When it was completed, on Prospect Street in New Haven in 1868, the John M. Davies House was the largest house in the city. It was designed by Henry Austin (with David R. Brown) for Davies, who owned a shirt-manufacturing company with Oliver Winchester, before the latter became famous for manufacturing firearms. The irregularly laid-out French Second Empire-style house lies on rising ground fronted by a wide lawn, creating a dramatic composition. In 1947, the house was purchased by a New Haven cooking school that would become the Culinary Institute of America. In 1964, while still owned by the Institute, it was the subject of a HABS study. In 1972, the house (now renamed the Betts House) was purchased by Yale University and remained unused for many years. Damaged by a fire in 1990, the house was restored in 2000-2002 and now serves as the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.
Houses, New Haven, Second Empire