The Thornton Wilder House (1929)

February 16th, 2010 Posted in Colonial Revival, Hamden, Houses

Deepwood Drive, off Whitney Avenue in Hamden and adjacent to the town’s border with New Haven, was developed in the 1920s on on an old estate. Known architecturally for its many modern houses, the street also has older-style homes and was landscaped to have a rural appearance. Many of the homes are oriented away from the street, often obscuring them from the road. One such house, at 50 Deepwood Drive, was built in 1929 by Thornton Wilder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist. Built as home for himself, his parents and sisters with the royalties from his famous novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), Wilder referred to it as “the house the bridge built.” Wilder had a view of New Haven and East Rock from his English style country home, which sits on the edge of a promontory. He shared the house with his sister, Isabel, until he died in 1975. Thornton Wilder furniture and memorabilia from the house’s study are on display at the Miller Memorial Central Library in Hamden.

  1. 4 Responses to “The Thornton Wilder House (1929)”

  2. By Literary Dreamer on Feb 16, 2010

    Any pictures of that view that Wilder saw, or of what the view would look like today?

  3. By Daniel on Feb 17, 2010

    I’m happy to have got this much of a view of the house! Anything more would involve trespassing!

  4. By Eric D Lehman on Feb 18, 2010

    This house was also built by Alice Washburn, a locally famous architect who built over a hundred houses in New Haven County (mostly in Hamden) during the 1920s (when less than 1% of American architects were women). Her other houses are all beautiful and unique, just like this one.

    I wasn’t able to get a picture of this house for my upcoming book, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant. I don’t think the current owners want any publicity. However, the address is well known and published in the Hamden historical tour.

  5. By MAQART on Apr 15, 2010

    50 Deepwood drive is for sale.

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