Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Moorings, The

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Institution Name: Mitchell College
Original/Historic Place Name: John W. Emmons House; Home Memorial Hospital
Location on Campus: 361 Pequot Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1868original construction
1903remodeling
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Colonial revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: random brownstone ashlar with tooled finish
Walls: random granite ashlar on first floor, aluminum siding on second floor and attic
Roof: asphalt
 
Function:
1868-1920private residence
1920-1944infirmary (Home Memorial Hospital)
ca. 2004-present (2006)residence hall (one of the three "waterfront dormitories")
 

Narrative:
Sea captain John W. Emmons purchased the lot on which this house stands in 1860. The first year in which the property was assessed with a house on it was 1868. Either a new house was constructed in 1903, or the original was remodeled so thoroughly as to create a new building. In 1920, the house was purchased for use as the Home Memorial Hospital, a facility intended to provide a home-like atmosphere for patients. Home Memorial offered hospital service to the poor. It closed in 1944.

The Moorings is a Colonial Revival house with a cross gambrel roof. A raised foundation is of tooled random brownstone ashlar that has a watercourse above it. The first floor is constructed of random granite ashlar with tinted, raised mortar joints. The porch, which wraps around the side of the building, is supported by rock-faced brownstone piers with mortar joints matching those of the rest of the house. Porch columns are in the Tuscan Order. First floor windows have brownstone surrounds with paneled pilasters and consoles under the sills. Two windows on the south side of the house have pediments. The northeast porch corner has a protruding rounded extension. The porch railing has heavy turned balusters. There is a porte cochere on the north side. Palladian windows in the gambrel roof ends have keystones, and there are two small oriel windows in the north end of the house. An outbuilding in the back was partially destroyed by fire and has been rebuilt as a garage. The interior features a rounded interior vestibule with heavy rope molding. First floor door openings have segmental arches with keystones. These openings feature heavy moldings with a foliated design. The staircase has turned balusters with floral motifs.

The John W. Emmons House/Moorings is an excellent example of the free interpretation given to buildings in the Colonial Revival style. The use of the gambrel roof and Palladian window is borrowed from the architectural vocabulary of the 18th century. The porch, dominating the exterior appearance of the house, the use of oriel windows, and the first floor window details, are characteristic of the eclectic nature of American architecture in the late 19th century. The tinted, raised mortar joints are similar to those in the Sunflower Lodge on the main campus and may be by the same craftsman. The house synthesizes these elements well.

The house is part of a significant grouping of 19th century homes along Pequot Avenue related to the nearby Pequot Colony. As a summer resort community, the colony attracted well-to-do local residents and others to live nearby. The Monte Cristo Cottage, boyhood home of Eugene O'Neill, is located in the next block north. This neighborhood was the one in which O'Neill grew up.
 

References:

Decker, Robert Owen. The Whaling City: A History of New London. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, 1976.

 

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