Architecture Attractions in New Hampshire
The Zimmerman House – Manchester, NH
Designed in 1950 by one of the world’s greatest modern architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, this well-preserved piece of architectural history is an example of Wright’s unique usonia style. “Usonia” was coined by Wright to take place of the word “American” in describing the distinct New World character of the American architecture landscape, which was free of previous architectural conventions. Wright designed the entire Zimmerman House for Dr. Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman, including the interiors, all the furniture, the gardens, and even the mailbox.
In 1979, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1988, Dr. and Mrs. Zimmerman left the property to the Currier Museum of Art. Starting in 1990, the Currier opened the house and grounds to visitors so they could get a glimpse of Wright’s architectural masterpiece and the Zimmermans’ personal collection of modern art, pottery, and sculpture.
In its totality, The Zimmerman House is truly a work of art. It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house open to the public in all of New England and it is one of only a few Wright buildings owned and operated by an art museum. You can take a guided tour of the Zimmerman House by reserving your spot today.
Castle in the Clouds – Moultonborough, NH
This 1914 Arts and Crafts style mansion offers panoramic views of the Ossipee Mountain Range and Lake Winnipesaukee. Also known as Lucknow Mansion, the Castle in the Clouds is situated on over 5,000 scenic acres and was built by millionaire shoe manufacturer, Thomas Plant, as a wedding gift for his wife, Olive. In addition to the main mansion, Plant built a stable, gate houses, a greenhouse, farm buildings, and a golf course.
The castle was designed by prominent Boston architect J. Williams Beal and it included many innovations which were considered rare at the time, including interlocking kitchen tiles, a circular shower, and a central vacuum system. The home’s luxurious interior was designed by Boston-based Irving & Casson-A.H. Davenport. Tile work and bronze were designed by William Jackson & Company, electric fixtures by Edward F. Caldwell & Co., and the glass by Tiffany, all New York City-based firms.
In addition to being a prime destination for architecture buffs, Lucknow boasts 45 miles of hiking trails featuring interactive activities about local ecology, history, and geology. Visitors can enjoy a trolley ride to the castle and then take a self-guided tour of the mansion, an educational scavenger hunt, or a stroll through the beautifully manicured gardens. Plan your visit to explore this beautiful home which set the standard for luxury on Lake Winnipesaukee nearly 100 years ago.
The Swallow Boathouse – Moultonborough, NH
Standing forty-five feet tall atop Lake Winnipesaukee, The Swallow Boathouse was home to the grand 1890 Swallow, a two-masted, 63-foot-long luxury steam yacht that graced the waters of Winnipesaukee for over 75 years. Designed by Boston-based architect Harry J. Carlson in 1910, the Boathouse is a beautiful example of Tudor Revival-style architecture and features innovative double-folding, inward-opening doors.
At the time, a boathouse was a very important recreational amenity of a lakefront estate. While Carlson was commissioned to create a well-built boathouse that served the mere purpose of housing the Swallow, he took a distinctly creative approach to designing the fundamental elements of the building, which have enabled it to stand the structural and aesthetic tests of time. A prime example of this is how Carlson integrated projecting dormers, clerestory windows, and turrets into the steep gambrel roof, transforming the expansive blank slate into an architecturally attractive roof that lets in lots of natural light.
While the Swallow Boathouse isn’t open for public tours, you can get a glimpse of this architectural masterpiece by boating by. To learn more about the Swallow Boathouse, click here.