|Location||269 High St.
|NRHP Reference #||78002846|
|Added to NRHP||December 20, 1978|
Relationship to surroundings
The house faces east to the Connecticut River from the southwest corner of High Street and Wyllys Avenue. High Street between Church and Washington Streets was the most prestigious residential area in Middletown during the 19th century, and is now a part of the Wesleyan University campus.
This house was built in 1856 by Gabriel Coite. Coite was a partner in his father's business in Brooklyn, New York, until he retired to Middletown in 1853. In 1860 he was elected State Senator; and in 1862 became treasurer of the State and moved to Hartford. In 1863, the house was acquired by Mrs. Jane Miles Hubbard, widow of Samuel D. Hubbard. Hubbard was co-founder of the Russell Manufacturing Company, builder of the Mansion block, and a Postmaster General. Wesleyan University purchased the property from Mrs. Hubbard's heirs in 1904 for use as the President's residence. Since then Presidents Raymond, Shanklin, Olin, McConaughty (later Governor of Connecticut), Butterfield, Etherington, and Campbell have occupied the house.
This Italianate Villa style house is of a symmetrical cube form with a projecting pavilion, prominent porte cochere, and elaborate scrolled brackets beneath the eaves of the roof and cupola. The treatment of the windows is similarly elaborate with heavy flat pediments supported on consoles. There are elaborate crestings in the window pediments of the front facade. The entrance to the house is distinguished by the porte cochere with paired columns and a balustrade.
The large scale of this house, together with its elaborate decorative treatment, makes it one of the most sophisticated examples of its style in Middletown. Its site is at the highest elevation on Main Street, and thereby complements the imposing qualities of the architecture.
This is a house of great distinction on a street where high style in architecture was the already established standard at the time of its construction.
Current use and condition
Wesleyan University currently uses the property as a residence for its University President and therefore maintains is very good condition.
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Middletown, Connecticut Historical and Architectural Resources. Volume II, Card Number 127. John Reynolds. April, 1978.