Ehrick Rossiter

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The Rossiter-designed St. Michael's Church (Episcopal), Litchfield, Connecticut (consecrated 1921; photos 2013).
Interior of St. Michael's.

Ehrick Kensett Rossiter (September 14, 1854 – October 14, 1941) was an American architect known for the country homes he designed.[1][2] He was educated at Cornell University. Rossiter was born to American parents in Paris, France, on September 14, 1854. His father, Thomas Pritchard Rossiter (1818-1871), was a Hudson River school artist.[3] Ehrick attended The Gunnery school in Washington, Connecticut, graduating in 1871.[2] He then studied architecture at Cornell University, where he received a degree in 1875. He practiced architecture in New York City from 1877 until 1921, working first with partner Frank A. Wright and later with John Muller. He designed residential, institutional and public buildings in New England, New York, New Jersey and Maryland, many of which are now designated as historic properties.[1][3]

Among Rossiter's architectural designs are 25 estate homes, referred to as "summer cottages," and artist's studios in Washington, Connecticut, most in the Queen Anne ("shingle style") and colonial revival styles.[3][4][5][6] Rossiter buildings in Washington include:[3]

  • His own country home, called the Rocks, which was started in 1882 and built over two decades
  • The Sumacs, completed in 1894 for artist William Hamilton Gibson
  • Glen Holme, completed in 1898 for industrialist William Leslie Van Sinderen, which now houses the administrative offices of the Devereux Glenholme School
  • Kirby Corners, completed in 1900 for U.S. Senator Orville Hitchcock Platt
  • The clubhouse of the Washington Club, completed in 1906
  • The Gunn Memorial Library, opened in 1908. Rossiter donated the design for the building, which was built using fieldstone and wood donated by local farmers and merchants.[7]
  • Edgewood (originally Standish House), commissioned by Ruth Standish Bowles Baldwin and completed in 1910. Rossiter purchased the house in 1919 for his own use and renamed it Edgewood.
  • Saint John's Episcopal Church, built in 1918.

Other Rossiter designs include:

Rossiter was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Architectural League of New York.[1] He retired in 1921 and subsequently made his home in Washington, Connecticut.[1] He died in White Plains, New York, on October 14, 1941.[13]


In 1889 Rossiter bought about 100 acres (40 ha) of land in the Shepaug River valley in Washington, Connecticut, in order to protect the land from logging. This parcel later became the first piece of the Steep Rock Land Trust, which he established with a 1925 donation of 186 acres (75 ha).[1][2] Through purchases and donations, the land trust's holdings have since increased to 2,700 acres (1,100 ha).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ehrick Rossiter Books, Gunn Memorial Library and Museum website, accessed March 18, 2009
  2. ^ a b c d History, Steep Rock Association, Inc. website, accessed March 18, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d Scott J. Tilden, Visions of summer: Ehrick Rossiter in Washington, Connecticut, Magazine Antiques, August 2007
  4. ^ Tour of the Houses of Ehrick Rossiter, Gunn Memorial Library and Museum website, accessed March 18, 2009
  5. ^ Gisela Williams, Havens: Washington, Connecticut, The New York Times, December 5, 2003
  6. ^ "Litchfield House Designed by Architect Ehrick K. Rossiter on the Market" Litchfield County Times. Retrieved 2015-6-21.
  7. ^ Elizabeth Maker, The View From/Washington; Library as Centerpiece At Celebrity Dinners, The New York Times, Sunday, May 16, 1999
  8. ^ The Boulders website, accessed March 18, 2009
  9. ^ T+L Reports: Connecticut Cool, Travel + Leisure, October 2003
  10. ^ William Hosley, A Pitch-Perfect Vision For Opera House, Hartford Courant, January 4, 2009
  11. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Places". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 5/14/12 through 5/18/12. National Park Service. 2012-05-25. 
  13. ^ American Architects' Biographies - R, Society of Architectural Historians website, accessed March 18, 2009

Further reading[edit]

  • Stephen J. Ketterer (2006), Rossiter: Country Houses of Washington, Connecticut, Gunn Memorial Library, ISBN 0-9772586-0-2, ISBN 978-0-9772586-0-4
  • Alison Gilchrist Picton (1997), Return to Arcadia: Ehrick Rossiter's Washington : the architect, his clients, and their houses, Gunn Memorial Library