John E. Cowles House (1844)

March 4th, 2017 Posted in Farmington, Houses, Neoclassical

John Edward Cowles (1818-1898), prosperous farmer and a director of the Hartford bank, built the house at 47 Main Street in Farmington in 1844. When it was erected, the house was in the Italianate style. It was inherited by Cowles’ son, Henry Martyn Cowles (1845-1926), who was the New England agent for the M.H. Birge & Sons, manufacturers of fine wallpapers. The house was inherited by H. M. Cowles’ two unmarried nieces who sold the property to Rose Anne Hardy Day Keep in 1927. She and her husband, Robert Porter Keep, headmaster of Miss Porter’s School, extensively remodeled the house in 1927 in the Neoclassical Revival style, adding two-story porticoes with Corninthian columns on either end of the building’s street-facing elevation. Since 1968 the house has been a dormitory of Miss Porter’s School called Porter-Keep House.

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