James Merrill House in New London, Connecticut up for National Historic Landmark listing on November 16

James Merrill House.

The James Merrill House is on the docket for consideration at the upcoming National Historic Landmark Committee Meeting! Poet James Merrill lived here with his male lover for many years.

As a poet, James Merrill valued, cultivated and renewed poetry’s traditional practices, and at the same time was boldly experimental. He himself described his poems as “chronicles of love and loss,” and his poems delve into the extremes of rapture and despair, into the comedy of domestic life, the allure of foreign landscapes, and the sublime reaches of occult experience. His work addressed the crucial topics of modern life, and often touched on the complexities and joy of homosexuality. His career was long and prolific; during his lifetime he published thirteen collections of poems, as well as novels and plays, prose and a memoir.

Merrill with David Jackson from Sprague papers001
James Merrill, right, with his partner David Jackson, from the Sprague Family Papers. Amherst College

Located in New London, Connecticut, the 1901 James Merrill House is a late-Victorian, mixed commercial and residential building with residences on the second and third floor, and a shop on the first floor. In 1956, the property was purchased by noted American poet Merrill and his partner David Jackson who used the third floor as their private living and guest space. Adding an attic studio and rooftop deck, the men transformed their quarters with a distinctively quirky decor that remains largely intact.

Read more about the history of this landmark in the NHL nomination by historians Grey Pierce and Caridad de la Vega. National Historic Landmark Advisory Committee Meeting will be hearing the Merrill House nomination on Monday, November 16, 2015, 3:00 pm at the Charles Sumner School here in Washington, DC.

This meeting is open to the public. Please join Rainbow Heritage Network at the meeting to show your support for the nomination.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Stephen Borkowski says:

    The building is in Stonington Borough, CT not in New London, CT. That said, It is wonderful to visit their home, beyond understated and whimsical.


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