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Lafayette Mendel House

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


This Italianate house was designed by prominent architect Henry Austin and served as the home of Yale professor Lafayette Mendel from 1900 to 1924. The building now houses a law firm.

Mendel was a scientist who studied under Russell Henry Chittenden at Yale, earning his PhD in 1893. In 1903, Mendel became a Professor of Physiological Chemistry at Yale's Sheffield Scientific School alongside his mentor. Mendel's scientific contributions occurred in the field of nutrition. In particular, he is known for his partnership with Thomas B. Osborne from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to study the nutritional value of proteins and vitamins. Mendel was among Yale's earliest tenured Jewish professors and was Yale's first Jewish Sterling Professor.

Lafayette Mendel House, New Haven (Walk New Haven)
Mendel House in 2017 (Burt Westermeier)
(Burt Westermeier)
Mendel in his youth, c. 1887 (Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library)
Mendel, a "Yale man" his entire life (Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library)
Mendel was known as a devoted and enthusiastic teacher as well as a skilled scientist. (Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library)


Mendel at Yale
Born in Delhi, New York in 1972, Mendel spent most of his life at Yale. He earned his BA  in 1891, his PhD in 1893, and then stayed at Yale as a faculty member. His 1936 obituary by Henry Sherman in Science describes him as "always a Yale man" who was "both a product and a builder" of Yale's emerging schools of science and medicine. Sherman also noted Mendel's "wholeheartedly sympathetic attitude" as a teacher, which inspired his former students to gather in honor of his 60th birthday and dedicate an issue of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine to him.

Henry Austin, New Haven architect
Henry Austin designed numerous other buildings in New Haven, including:
- James E. English House, on Wooster Square
- James Dwight Dana House
- Egyptian Revival Gates to Grove Street Cemetery
- John Pitkin Norton House
- New Haven City Hall


"Downtown North Tour: Lafayette Mendel House." Walk New Haven: Cultural Heritage Tours. Accessed February 26, 2017.

Fruton, Joseph. Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology. New Haven. Yale University Press, 1999. See esp. p. 86-87.

Sherman, Henry C. "Lafayette Benedict Mendel." Science 83, no. 2142 (1936): 45-47.

18 Trumbull St.
New Haven, CT 6511
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Historic Homes
  • History of Public and Higher Education
  • Jewish History
  • Science and Technology
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This location was created on 2017-02-24 by Amelia Kennedy .   It was last updated on 2017-05-26 by Amelia Kennedy .

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