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Oct 1, 2023



From the rural backwater of Hartland, Connecticut in 1773, Asher Benjamin would rise to become one of the most important figures of early American architecture. In addition to training as a skilled finish carpenter, he published the first architectural guidebooks-how-to books by an American-born author. These went through many editions and left a lasting record of how Federal-period craftsman could build the many stunning churches and homes from the earliest years of our country. He may have even held the first architectural school in America-more about that in this episode.


In this episode, architectural historian Mary Donohue interviews guests William Ranauro, author of Asher Benjamin, American Architect, Author, Artist, published by Outskirts Press in 2021 and Lynn Mervosh, Site Administrator for the Phelps-Hatheway House and Garden in Suffield, Connecticut. Mr. Ranauro is one of the speakers for the  upcoming  Asher Benjamin Symposium. 

Today’s episode is inspired by an upcoming symposium sponsored by Connecticut Landmarks to celebrate the work and legacy of Asher Benjamin, one of the most influential members of the first generation of American architects. Take in a full day of learning and gorgeous Fall foliage  at the site of his first formal architectural commission, the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden in Suffield, Connecticut. The symposium is on October 7th, 2023-to find out more and to register go to


 Thank to guests William Ranauro and Lynn Merosh. To find out more about upcoming events at the Phelps-Hatheway House and Garden,  go to And don’t forget to register today for the upcoming Asher Benjamin Symposium at William Ranauro’s book Asher Benjamin American Architect, Author, Artist is available on



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This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan at


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