Clifford, George F., House

17 High Rd., Cornish, Maine



Built for George Franklin Clifford, son of United States Supreme Court Justice Nathan Clifford.

Located in the northern York County, the George F. Clifford House is a late example of Greek Revival style residential architecture. The two story, double pile house with recessed entryway, massive pilasters, thick frieze and full cornice returns, while excellently detailed and composed, does not differ much in style, massing or composition from numerous other examples found throughout the Maine towns and cities that had been settled by the mid-19th century. What is notable about this example is that it was built c. 1873-4, close to a quarter century after the form had reached its peak of popularity, and almost a decade and a half after the style is generally considered to have fallen out of favor. Yet, the style and scale of the house seems appropriate for a family with a deep, multi-generational grounding in participatory democracy. The house was built for the young family of George Franklin Clifford, Esq., son of the United States Supreme Court Justice from Maine, Nathan Clifford. The home is adjacent both to the younger Clifford’s small, Greek Revival style law office, and to the Greek Revival style home of Clifford’s uncle and law partner Caleb R. Ayer. Still owned by the family, the George F. Clifford House is was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its local architectural significance, as a property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of Greek Revival domestic architecture and which testifies to the continued popularity, if not social significance, of this architectural style into the 1870s.

Update Log 

  • August 27, 2014: Updated by Brian Bartlett: Added description
  • December 19, 2013: Added by Brian Bartlett