Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 01/1994

Property Name: Mansion House
Date Listed: 1/19/1995
Inventory No.: WO-36
Location: Bayside Road, Public Landing, Worcester County

Description: Mansion House is a five-part early- to mid-19th century frame "telescope" house built in two distinct stages. Dating to around 1835, the 1 1/2-story side/double-pile frame house and stepped service wing predate a mid-19th century two-story, center hall plan addition. The frame house is clad in plain weatherboards and covered with wood-shingle gable roofs. The north elevation of the house is a symmetrical five-bay facade with a central entrance and two 6/6 sash windows to each side. The four-panel front door, fitted with ogee inset panel moldings, is flanked by four-light sidelights and an eight-pane transom. The glass retains a decorative etching. The door surrounds have wide Greek Revival fluting and shallow profile pyramidal corner blocks. The windows to each side are flanked by louvered shutters. Sheltering the entire front of the house is a two-story porch supported on the first floor by large tapered posts treated with corner chamfers that end with lamb's-tongue stops. The second floor is marked by plain square columns with an original lattice railing and circular profile handrail stretching between the supports. The second floor doorway has a seven-panel door flanked by four-light sidelights, and the door frame is finished with a widely fluted Greek molding and pyramidal corner blocks. To each side of the door are two 6/6 sash windows. The east and west gable ends of the front block are largely alike with two 6/6 sash windows on each floor to either side of interior end brick chimneys. The south side of the main block is covered largely by the c. 1835 1 1/2-story rear wing. Windows of 6/6 sash pierce the south side of the main block at the east and west ends of the house. The 1 1/2-story side hall/double-pile section of the rear wing, built around 1835, is a three-bay structure with a shed porch across the east elevation. A side entrance, marked by a four-panel door, is flanked on the south by a pair of 9/6 sash windows. The east roof slope is defined by a pair of gable-roofed dormers pierced by early-20th century wooden casement windows. The dormer roofs have been rebuilt with extended eaves. On the west side of this section, the first floor is finished in a similar fashion with the exception of a replacement window in lieu of the rear hall door, and a single dormer marks the roof. Rising through the gable end are two interior brick chimneys. Extending from the south side of the 1 1/2-story section is a single-bay section that encloses a pantry and bathroom, and farther south is a single-story, two-bay colonnade that joins a 1 1/2-story, one-room kitchen. An interior brick chimney rises within the kitchen to serve individual fireplaces in the kitchen as well as the colonnade. The one-room plan kitchen is lighted by 9/6 sash windows, and access is provided by a board-and-batten door on the west side. The door on the east side has been blocked. To each side of the door openings are 9/6 sash windows. The interior of the c. 1835 house is trimmed with late Federal/Greek Revival woodwork, while the two-story addition displays purely Greek Revival finishes. The house is joined on the property with an early-19th century frame dairy and a mid-20th century frame garage.

Significance: Mansion House is significant for its architecture. Dating from the second quarter of the 19th century, the two-story main block and rear wing were erected in two principal stages. The initial house, a 1 1/2-story, four-part stepped dwelling, was built around 1835, while a two-story, five-bay section was added around 1850-1860. The original house was designed in the vernacular stepped building tradition with a 1 1/2-story side hall/double-pile main block extended to the mouth by a single-story hyphen, a single-story colonnade, and a 1 1/2-story kitchen. This four-part section was conceived and erected in one building program, reflecting a distinctive regional solution to the interest in achieving an attached service wing, but at the same time maintaining a distinct separation from family slaves. The kitchen loft was built as a segregated space left without direct access to the second floor rooms of the main block.




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