Greeley Park, a gem of Nashua, NH was originally land owned by Joseph Greeley as far back as 1801. The land was willed to his son, Joseph Jr. and then to his grandson thereafter, Joseph III, who then willed the land to the City of Nashua. The growing city decided to utilize the land as a large park, which would provide relief and open space to the dense workforce housing near the river and enhance property values of the mansions along Concord Avenue. John Cotton, an industrialist, donated over $5,000 for the erection of a fountain and rest station with bathrooms for the public, which the city matched. The pavilion with bathrooms was built of stone found on the estate grounds and is an excellent example of Arts and Crafts architecture for a recreational use. If anyone knows the architect, I would love to get that information, I could not find out!
Thought to be the oldest brick building north of the Nashua River in the city of Nashua, this Federal and Greek transitional house of red brick and granite trim stands out. The home was built for Solomon Spaulding when he was just 23 years old! Spaulding was a merchant who eventually worked in banking, becoming president of the New Hampshire Banking Company, before becoming a judge. In the 1880s, likely after Spaulding’s death, a Victorian front porch was added with stickwork that follows the symmetry of the front facade.
The First Congregational Church of Nashua is arguably the best example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the city. Built in 1893, the church was designed by Worcester architect Amos Cutting, who designed many significant civic and institutional buildings in the Romanesque style. The building is constructed of granite quarried from Marlboro, New Hampshire and the 118′ bell tower houses 15 bells which were exhibited at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and then purchased and given to First Church by Miss Mary P. Nutt. The church has done an amazing job preserving the historic granite structure, while building additions in the past to serve its various purposes.
When people think of Post-WWII residential architecture, many envision single-story Ranch homes or sleek Mid-Century Modern homes, but many established architects prior to Modernism’s crest stayed true to Colonial Revival design. Royal Barry Wills (1895-1962), an architect that graduated from M.I.T. and opened an architectural office in Boston in 1925 which he maintained until his death in 1962, became a master of the Colonial Revival style, specifically the Cape Cod style. Wills designed this home for Walter L. Barker (1891-1967), the founder of Improved Paper Machinery (IMPCO). A pulp and paper machine manufacturer and repair shop based in Nashua, NH.
This amazing Colonial Revival home replicates many historic Colonial-era features from the large central chimney to the Georgian style entry and garage to appear as a barn or stable with arched openings. Wills completed a booklet in 1946, showcasing some of his residential designs, called “Houses for Good Living”, which featured this home.
The Hunt Memorial Library was built in 1903 thanks to a $50,000 gift to the City of Nashua by Mrs. Mary A. Hunt and her daughter, Mary E. Hunt in memory of John M. Hunt, City Postmaster from 1820 to 1841. Hunt’s widow and daughter selected N.H. born architect Ralph Adams Cram and his fledgling new firm in the late 19th century to design a library that would honor her love. The firm did not disappoint with the Gothic Revival library building. The contrasting red brick with light limestone work seamlessly on the building’s many features from the three-story tower with clock to the reading room with its parapet and gorgeous leaded glass windows. As Nashua’s population boomed after WWII with suburban-type growth, the library was outgrown, and due to little space for expansion on the triangular lot, a new library was built just blocks away. The building was converted to additional city offices and now can be rented for functions and events.
One of the finest mansions in Nashua is the Frank Anderson House, a c.1906 Beaux-Arts style property on Concord Street. The home’s original owner, Frank Manning (1852-1925), co-ran the Estabrook-Anderson Shoe Company in Nashua, which at its peak, manufactured over 10,000 pairs of shoes daily. In 1925, the house was sold to New Hampshire’s seventy-fourth governor, Francis Murphy, a successful businessman. Most recently, the home was home of the Manchester Convent of the Sisters of Mercy, then became a private girls’ high school; and in 2016, it was purchased by Thomas More College. The home was given a full restoration in 2018.
At the exterior, the symmetrical home features red brick and Vermont marble trim. A hipped slate roof is accentuated by twin dormers. The interior was surprisingly well-preserved given its wide variety of uses, and local interior designers completed modern, but appropriate modifications to the spaces.
In Nashua and many other New England towns and cities, police departments originally started as small groups of citizens who sought to protect their interests and families from the threats of crime and unsavory behavior. The first Nashua Police Department office was located in a small store who’s owner eventually became the first City Marshal. When Nashua received its charter in 1853, space was allocated in the town hall for a police office and jail. As the city grew, additional space was needed and a lot was acquired across the street from the 1870 fire station for a new headquarters. A Romanesque Revival building was completed in 1890 for a police department, the police court, and the jail. It was built at a cost of $30,000 and constructed of brick, brownstone, and granite with large Syrian arches. The building is now occupied by a local lodge of the American Legion.
Located on Nashville Street in Nashua, NH is the Abbott House, an 1804 Federal style home. Daniel Abbott’s ancestry in New England goes back to 1637 when George Abbott, a Puritan, came to New England from Yorkshire, England. He first settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts and later moved
and was among the first settlers of Andover, Massachusetts in 1643. Daniel Abbott (1777-1853), assisted in founding the Nashua Manufacturing Company which became one of the world’s preeminent manufacturers of cotton, woolen, and iron goods. Throughout the 19th century, Nashua soon became known as a center for innovation.
The home was occupied by Abbott until his death in 1853, and was owned from 1854-1892 by George Perham, under whose ownership the exterior was given an extensive Victorian treatment, which included a three-story tower in the central bay. In 1905, a later owner, William Spaulding restored the home back with its original Federal detailing and added on multiple additions. The home was later donated to the Nashua Historical Society by Spaulding’s descendants.
The Charles Cotton House in Nashua, NH was built in 1875 and is an excellent example of Stick Victorian architecture for a residence. The home was built for Cotton, a grocer who lived in the home until the late 19th century. The house has a hipped roof with a corner tower with iron cresting, decorated window frames, bracketed cornices and a balcony with turned columns and decorated aprons. The home has a distinctive paint scheme, while unconventional, it still accentuates the many architectural details of the property.
Built in 1870 in downtown Nashua, New Hampshire, this brick Italianate fire station served the city of Nashua for over 150 years through a variety of uses. The three-bay station originally housed a steam engine that was pulled by horse, as the city continued to grow with the development of industry along the Nashua River, additional stations were built. The station features a hose and bell tower which not only allowed for fire alarms to ring when a fire was reported, but also to hang and dry canvas hoses after use. By 1970, the station’s 100th year, the department had outgrown the place, setting in motion plans to build a new station in southwestern Nashua, which became Station 6.
The station sat vacant for years and many locals feared it would face demolition for surface parking, until Nashua’s growing Arts and Science Center – later the Nashua Center for the Arts – renovated the old station, and moved in. After that, the space was utilized as a community arts center and theater, and most recently (2019) as a micro-brewery, Liquid Therapy.