A. Everett Austin House
This Hartford landmark was the home of Arthur Everett “Chick” Austin Jr., and is known locally as the "Facade House" and other nicknames. The home's exterior was designed to replicate the appearance of a spacious mansion when in reality, the majority of the structure is quite narrow deep despite the property's length and grand exterior. Austin was only in his 20s when he assumed directorship of Hartford’s venerable Wadsworth Atheneum. The man behind this Scarborough Street home described his residents as being “just like me.” He went on to clarify that this was due to the house’s reputation as being “all façade.” In fact, “Façade House” was one of the nicknames given to this residence, along with “Hollywood House” and “Pasteboard Palace” although those even less enamored of its peculiar charm would go so far as to call it “an excrescence.” The house, whose impressive-at-a-distance 86 foot long exterior belies its narrow, 18 foot wide interior, is nevertheless as full of surprise and intrigue as its former owner.
Backstory and Context
Not Very Big, and Not Very Old. Big Old Houses. June 12, 2013. Accessed July 03, 2018. http://bigoldhouses.blogspot.com/2013/06/not-very-big-and-not-very-old.html.
Austin House Visit. Hartford.com. . Accessed July 03, 2018. https://hartford.com/event/austin-house-visit/2018-08-18/.
Reservation Required: Austin House Visit. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. . Accessed July 03, 2018. https://thewadsworth.org/event/reservation-required-austin-house-visit/?instance_id=24286.
Chappe, Claude. A. Everett Austin Facade House. Atlas Obscura. . Accessed July 03, 2018. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/a-everett-austin-facade-house.
Hartford’s “Façade House”: The Unique Home of Chick Austin. Connecticut History. . Accessed July 03, 2018. https://connecticuthistory.org/hartfords-facade-house-the-unique-home-of-chick-austin/.
Chick Austin Modernizes a Connecticut Institution. Connecticut History. . Accessed July 03, 2018. https://connecticuthistory.org/chick-austin-modernizes-a-connecticut-institution/.
Hamilton, William L.. Beguiled by an Illusionist. The New York Times. June 01, 2000. Accessed July 03, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/01/garden/beguiled-by-an-illusionist.html.
NHL: A. Everett Austin House. Connecticut Museum Quest. . Accessed July 03, 2018. http://www.ctmq.org/20-a-everett-austin-house/.
The Ringling's First Director: Chick Austin Before Ringling. The Ringling. January 19, 2018. Accessed July 03, 2018. https://www.ringling.org/ringlings-first-director-chick-austin-ringling.
Leary, Lynn. Sarah Goodwin Austin: Artist Whose Father Ran Atheneum. Hartford Courant. April 20, 1994. Accessed July 03, 2018. http://articles.courant.com/1994-04-20/news/9404200294_1_austin-house-wadsworth-atheneum-art-history.