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date: 05 December 2019

Austin, Henrylocked

(b Hamden, CT, April 12, 1804; d New Haven, Nov 12, 1891).
  • Elizabeth Mills Brown

Extract

(b Hamden, CT, April 12, 1804; d New Haven, Nov 12, 1891).

American architect . Austin was based in New Haven, from where his work and influence spread over much of Connecticut, with two major forays out-of-state: a speculative development (c. 1840) in Trenton, NJ, and the lavish Morse–Libby house (1859) in Portland, ME. After neglect in the Colonial Revival period, he was later recognized as Connecticut’s foremost 19th-century architect. His work is mainly associated with the Villa style of the 1840s and 1850s in its many variations, Grecian, Italian, Tuscan, Renaissance and Oriental, but continuing, with less intensity, through the Victorian Gothic and French Empire styles of the 1860s and 1870s (see United States of America, §II, 2). To these popular fashions of his day, Austin brought a personal interpretation and a sometimes startling imagination, distorting and exaggerating familiar proportions with long, dripping brackets and excessively broad, flat eaves, modelling surfaces with the deep shadows of strangely jutting pediments and short, square columns, and breaking the skyline with roof structures topped by exotic little finials from the Orient....

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A. K. Placzek, ed.: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects, 4 vols (New York, 1982)