WASHINGTON — The stone mansion at the intersection of Roxbury and Curtis roads is a testament to an influential local architect who helped shape the character and landscape of the town during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Ehrick Rossiter graduated from the Gunnery School in 1871 and studied architecture at Cornell University. He practiced in New York City from 1877 to 1921 before retiring to Washington, where he built about 25 summer cottages and artists’ studios.

“The way Washington looks today can partially be traced back to Rossiter,” said Stephen Bartkus, the curator of the Gunn Historical Museum.

Rossiter originally designed the 15,000 square-foot home at 143 Roxbury Road in 1910 as a hunting lodge for Walter Russell, who was the art editor of Colliers Weekly before becoming a war correspondent and artist during the Spanish-American War and later the writer and illustrator of many books.

Eventually the lodge was converted to a seven-bedroom house. Now on the market for $6.5 million, it has been restored while preserving period details including hardwood floors, detailed moldings, nine fireplaces and a solarium.

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The estate borders the Steep Rock Preserve, which was also a Rossiter legacy.

Rossiter was just about to start building his home in Washington in the spring of 1889 when he learned that a timber company was going to clear-cut the wooded hills in his western viewshed. He bought 100 acres of the land and over the next 36 years added carriage roads and river crossings.

In 1925, he donated the land to a group of trustees who established the preserve, according to the Steep Rock Association’s website.

Though he had moved to New York after graduating from the Gunnery, Rossiter retained his Washington connections throughout his life, and is buried in the cemetery next to the Episcopal church.

“He was greatly influenced by Frederick Gunn and the town and fell in love with it,” Bartkus said.

Rossiter designed homes in Washington for artist William Hamilton Gibson, industrialist William Leslie Van Sinderen and U.S. Sen. Orville Hitchcock Platt.

He built The Boulders in 1890, which is now used as an inn. He also built the clubhouse of the Washington Club and designed the Gunn Memorial Library, both on the Washington Green.

“When we look out of our windows at the museum every day, we see the designs of Ehrick Rossiter,” Bartkus said.

Rossiter designed his original Washington home, The Rocks, which is still standing by the green, as well as a later home which he originally built for Ruth Standish Bowles Baldwin in 1910 but renamed Edgewood when he bought it in 1919.

Rossiter also designed homes, churches, libraries and commercial buildings throughout New England, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. He designed more than 350 buildings during his career and in retirement, according to the Litchfield County Times.

Rossiter’s background as the son of Thomas Pritchard Rossiter, a famous artist of the Hudson River School, helped influence his designs, Bartkus said.

“The arts were always a strong influence on Ehrick Rossiter,” Bartkus said.

kkoerting@newstimes.com; 203-731-3345