Erastus Brainerd, Jr. House (1852)

October 21st, 2012 Posted in Houses, Italianate, Portland

This is my 2,000 building post on Historic Buildings of Connecticut! Part of the purpose of this blog is to celebrate historic structures so that people won’t be inclined to tear them down. Sometimes, however, great buildings are not maintained and some are in danger of being destroyed. A case in point is the Erastus Brainerd, Jr. House, part of the campus of the former Elmcrest Hospital in Portland, which is slated for demolition. Erastus Brainerd Jr.‘s father established the Brainerd Quarry Company in Portland and owned the Hart/Jarvis House next door (also facing demolition) [see this pdf and this pdf]. The Brainerd House, built around 1852, is particularly notable because it was designed by the great New Haven architect Henry Austin. Pictured in the image above is the house’s grand front entry porch, which has fluted columns on floral urns with ogee arched decorative brackets supporting a balustraded roof. These houses should be saved! (Note this pdf and this pdf)

  1. 3 Responses to “Erastus Brainerd, Jr. House (1852)”

  2. By Josh on Oct 24, 2012

    That is a huge loss, and I am one of Henry Austin’s biggest fans (I wrote the wiki page in its current incarnation for him). Do you know how secure the attribution is? That porch is one of the rare ones that includes candelabra columns and an interesting Moorish hood. If it does end up going the porch at the very least should be saved. Also, I have noticed that there is a similar house to this in Rochester, NY, the Brewster Burke House: While I doubt it is by Austin, it exhibits a lot of his tell tale marks and certainly seems related to this house in Portland.

  3. By cindy rivard on Aug 11, 2015

    I am into doing history of people from the 1800’s to late 1900’s. and I saw Erastus brainerd jr. and fell in love with his home. and I so have enjoyed reading about it.. and will continue too research him and the area. thank you for posting his home on facebook.

  4. By Christina (Brainerd ) Wallace on Mar 10, 2017

    I love these old homes, I would save them all if I could. They don’t make them like that anymore. I would love to read more on him and the house. I would love to see the homes also. I hope the homes will be saved and possibly restored. Especially since the owner could possibly be my ansester. I hope to see updates on this

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