Detail

 

The Thomas Russell Hubbard House,built in 1867, is a sophisticated and elaborately detailed dwelling in the Italian Villa style. It is a framed house of two and a half stories, covered with beaded clapboards and standing on a foundation of split fieldstone laid as random rubble. The house has an L-shaped floor plan which is disguised and rendered visually complex by a multitude of intersecting roof planes and projecting porches, bays, balconies, and canopies. The axes of the two main wings of the house are emphasized by narrow projecting gable ends, but the house gains additional depth through the presence of a large L-shaped core covered with a flat roof and therefore not obvious from ground level. Dominating the design of the house is a impresive four-story hip-roofed tower which rises through the house at the intersection of the two main axes.

The tower of the house provides the focal point of the dwelling and marks the principal entrance. The doorway is sheltered by a flat-roofed portico supported by paired square columns and having a bracketed and denticulated entablature. The second and third floors of the tower are clapboarded and have quoined corners. The second floor is marked by a single window with a classical triangular pediment, while the third story has a single bull’s-eye window and the fourth story is lighted by three arched windows, originally providing views of the nearby Merrimack River and the surrounding hilly countryside, in each elevation. The entablature of the tower, like that of the main body of the house, is separated from the walls below by a horizontal rope moulding and marked by elaborate console-shaped brackets and by a deeply projecting cornice.

The east wing of the house, to the right of the tower, has a three-sided bay window on the first story of its front (south) elevation; this lights a parlor (now used as a music room) and is terminated by an entablature much like that of the entrance portico, and by a low balustrade with urn-shaped balusters set between flat-paneled dies. Centered on the second story above this balcony is a single 2-over-2 window sheltered beneath a canopy with a concave roof and a pierced, sawn frieze set below a classical cornice. Above the canopy is an arched attic window. The east elevation of the east wing of the house has a two-story, three-sided bay window near its rear corner; this lights a dining room on the first floor and a bedroom on the second. In front of the bay is a single window on each floor, that on the second story having a small cantilevered balcony.

The west wing of the house has a single window in the center of its south (front) elevation. This is sheltered by a cantilevered canopy which extends from the side wall of the tower along the entire length of the wing and has a concave roof supported by a classical cornice and a pierced wooden frieze. On the second floor is a single arched window set beneath a heavy flat-topped entablature. The west end of this wing is treated like the southern (front) end of the east wing, with a bay window on the first story, a balustrated balcony, window, and canopy on the second, and an arched window in the attic.

The west wing of the house has a single window in the center of its south (front) elevation. This is sheltered by a cantilevered canopy which extends from the side wall of the tower along the entire length of the wing and has a concave roof supported by a classical cornice and a pierced wooden frieze. On the second floor is a single arched window set beneath a heavy flat-topped entablature. The west end of this wing is treated like the southern (front) end of the east wing, with a bay window on the first story, a balustrated balcony, window, and canopy on the second, and an arched window in the attic.

The main block of the house, covered by a truncated hipped roof with a flat deck, extends well north of the projecting west wing and affords a library and dining room on the first floor and bedrooms on the second. The first floor of this block has enclosed, shed roofed proches on the first stories of the side (west) and rear (north) elevations. The second story of the block has detailing similar to that on the south and east street elevations of the house.

The main block of the house, covered by a truncated hipped roof with a flat deck, extends well north of the projecting west wing and affords a library and dining room on the first floor and bedrooms on the second.

The first floor of this block has enclosed, shed roofed proches on the first stories of the side (west) and rear (north) elevations. The second story of the block has detailing similar to that on the south and east street elevations of the house.

Intersecting the north (rear) elevation of the main house is a short kitchen wing of two stories, with a gabled roof and a cornice slightly lower than that of the main block of the house. The kitchen is lighted by a three-sided bay window, with a concave roof, on the east elevation of the kitchen wing.

Because the builder of the Hubbard House was a lumber dealer and a manufacturer of sashes, doors, and blinds, the interior of the house is notable for the excellent quality of its woodwork. Beyond a vestibule at the base of the tower is the stair hall, with arched hardwood doors set into deep reveals and a heavy and elaborate staircase with an octagonal newel post and urn-shaped balusters. To the right (east) of the stairhall is a front parlor (now a music room), with heavily-moulded hardwood window casings, a deep and elaborate plaster entablature, and a mantelpiece of rose and gray marble with applied bosses of black marble. North of the music room is a dining room, with an octagonal floorplan created by the bay window at one end and two diagonal china closets at the opposite end. This room has elaborately panelled hardwood doors, high wainscoting, and a bird’s-eye maple mantelpiece in the Eastlake style.

At the front (south) of the west wing of the house is a second parlor, with a white marble mantelpiece, a deep plaster entablature, and a plaster acanthus rosette in the ceiling where a gas chandelier originally hung. North of this parlor is a library, with a wooden mantelpiece in the Eastlake style and a pierced fireboard incised with the initials “DBV”, for David Blake Varney (1822-1901), a former mayor of Manchester who purchased the house in 1892. Two sets of French doors lead from the library to the two one-story enclosed porches on the west and north sides of the house.

The principal second floor chambers of the house have woodwork and marble mantelpieces comparable to those on the first floor.

Original appearance: The Hubbard House has suffered little significant alteration, except for cosmetic changes, since its completion. Its lot, originally 220 feet square, has since been subdivided for three other dwellings and the house has thus lost its original landscaping and gardens. An accompanying carriage house which originally stood at the northeast corner of the house lot was lost in the process of subdivision.

At the northwest corner of the lot is a frame garage measuring 18′ x 20′ constructed in 1938. It is sheathed in clapboards and has a gable roof and an overhead door. The nominated property represents one contributing building and one noncontributing building.