Jericho Historic District
The Jericho Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
The Jericho Historic District consists of three early nineteenth century Federal style residences located on the Montauk Highway at the west side of the incorporated Village of East Hampton. The three houses are apparently all that remain of a nineteenth-century neighborhood referred to as Jericho. They are now surrounded by historically unrelated twentieth century suburban houses and undeveloped woods. The boundaries of the Jericho Historic District follow the lot lines of the three historic houses and exclude the non-historic properties that lie immediately adjacent to the district. The Jericho Historic District includes a total of three contributing buildings. No contributing dependencies have been identified within the Jericho Historic District and no structures, objects or sites have been identified within its boundaries.
The three houses within the Jericho Historic District were all built in the early nineteenth century of heavy timber construction with shingled exterior sheathing. All three houses incorporated side-entrance plans with internal fireplaces and chimney units and all three houses feature distinctive Federal style entrances and interior trim characterized by reeded and panelled surface and shelf-like cornice moldings. Two of the houses, both on the north side of the Montauk Highway, include full second stories. The Jones Homestead, located at the south side of the highway, is one full story in height with its original attic story living space enlarged at a later date through the use of shed-roofed wall dormers. The Ezekiel Jones House incorporated two noncontributing two-story additions to the east and west of the original building. The original massing of the Talmage Jones House, however, remains largely intact. All three properties include non-historic garages or utility buildings at the rear.
The Jericho Historic District includes a variety of old and gnarled oak and sycamore trees along the two sides of the highway, many of which appear to be contemporary with the neighborhood's nineteenth-century development. These trees enhance the rural aspect and sense of age which characterize the Jericho Historic District.
The Jericho Historic District is architecturally significant as a rare collection of modest early nineteenth century houses exhibiting outstanding Federal style detailing and craftsmanship. The three houses were built by and for members of the Jones family, prominent East Hampton builders, and share similar floor plans, construction methods and distinctive interior details. Although alterations and additions have detracted from the original massing of two of these houses, the historic interiors of all three houses survive with an unusually high degree of integrity.
In plan and form, all three of the houses in the Jericho Historic District reflect variations on a common eastern Long Island house type of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, outwardly identified by its three-bay side-entrance facade, gable roof and slightly off-center chimney. Both one- and two-story examples of this basic house type were common and both versions are represented in the Jericho Historic District.
One of the more significant characteristics associated with the houses composing the Jericho Historic District is the elaborate Federal style detailing of doorways, staircases, casings and mantelpieces and other trim elements. Openings are typically framed with columns or pilasters on plinths, capitals, entablatures and cornices, and surfaces are enriched with reeding, fluting and raised and recessed panels. Cornice elements above entrances and mantelpieces are characteristically attenuated and shelf-like and interior door casings feature corner blocks with both raised and recessed panels. The one-and-one-half story Jones House incorporated an unusually fine elliptical arch near the rear end of the entrance hall and door casings with rosette detailed corner blocks. Other period details include the staircase with its turned newel post and scrolled consoles beneath the treads. An unusual wooden plaque is located above two doorways in the parlor, detailed with a pineapple, two willow trees and sunburst corners. The Talmage Jones House retains its original external form and interior details, including an elaborately panelled mantelpiece. The Ezekiel Jones House incorporates a noteworthy entrance consisting of a five-panel front door, a transom light with geometrically designed muntins, fluted pilasters and a substantial entablature with a shelf-like cornice. Original five-panel doors and a typical Federal style mantelpiece survive at the interior as well.
Research is incomplete at this time, but it appears that the three houses in the Jericho Historic District were all built by one or more members of the Jones family for their own occupancy. The similarity in their layout and detailing indicates that they were probably all built between c.1810 and c.1830. The Jones family was prominent in the Village of East Hampton for the several generations of builders it produced, beginning with Edward Jones (1650-1726) and continuing with Ezekiel Jones (1708-1790), Ezekiel Jones, Jr. (1736-1818), Talmage Jones (1763-1850) and finally Asa Otis Jones (1857-1953).
The setting on Jericho Historic District is enhanced by the survival of ancient oak and sycamore trees which line the shoulders of the Montauk Highway in the immediate vicinity of the three historic houses. These trees help to unify this ensemble of resources and imbue the Jericho Historic District with a distinctive rural quality and feeling of age no longer typical along this heavily trafficked road.