October 1, 2022

Floyd to Explore Scary Local House, April 30


The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

Chad Floyd, a partner in Centerbrook Architects, will examine the times, the tall tales, and the design of the historic (and haunted) General William Harts House in Madison. His illustrated presentation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, at the Essex Town Hall. “A Haunted Tale of Architecture, Mayhem, and Geopolitics” will explore the historic context of the 1759 house and the fascinating people who lived in it.

The house’s design typifies the transition between the Colonial and Federal eras, but with some odd architectural twists.  Built by Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, the building was sold to Captain Edward Griffin, a schooner master who sailed between Madison and the West Indies.

A slave owner, Griffin engaged in considerable mischief inside the house, which is why it is said to be haunted. During the twentieth century the house was owned by a US Army General who became a key player at in historic events around the globe.

Floyd’s design credits include academic, cultural, and civic projects, among them the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas; the 9/11 Liberty Memorial in Virginia, and the Norton Museum of Art in Florida.

Locally, his work includes the Florence Griswold Museum, the Garde Arts Center, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Norma Terris Theater, Lyme Art Association, the Connecticut River Museum, Hill-Stead Museum, Manchester Community College, and Mystic Seaport Museum.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/).

Call the library at (860) 767-1560to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.