.
As a Classical Revival these features are emphasized with a more modern touch. The interior floor plan of the Lounsbury House is not symmetrical as it would have been in a classic Georgian, though all the rooms are still anchored around the entrance and grand stair hall at the center of the home. Other 20th Century changes include the extended center gable, exaggerated dentil moldings, and fitted wrap-around porch.Afraid of losing the mansion to time and neglect, the Town of Ridgefield bought the property in order to build Veterans Park Elementary School. The house was then leased to be run as the Town Community Center, reviving the house to its former glory.