Category Archives: Places

35 Walker St., Henry W. Bishop Cottage, 1885

35 Walker St., Henry W. Bishop Cottage
35 Walker St., Henry W. Bishop Cottage

From Surveys Completed 2012-2013 by the Lenox Historical Commission

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Colonial Revival style building has two stories and a slate roof. The structure has been altered. The building has 3-bay, wood framing, and a hipped roof with slate shingles. There are modillions on the eaves, 1 large brick interior chimney, and 1 large Left sidewall chimney. There are 3 gabled dormers on the front, 1 gabled dormer on the Left side, and corner pilasters.   There is also a large 2-story hipped roof rear ell with a 1-story extension wrapping around it. There are some intact 6-o-1 windows, 2 Doric columns at the opening to the recessed entrance (once a freestanding entrance porch), and a gabled rear entry on the left side of the rear ell (added before 1911).

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:  

1854 Clark Map labeled house as “H. W. Taft” then 1876 Beers Map labeled it as “Mrs. Wm. Thompson” (demolished); current house first depicted on 1893 Sanborn Map.

This is the earlier of two houses owned as summer cottages by Florence Bishop, in 1885. The cottages were generally rented to summer visitors, or used to house overflow from the Bishop’s estate, Interlaken (dem.). After its purchase in 1949, by Karl and Sophie Grosser, this house became a restaurant and Inn.

October 8, 1874 built by Henry W. Bishop, sold to Ellen L. Thompson, then bought by William Curtis.

October 17, 1885 Florence Bishop purchased from William Curtis.

January 31, 1921 Florence V.C. Parsons from Cortland L. Bishop.

February 14, 1921 Charles L. Slattery from Florence V.C. Parsons

July 16, 1926 Katherine McDonald from Beatrice B. Bishop

October 21, 1945 Joseph F. Deely from Mary McDonald

November 22, 1949 purchased by Louis C. Ardel and Albert Blaser.

___________, 1949 purchased by Karl and Sophie Grosser and run as a restaurant called Chef Karl’s.

April 29, 1963, purchased by John and Ann Pedretti and run as a restaurant called The Toby Jug.

October 7, 1977, purchased by James DeMayo and run as a restaurant and inn called The Candlelight Inn.

September 1985, purchased by Robert Artig and Marsha Heller and run as a restaurant and inn called The Candlelight Inn.

August 19, 2002, purchased by John M. Hedgecock.

September 19, 2002, purchased by Rebecca M. Hedgecock.

August 31,m 2004, purchased by William G. C. Dakin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

1854 Clark Map, 1876 Beers Map, 1893 Sanborn Map

Registry of Deeds, Pittsfield, MA

Atlas of the Garden Spots of Berkshire, Barnes & Jenks, 1894

Atlas of Berkshire County, Massachusets, Barnes & Farnham, 1904

Local histories

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

45 Walker St., David Wolf Bishop House, 1895

45 Walker St., David Wolf Bishop House - 1895
45 Walker St., David Wolf Bishop House – 1895

From Surveys Completed 2012-2013 by the Lenox Historical Commission

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Colonial Revival style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof, and has been significantly altered. This structure has 3-bays, a center entrance, a wood frame, and a hipped roof. There is a shallow entrance pavilion with a pediment, a fanlight attic window, modillions & dentils. There is a 3-part window with 2-o-1 windows flanking larger 6-o-1 on the 2nd floor of the pavilion. There are pedimented dormers–2 front, 2 right side, and 1 left side. There are 2 large brick interior chimneys and a full front porch which has a projecting center section aligned with the pediment above. There is a set of 3 Doric columns at the corners of the porch’s center section and a millwork railing. The recessed front entrance has door surround with sidelights; the front door is intact. The windows are 6-o-1 with molded window headers. There is a 1-story faceted bay window on the left side, and a 2-story rear ell with a hipped roof, and a rear porch with a hipped roof and a hooded entry on the left side. There is a semi-circle driveway in front yard centered on entrance.

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE: 

This is one of two cottages built by the Bishop family (the other is 35 Walker Street). Both were built as guest cottages by the Bishops, who owned several large estates in Lenox. This house was built by Florence V.C. Bishop (who later became Mrs. White through her second marriage) and was given to David Wolf Bishop, who never lived in the cottage. In 1921, it was purchased by Charles Lewis Slatterly, the Bishop of Western Massachusetts, who in turn sold cottage #2 to James and Maude Reger. In 1927 the house was acquired by Alice Regnier. In 1957 the cottage was inherited by Clement J. and Hilaire Regnier. On February 25, 1994 it was acquired by Charles T. Schulze.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

Registry of Deeds

Conversations with Mr. Clement Regnier

Atlas of Garden Spots of Berkshire, Barnes and Jenks, 1894

Atlas of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Barnes and Farnham, 1904

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Chapel, 1896

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House - 1896
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House – 1896

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Romanesque style building has one story, with a red slate roof, and is intact. It has a cruciform plan styled after a Norman church. The masonry construction is of rock-faced granite with a dressed granite trim. It has a front gable roof with parapet walls, and wings with cross gables, also having parapet walls. There is a tall stone side wall chimney behind the Right side wing and the front entry porch on the East side is in the form of a semi-circle with Roman-arched openings, 7 sets of columns & 2 sets of pilasters, each with a different capital cornice with reverse crenellated molding. Semi-circular steps and stoop lead up to the porch. There is an arched door surround with 2 granite columns and a curvilinear carving on the stone header & plain stones on outer band. There are Roman-arched double entry doors with elaborate metal strap hinges. A small rose window is in the gable peak above the porch and small rectangular attic windows in the cross wings. Projecting from the Southwest gable end is a shallow chancel with a slightly lower gable roof. Windows in pairs & sets of 3 are Roman-arched and 2 flank the Northwest side entry. The foundation is of stone.

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE  

Trinity Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 26, 1996.

In 1896, John E. Parsons, a wealthy New York attorney. gave Trinity church this handsome Parish House in memory of his late wife, Mrs. Mary Dumesnil Parsons, who had died the same year (1896). The Parsons, who also lived in New York City and Rye, N.Y., had been summering in Lenox since 1871.

The Parish House was built to resemble a small Norman church and to be consistent with Trinity Church. Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) was selected to paint the over-mantel for the parlor, which consisted of two panel oil paintings on wood. Parsons also donated handsome directional markers to the Town of Lenox. One is on the corner of the property in the form of an obelisk stone marker. They were erected in Lenox in 1892, but the marker which is now on the Trinity Parish property was not moved there until 1927.

The Parish House has seen use as a church school, for youth group meetings, AA, and recreational and social activities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES

Trinity Church, Lenox. John Allen Gable,1966.

Assesors Data Base.

Interviews with Mrs. Robert Whitman, wife of the pastor of the church.

National Register of Historic Places

Gable, John Allen. The Goodness that Doth Crown Our Days, A History of Trinity Parish, 1993.

Palmer, C.J. History of Trinity Church, 1763-1895 , Cambridge,1895.

Tucker, G.H. History of Lenox, 1936, Republished by Lenox Library, 1992.

81 Walker St., William C. Wharton House, 1885

Pine Acre
Pine Acre

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Queen Anne style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof and has been altered. There is a 7-bay, center entrance. The building has wood frame construction with a hipped roof and 2 large brick interior chimneys. The first floor has wood clapboard siding and shingle cladding on the second floor. The upper story flares out at bottom over the first floor. Two pedimented shallow pavilions flank the entrance porch. The entrance porch has a front gable roof, 6 turned posts, and scroll sawn braces. There are 2 stories of balconies above entrance porch (one at the 2nd floor and one at the attic level. There are 13-light Queen Anne-style windows with small square panes surrounding larger square pane in the middle. LANDSCAPE: there is a semi circular driveway in the front yard centered on the front entrance.

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

On November 19, 1856, Ira T. Bangs sold this property to Elizabeth and Wickham Hoffman. The Hoffman’s sold to George A. Winchell, July 12, 1871. George A. Winchell sold to Nancy W. Rogers on October 3, 1884.

 

Mrs. M. E. Rogers of Philadelphia had this house built in 1885, for use as a summer residence. By 1890 the house had been rented for the season to John Burrell, and in 1892 it was sold to Nancy W. Wharton (Mrs. William C.) who summered here with her daughter. Mrs. Wharton’s son, Edward, was married to novelist Edith Wharton who was to become one of the most illustrious residents of Lenox. After spending several summers in Newport, Edith Wharton, displeased with both the climate and the lack of intellectual life there, came to Lenox. She stayed at “Pine Acre”, home of her Mother-in law and Sister-in-law, who were abroad at the time. She was very impressed with Lenox that she returned to “Pine Acre” the following summer and, in February of 1902, returned to Lenox to look for a house site of her own. While looking for the site she stayed at the Curtis Hotel. She spent one last summer at “Pine Acre” in 1902, while her house, “The Mount”, was under construction.

 

Mrs. William C. Wharton continued to stay at “Pine Acre” for several summers until her death in August of 1909 in Lenox. The house was purchased by William J. and Mary E. Merrick through the estate of William C. Wharton in 1929. In February 23, 1946, the house was sold to Mrs. Charles Dugan and Mary Dugan, who converted it to an inn. On December 27, 1963, the Dugans sold to William J. and Lois G. Sununu. In October 1969 the Sununu’s sold to Helen L. Fillio. Helen Fillio sold to John C. and Ida M. Connors on March 1, 1971. Connors sold to James W. Kelly on March 15, 1978. Kelly, who created and ran “Kelly’s Irish Pub,” sold the property to Lewis and Inna T. Rubin on February 2, 1979. Rubin sold to Robert P. Butler, who ran an inn on the site called “Three Gables Inn”, on June 7, 1982. Butler sold to Mary and Francis Newton on April 18, 1986. Newton changed the name from “Three Gables Inn” to “The Gables Inn”. In 2007, Frank Newton converted “The Gables” into 5 condominiums. The current owners of the condominiums are: Elliott R Morss, Harvey Siegel and Christine Hoppus, Mark A. Peeler, Terence G. McInerney, and Francis Newton.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

 

Registry of Deeds, Pittsfield, MA 150.538; 211.171; 257.427; 281.178; 448.130; 520.530; 776.249; 882.246; 902.394; 1001.585; 1016.585; 1059.129; 1144.286.

Edith Wharton – A Biography R.W.B. Lewis (N.Y. Harper & Row, 1975) page 93

Bibliography and/or references (such as local histories, deeds, assessor’s records, early maps, etc.)

Recollections of Frank Newton, June 21, 2012

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

91 Walker St. Col. R.S. Walker House 1895

91 Walker St., Col. R.S. Oliver House 1895

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Colonial Revival style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof and has been minimally altered. There is a 3-bay center entrance. The house is wood frame with a gambrel roof and dentil band on the cornice. There are three (3) front dormers with six (6) over six (6) windows. The center dormer has an arched roof and flanking dormers have pediments. There are 3 large brick chimneys, one (1) on each end-wall and one (1) interior. The siding is wood clapboard. There is a first story semi-circular entrance portico with fluted Ionic columns and a balustrade atop. The door surround has an arched transom & sidelights. First story porches on both R & L sides have Doric columns and millwork railings. The second story rear ell has a hipped roof & second story gabled extension with six (6) over one (1) windows. The French doors are flanked by small windows on second floor front facade which is centered above the entrance. There are many authentic window blinds. LANDSCAPE: the semi-circular driveway is centered on the front entrance

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

This property owned by William T. Walker and his wife was sold to Edwin Spencer in 1852. Mrs. Marion R. Oliver built this house on the site of an earlier house, built by Edwin (Edmund?) Spencer in 1852, and purchased by Mrs. Marion Oliver (wife of Col. R.S. Oliver) and Mrs. Virginia Struthers (wife of John Struthers) in 1874. Mrs. Oliver, a resident of Albany, New York, spent summers in the earlier house for a time, but by 1886 had rented it out. Both stylistic evidence and an 1894 mortgage indicate that Mrs. Oliver had the original house demolished and a more fashionable one built in its place. In 1896 the property was sold to Mr. and Mrs. John Struthers, frequent summer visitors to Lenox. The Struthers’ christened the house “Wynnstay” and used it for many years as a summer residence. It was later sold to the Bonner family, and then again in 1937 to the Gieses.

Donald D. O’Brien purchased the property in 1968 and sold the property to Stanley E. Rosen in 1999. The Rosen’s converted the barn to six guest rooms in 2000 and added an extension to the barn in 2005. The rooms are rented under the name of “Hampton Inn”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

Registry of Deeds, Pittsfield, MA 135.517; 181.7; 222.549; 298.138; 397.3; 395.642; 476.502; 519.481; 565.162; 622.198; 834.289; 859.302; 1664.215.

Lenox Massachusetts Shire Town, David H. Wood p.194
Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Rectory 1892

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Rectory
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Rectory

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Shingle style building has two stories with an asphalt shingle roof, and has been minimally altered. It has 3-bays and is oriented with the front facade facing the rear of church. It has an irregular bldg footprint with wood frame & stone construction. There are multiple hipped roof sections with double-bracketed eaves. The hipped dormers, 2 on the front and 1 in the rear, all have paired 4-over-1 windows & brackets at the outer corners of cornice. There are 2 stone chimneys,1 front wall and 1 interior in the recessed Left-side ell. There is stone and wood shingle cladding. The Left side of house has shingle cladding on 1st floor as well as the 2nd floor. The lower edge of the upper story flares out over 1st floor. There is a 2-story polygonal hipped-roof tower on the Right (South) side with Roman-arched window openings on 1st floor. The arches spring from short engaged columns. There are matching paired arched windows on 1st floor Right facade behind the tower. There is a large front porch with a stone kneewall along the front supporting 2 Doric columns. The sides have large Roman-arched entrances accessed by stairways on either side, and a balcony with millwork railing atop. There is a hipped porch roof supported by a single Doric column behind and Left of the main porch. A rear entry porch is recessed into rear Left corner of the house. There is an Arts & Crafts pane pattern in a leaded glass window, with 7-over-1 upper sashes with 4 small square panes above a larger pane, and flanked by 2 vertical panes. Other windows have 9-light casements with 8 small panes over 1 large pane. There is a stone foundation.

 

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

 

In 1892, the Parish constructed the Rectory for $31,586.72 with donations given by many of the same wealthy summer residents who contributed to the construction of the Church. The new Rectory was dedicated by the new Bishop of Massachusetts, the Right Reverend Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), who visited Lenox in the summers. Brooks, author of “O Little town of Bethlehem”, was the best known Bishop of Massachusetts and was rector of Trinity Church, Boston, when that was constructed by Richardson in the 1870s.

Listed on National Register of Historic Places February 26, 1996, together with Church and Parish Hall.

Excerpt from Trinity Church Lenox; John Allen Gable, 1966: “On November 12, 1892 a new rectory had been dedicated next to Trinity Church by frequent summer visitor Phillips Brooks, the Bishop of Massachusetts, author of “0 Little Town of Bethlehem”, and one of the most beloved Christian preachers of the era. The spacious Victorian mansion, complete with servants quarters (which have not seen domestics for many a year now), was built at a cost of $31,586.72. The funds were largely given by the same parishioners who donated to the building of Trinity Church. The largest donors were Mr. and Mrs. John S. Barnes, David W. Bishop, Mrs. C.G. Haven, Mr. and Mrs. George H. Morgan, Charles Lanier, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Parsons, Mrs. William Douglass Sloane, Mr. and Mrs. Anson Phelps Stokes, and Mrs. Matilda White. Furniture for the rectory was given by a number of donors including Mrs. Stokes, Mrs. Haven and Mrs. Lanier. This building, of course, still serves the rector and his family…it boasts the largest bathroom in the Diocese…”

(Trinity Church, Lenox, Gable 1966)

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

The National Register of Historic Places

Gable, John Allen. The Goodness that Doth Crown Our Days, A History of Trinity Parish, 1993.

Palmer, C.J. History of Trinity Church, 1763-1895 , Cambridge,1895.

Tucker, G.H. History of Lenox, 1936, Republished by Lenox Library, 1992.

Trinity Church Lenox; John Allen Gable, 1966.

New England Magazine, October 1900, vol. 23, pp. 192-211.

Assessors Data Base.

 

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church 1885-1888

 

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church - 1885-1888
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church – 1885-1888

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Romanesque style building has two stories, a red slate roof and is intact. It has asymmetrically organized facades with an irregular footprint. The main section (nave & narthex) has a 3-bay wide front & is 6 bays deep. The masonry construction of rockfaced dolomite is laid up in a random pattern with brownstone used for trim. The gable roof (45′ to peak) with parapet walls at the gable ends covers the nave and narthex sections. There is clay tile roofing throughout. The 3-story square tower located Left (North) and forward of nave has a dentiled band at the cornice, Roman-arch openings in the belfry with bulbous metal balconettes at each, and a hipped roof with a grey slate band and an elaborately trimmed oculus on each side. It is capped by a copper tip and cross. The tower is connected to main church by a porte-cochere with a gable roof and Roman-arched opening. There are Roman-arched stained glass windows and a large Tiffany rose window in the gable peak of the front (West) façade. The polygonal narthex with a hipped roof on the East facade has double windows (stained glass & plain). There is an exposed stone false chimney on Right side, South East corner that surrounds a Roman-arched window. A cross gabled transept (chapel) extends to the North from the nave with rear cross-gabled extensions house the choir room; a shallow gable-fronted entrance, with paired Roman-arched windows, extends from the South West corner of the narthex. OBJECTS: a naturalistic rock monument with a bronze plaque, “The ‘Gramps’ Howland Field” 1961” (contribution); an obelisk signpost at the corner with directional arrows, poem & sundial c.1910 (contribution).

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, February 26, 1996. National Register nomination correctly places the church in the Romanesque style category. The building designed by Charles Follen McKim (McKim, Mead & White) was commissioned by Trinity Church. McKim’s designs went through four sets of revisions followed by a fifth set, modified by Col. Auchmuty with the help of James Renwick (Renwick, Auchmuty & Sand). This process took four years and the final plan implemented was called the “porch plan”, which survived only in Auchmuty’s report, unlike McKim’s four plans, which are preserved in the Parish records. Auchmuty’s additions and changes included the change of the porch entrance into a narthex for inclement weather, the large rose window in the west gable peak, the use of local rockface bluestone in place of fieldstone, and the removal of irregular string courses and dilapidated buttresses. Auchmuty was in charge of constructing the building, raised the funds, and was the largest contributor. Thus, a memorial plaque names him as the architect of the church.

The cornerstone was laid in 1885 by Reverend Justin Field, assisted by the former US President, Chester A. Arthur.

Many other noted craftsmen worked on various parts of the church , such as Tffany and Co. which created many of the original windows; William Brockelsdy of Hartford who designed the chancel; and Bartlett Bros. who laid the main roof.

In June of 1888, the congregation moved from its original site on Church Street to the new Trinity Church at the intersection of Walker and Kemball Streets. The consecration was performed by Bishop Paddock of Massachusetts and Bishop Potter of New York, with the choir from the Church of the Advent in Boston, the Rector, Reverend Justin Field, and the congregation (largely made up of summer residents who had donated generously to the construction of the church). The old church was memorialized in the new by relocation of memorial plaques and reuse of the pews.

In 1899, there was a choir Room and Sacristy added to the church. It was donated as a memorial to Sarah L. Lawrence, daughter of Charles and Sarah Lanier, who had donated much to the construction of the church as well.

Trinity Church had a congregation drawn primarily from the wealthy summer residents of Lenox, and this building was funded by them. The list of donors reads like a “Who’s Who of 1888”. Included are the Misses Appleton, R.T. and Mrs. Auchmuty, J.S. Barnes, D.W. Bishop, Mrs. Biddle, Miss Biddle, W.H. Bradford, H.W. Braem, Mrs. Ellison, Mrs. Flint, George W. Folsom, C. Field, the Misses Furness, R. Goodman, Mrs. Green, Mrs. C.G. Haven, Miss E.S. Jones, Mrs J.I. Kane, A.C. Kingsland, Mrs. Kneeland, George Kneeland, Mrs Kuhn, C. Lanier, Miss Mason, Mrs. W.B. Ogden, R.S. Oliver, J.E. Parsons, Mrs. Edward Parsons, Miss Parish, Mrs. M.O. Roberts, W.R. Robeson, J.O. Sergeant, Mrs. W.D. Sloane, Mrs. R.G. Shaw, Mrs. I.F. Schenck, Miss Taintor, John Thompson, and R.C. Winthrop, Jr..

Trinity Church, thanks to its illustrious congregation, acquired a reputation outside of Lenox and the Berkshires. A 1900 article in the New England Magazine stated that, “the church is visited by pilgrims from far and wide; for few cities can boast churches of greater beauty”. The same article offers another reason for trinity Church becoming a stop on a sightseeing tour; “At the Lenox Episcopal Church in the summer one can see more wealth represented than in any other church in the land, lest it be Trinity in Newport”. Trinity Church also had a stable year-round congregation, and even after the wealthy cottagers stopped coming to Lenox the congregation remained active in the community.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

Trinity Church, Lenox. John Allen Gable, 1966.

Assessor’s records.

New England Magazine, October 1900. Vol. 23, pp. 192-211

National Register of Historic Places, February 26, 1996.

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012

first trinity_NEW
Drawing of Original Trinity Church on Church St. Lenox from David Woods “Lenox Massachusetts Shiretown.”
27 Church St., First Episcopal Church - c. 1816
27 Church St., First Episcopal Church – c. 1816
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House - 1896
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House – 1896

More Information on Trinity Chapel

88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Rectory
88 Walker St., Trinity Episcopal Rectory

More Information on Trinity Rectory

10 Kemble St., Springlawn, 1904

10 Kemble St., John E. Alexandre House - 1904
10 Kemble St., John E. Alexandre House – 1904

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION: This house was constructed in the decorative Beaux Arts style and. It is 2-plus stories in height with an articulated, symmetrically organized 5-bay facade with center entrance. The rear facade is also symmetrically organized. It has a hipped roof now clad in asphalt shingles and with various types of dormers and four interior brick chimneys. The wide overhanging eaves feature large modillions with pairs of smaller, plain brackets between them, and regularly spaced decorative pendants. The house has a stucco finish, with stone quoining and banding between the first and second stories and below the second floor window sills. An elaborately decorated porte-cochere extends forward of the main entrance and has an arched pediment with modillions, egg and dart molding, sheath ornamentation and Greek fret banding. It is supported by banded Ionic columns with flutes between the bands, and extravagant capitals with floral and foliage bas relief. Its coved ceiling has egg and dart molding above dentil banding. The front door surround is a concave arched niche with a fanlight transom within a shallow recess with one Corinthian pilaster on the right side, a plain pilaster on the left. The cornice of this recess is banded by small dentils. The double wood entry doors are intact; each has four panels. Centered above the entry and porte-cochere is a second floor window with quoining tied into a large pedimented front wall dormer above. This dormer has shield and garland decorations, pilasters, a deep architrave, and miniature turned balusters below the 12-light casement windows. Scrolled side braces complete the composition. Arched-roof dormers with oval windows flank the center front wall dormer. Shallow pavilions define the outer bays of the main section, highlighted by the stone quoining. Large first floor 8-light casement windows are set within Roman- or round-arch niches and have quarter-round, 3-light transoms to create round-arch effects. On the front facade the rectangular second floor windows are 6-over-1 double hung sashes aligned above those on the first floor— sets of three in the inner bays, paired in the outer. Those in the outer bays are distinguished with balconettes with turned balusters, and garlanded supports below. A two-story recessed ell off the right side has a slightly lower hipped roof with two hipped dormers on both the front and rear. Like the main section it has quoining at its corners. Stone banding along the bottom of the second floor window sills ties in with the main banding on the main 5-bay section. The second floor has windows both 8-o-1 and 4-o-1 windows. It has a 2-bay-wide shallow pavilion at the far right edge, which has a blind window with pediment on the first floor. Between this pavilion and the main section is a loggia on the first floor with substantial plain pillars and turned balustrades between. A small secondary entrance at the left edge of the ell provides access to the loggia. Off the right rear corner of the ell is a glazed sunporch, below which is the only portion of the basement that is exposed and has at-grade access. The basement/foundation is stone. The rear facade is similar to the front in fenestration and detailing. Dormers on the rear are slightly different. The central wall dormer, aligned above the rear entrance, has French doors accessing a balconette. Brick interior chimneys flank this dormer, while two hipped dormers with flared eaves and modillions, are on each side of the center dormer and chimneys. The central bay features a projecting porch edged by banded piers within which are two Ionic columns. The rear entrance is recessed and arched. A curved balustrade with turned, urn-shaped balusters fringes the upper terrace that projects out from the porch. There are wide side stairs on either side leading to a lower terrace that has a matching balustrade stretching nearly as wide as the main section of the house. Descending from the center of the lower terrace is a grand stairway leading down to an open lawn (originally gardens), which reinforces the axial symmetry of the house. A solar panel has been added to the rear roof. NOTE: The property is labeled “J. E. Alexandre” on the 1905 Sanborn Map. On the 1911 Sanborn, the map is labeled “Helen L. Alexandre” and “Spring Lawn” with a notation on the house, “Plastered outside.”

Architect Guy Lowell (4/6/1870 – 2/4/1927) “One of Boston’s most distinguished architects, and member of a prominent New England family. He was a native of the city, the son of Edward J. Lowell, and a cousin of Percival Lowell, astronomer, the late Amy Lowell, poetess, and A. Lawrence Lowell, former president of Harvard University. “After an early education in private schools the young man entered Harvard where he graduated with the class of 1892. His professional training was acquired at Boston’s M. I. T., and during four years (1895-99) in Europe during which he attend Atliers of the Paris Ecole des Beaux Arts, studying architectural history and design, also landscape gardening. Returning to Boston he established an office in the city, launching a career that was to bring him success and many honors. A skilled and versatile designer Mr. Lowell’s work was broad in scope, comprising large public and institutional buildings, many distinctive residences, country estates, and formal gardens. “One of his most important early commissions was to prepare a new building program for Phillips Academy at Andover, Mass., and between 1903 and 1923 he designed a score of new buildings on the campus, all conforming in style to the older structures of Georgian design. Among Mr. Lowell’s other noted achievements in architecture was the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, completed in 1908; the Cumberland County Court House, Portland Maine; State Historical Building, Concord, N. H. Simmons College buildings in Boston; Emerson Hall, a new Lecture Hall, and the President’s House at Harvard University; several units of the State Normal School, Bridgewater, Mass., Memorial Tower and other buildings at Brown University, Providence, R. I., Eden Hall, Bar Harbor, Maine, a new Art School at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (under erection at the time of his death), and his largest and most important contribution to American architecture, the New York County Court House, completed only a short time prior to his death. “Mr. Lowell also won wide recognition in the field of domestic architecture, designing homes of distinction, and large private estates with landscaped grounds for many persons of prominence. Among his clients were Frederick L. Ames of North Easton, Mass., Jefferson Coolidge, Beverly Farms, Mass., Robert Gould Shaw, 2nd of Hamilton, Mass., George C. Knapp, Lake George, New York, Paul Cravath, Locust Valley, Long Island, New York, Richard Sears, Islesboro, Maine, Francis Skinner, Dedham, Mass., B. F. Goodrich, York Harbor, Maine, Cyrus Allen and Thomas McKay, Beverly, Mass., Clarence McKay, Harbor Hill, Long Island, and Harry Payne Whitney, and Morton F. Plant. Mr. Lowell designed formal gardens for their New York city homes, an Italian garden at New London, Conn. for Mr. Plant, and buildings and landscaping of grounds at the Bayard Thayer estate, Lancaster, Mass. “Early in his career Mr. Lowell lectured for a time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the subject of Landscape Architecture. He was one of the first architects to write a book on American Gardens, and traveled extensively in preparation for his “Italian Villas and Farmhouses,” published in two beautifully illustrated volumes. “During the first World War he went to Italy to participate in Red Cross work, and in appreciation of his aid and encouragement to that country in the darkest days of the war, was awarded the Italian Distinguished War Cross. Early in 1927 Mr. Lowell left this country for an extended European cruise, but it was cut short by death while visiting friends on the Madeira Islands. His untimely passing at the age of fifty-seven was a shock to his friends in America, and a distinct loss to the architectural profession. [References: Obit., New York Times 2/5/1927; Architectural Record, April, 1927; American Architect, April, 1927; Who Was Who in America, 1897 – 1942.]”[1]

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE: Spring Lawn was built by John E. Alexandre in 1904 as a summer home. The house was built on the site of the former Sedgwick School for Girls. After Mr. Alexandre’s death, his daughter sold the estate to Mrs. Arthur F. Schermerhorn, who renamed it “Schermeer”. In 1957 the house was deeded to the Lenox School and subsequently became part of the Bible Speaks College. The Bible Speaks College conveyed the property to Mr. & Mrs. Jonas Dovydenas as a result of a lien initiated by Dovydenas. Between the years 1984 and 1985, Elizabeth (Betsy) Dovydenas donated $6.5 million to The Bible Speaks ministry. She also changed her will, leaving her estate to the ministry and disinheriting her husband Jonas Dovydenas as well as her children. In 1986 she and her family brought a lawsuit against Carl H. Stevens Jr. and The Bible Speaks, seeking to recover the $6.5 million. The court found in her favor, and the Bible Speaks declared bankruptcy and lost their property in Lenox Massachusetts. Carl H. Stevens relocated to Baltimore. Elizabeth Dovydenas owned the property from 1987 to 1993. It was owned by the National Music Foundation from 1993 to 1999 and then owned by Shakespeare and Company from 1999 to 2005. It was purchased by James C. Jurney Sr. in 2005.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES: 1905, 1911 Sanborn Maps; The Berkshire Cottages, A Vanishing Era. Carole Owens, 1984. P.155; Lenox Massachusetts Shire Town. David Wood, 1969. P.200; American Architect and Building News 10/14/1905; A History of the Lenox School Campus – September 2010 [1] Henry F. Withey, AIA and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased)(Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970) pp. 381-382.

2 Kemble St., Frederick T. Frelinghuysen House, 1881

2 Kemble St., Frederick T. Frelinghuysen House - 1881

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Colonial Revival style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof and is intact. It is a 5-bay, center entrance, wood frame construction with two front hipped roof dormers with scrolled pediments. It has three massive brick chimneys with flared tops, painted white. There are two side wall chimneys on the main building and one center chimney on the left wing. It has wood clapboard siding and has a symmetrically organized front façade on the main section. The center pavilion has projecting pediment with modillions and a fanlight at the attic level. It has frieze windows and a Paladian window on the 2nd floor with Adamesque ornamentation. There is a semi-circular entrance porch with fluted Corinthian columns, and a recessed main entrance with paneled walls and built-in benches on the sides. The porch entry surround has triglyphs, metopes, pillars, consol braces with spindles between pillars at the outer end of the benches. The front door surround has sidelights with Chi noise pattern. The 1st floor windows have multi-paned upper sashes with oval at center, trim with entablature and scrolled pediments with large torch finials and applied garland swags on frieze. There is a large 2-story recessed hipped-roof wing off left side with secondary front entry and shed-roofed porch for the left side entry. The windows and doors appear to be intact. The semi-circular driveway in the front yard has 2 curb cuts and centers on the front entrance.

 

This house is a notably early example of the Colonial Revival style, predating McKim Mead and White’s “Homestead, built in Lenox in 1885 (demolished). According to a guidebook of the period, it is “of the old Colonial style, and is among the first of that style of architecture in the village, of the later day adaptation of that sort of home”. The house has the central pavilion, palladian windows, attic story windows and roof balustrade that are characteristic of the Colonial Revival. The ornamentation is somewhat exaggerated and less historically accurate than later examples of the style.

 

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

Labeled “Frelinghuysen Est.” on 1894 Barnes & Jenks Map; footprint on 1893 Sanborn Map matches the current configuration.

Most recently, in 2010, Scott Shortt purchased the Kemble Inn and has made extensive renovations.

Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, who served as Secretary of Treasury under Chester A. Arthur, built this house in 1881. The house was handsomely furnished, and the Frelinghuysen’s entertained lavishly, with former President Arthur among their many guests. The house was subsequently owned by Thatcher Adams, who renamed it “Sundrum House” R.J. Flick purchased the property in the early 1930’s and lived in it while his estate “Uplands”, was under construction. It was then sold to Mrs. Charles F. Bassett who gave the school to the Lenox School for Boys for use as a dormitory.

The property was purchased by John Reardon in 1993 and converted to an inn. It was purchased by J & N Inn, LLC in 2005 and then by the Frederick LLC in 2010.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

1894 Barnes and Jenks Map, 1893 Sanborn Map

The new book of Berkshire Clark W. Bryan, 1890

Lenox- Massachusetts Shire town. David H. Wood, 1969

Berkshire Atheneum – clipping file

Lenox Library archives

Lenox Assessor’s database 2011

 

65 Walker St., Lenox Brotherhood Club, 1923

65 Walker St., Lenox Brotherhood Club - 1923

From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

This Classical Revival style building has two stories with an asphalt shingle roof. It has been altered. The front has 7-bays with a center entrance. The building is wood frame with a hipped roof and hipped dormers, 1 on the Left ell and 2 on the Right. There is a large brick sidewall chimney on the Left side of the main house in front of the 2-story, 2-bay deep Left side ell. There is wood clapboard siding, dormers clad with wood shingles, and quoining on all the corners. There is a shallow entrance pavilion with pediment, modillions, and an oculus at the attic level. There is an in antis 2nd floor balcony with Ionic columns. The entrance portico extends from the pavilion with Doric columns, intact 8-over-12 windows (1st fl.), 8-over-8 windows (2nd fl.), and molded window headers. The long rear ell extends from Right rear corner and a full width rear porch connects to rear ell. There is “Lenox Community Center” lettering in the frieze. LANDSCAPE: there is a semi-circular drive in front yard centered on the front entrance.

Although built as a clubhouse for the Lenox Brotherhood Club, this building was designed to resemble a large country house, similar in scale and ornament to its Walker Street neighbors. The use of Classical Revival style, popular for civic buildings such as the Town Hall (1901), was a way to have the new building reflect the historic character of Lenox.

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE:

The Lenox Club occupied a building on this site until 1921, when it moved to its present location at “Windyside” on Yokun Street. The old Clubhouse was purchased by George E. Turnure, who then built a new community center in memory of his son who had been killed in the First World War. This new community center became the home of the Lenox Brotherhood Club, an organization made up of the union of the Men’s clubs of the Episcopal and Congregational Churches. The community center provided recreational facilities such as a tennis court, billiard room, gymnasium, and bowling alley. The center also has a large hall and stage. Membership in the club expanded in the 1930’s and eventually became open to all. It is currently owned by the Town of Lenox, and provides programs for the community such as the Council on Aging for seniors, youth programs, fitness classes, and meeting space.

BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:

The Berkshire Eagle, January 12, 1937

Town of Lenox, Annual Town Report, 2011

Lenox Assessor’s database 2012