Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated October 7, 1857.

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Publication InformationBoston Oct. 7..1857

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Mr. Marsh

My Dear Sir your favor of the 6th is received. I am exceedingly pleased to learn that you like the dome. With it grows into favor. You question one thing and that is the shape of the glass in the windows. I considered this matter well before I permitted the lithographer to put them on his drawing. It is true that the Greeks had no windows. I am aware that the representations you speak of were openings in the marble Now as I look at it the things is thus. We make windows. As they had something corresponding, if we make anything of the kind are we not warranted in taking the shape they used for ours? I think we are and that square or rightangled lights would look tame and much out of place since the whole order (Ionic) is used. I should hardly feel justified in following so near and still depart so wide in this one respect. The great feature or aspect will be like the Greek although the hight from the ground will induce me to depart some little from the ancient in order to enlarge my small details, as all would look confused up there. I hope you will not demand square lights of glass in that particular location since all the example of the kind we have suggests the Lozenge shaped. However if you ask for it the square ones will be put in

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I think that if any windows are warranted in Ionic work that if nothing else would suggest the Lozenge, for we as it were instinctively associate this idea with anything that looks like the Erectheum and square lights would look out of place. Then the Bishop is as a whole pleased with the thing We are getting a goodly company on our side, and shall soon be, if we are not already, the dominant party. He is some mistaken in regard to the chimney The perspective drawing shows them some nearer together than they realy are. He is also mistaken in regard to the dimensions of them they are more than 11 ft wide and some 4 ft. thick. To spread them still more and connect them as you propose would make them look as if straddling the ridge. You are laboring under a misapprehension in regard to the windows back of the porticos. They are just right. The perspective is true to the letter. You will observe by the plans that the three over the door are farther back like this [see sketch] The pilasters stand . The perspective would throw each part just where it is shown. The column [..] are bad and I tried to remedy them but could not.

You shall hear from me on the bridge question soon.

I am yours trulyThomas W. Silloway121 Court St

References in this letter:

In ancient Greek architecture, columns were designed in three distinctive styles, known as classical orders: the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

A temple on the Acropolis in Athens constructed between c.421 and 405 B.C. It is the considered to be the finest early example of the Greek classical architecture in the Ionic order.

Thomas W. Silloway, (1828-1910), was only thirty years old in 1857 when he was chosen architect for the new State House in Montpelier. Silloway was from Massachusetts, and had worked in the office of Ammi B. Young, the architect who designed the previous building. Silloway and Dr. Powers, the superintendent of construction for the 1857 job, had worked together to design and build a new courthouse in Woodstock, Vermont, that burned in 1854.