For the new construction, he sought the services of Thomas Hayden of Windsor, who in turn entrusted a 21-year old Asher Benjamin to design the entry of the new addition. The contrasts between the Phelps and Burbank sections of the house further highlight differences between the personalities and experiences of the two men, and between the times in which each lived.
From the stylish new rooms, Phelps peddled a vision of American expansion to New Englanders looking for a new life in the west. Phelps’ attempts to sell significant swaths of Seneca Nation land as part of Connecticut’s Western Reserve proved unsuccessful. Within a decade, Oliver Phelps’ fortunes had collapsed; Asher Benjamin, meanwhile, had become a rising star among the architects helping to set the standard for taste in the young United States. Using the pattern books Benjamin created, countless structures and a new national identity were born.
Learn more about the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden on the Connecticut Landmarks website.