by Lorraine Arnold
Ephraim George Squier lived at 310 Lafayette Avenue with his brother, a paper merchant, and his sister-in-law along with their daughters and extended family members. He had been sick for many years, but this did not stop the ambitious researcher. Since his youth he had been driven by a curiosity about the past. He began by teaching in his birth town of Bethlehem, New York where he farmed during the summer months. He went on to publish the village newspaper, study engineering, and graduate from what was then Princeton College (now Princeton University) to begin a life as an antiquarian researcher.
Not only is Squier a memorable contributor to the field of archaeology, but the building at 310 Lafayette where he spent most of his adult years has a history of its own. Built between 1875 and 1877 by the architect and developer Joseph Townsend, it is part of the Clinton Hill Historic District. The French Second Empire brownstone-fronted rowhouse was built during the same time as its neighboring Lafayette addresses, 304-314. Over time 310 changed as the original stoop was removed, the ornamental details were shaved, and the mansard roof raised to a full fourth floor. With these changes, 310 still retains its historic charm inside and out.
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