Wadsworth Atheneum

Magic Facade: The Austin House

Author: Eugene Gaddis Reminiscence by Angela Lansbury


In 1930, Chick Austin and his wife Helen Goodwin built a house on one of the grandest streets in Hartford. It was a pastiche inspired by a sixteenth-century Palladian villa they had seen near Venice on their honeymoon, but instead of brick and stucco, the house was constructed with painted pine boards. Behind its 86-foot-long façade, it was a mere 18 feet deep, leading Austin’s neighbors, who lived in respectable neo-colonial or Tudor-revival houses, to dub it “the pasteboard palace.”

The book includes more than 100 illustrations, including historic photographs, works of art from the Atheneum’s collection, Austin family archival material, and recent images of the house and its interiors by noted photographer Geoffrey Gross.


Publisher: Wadsworth Atheneum
Author: Eugene Gaddis Reminiscence by Angela Lansbury
Pages: 128 pages
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780918333230

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