Martin Brimmer House

400 Hale Street
Beverly, Mass.

Year Built: 1870

Built in 1870. The building is now Reynolds Hall as a part of Endicott College.

One of the oldest and largest surviving Stick Style summer houses along the Beverly shore, this mansion retains much of its elaborate architectural ornaments. This house reflects seasonal movement to Beverly by wealthy Bostonians after the Civil War.

This mansion is set back from Hale Street above a hollow filled by a parking lot. The house, probably once wood-sided, is now stucco and is asymmetric and complex in plan with a prominent front gable, a number of cross gables, dormers and a rear-angled ell. Horizontal and especially vertical stick work is a major decorative element on the walls of this 2˝-story house. Vergeboards, some carved, gable pendants, arched braces on porch posts, trusses in gabled dormers and decoratively patterned chimneys are some of the house’s Stick Style features. A polychrome brick fan ornaments an exterior chimney. A jettied bay framed by the front gable overhangs a large porch that wraps around the front of the building; an octagonal pavilion is attached to a corner of the porch and both porch and pavilion have unusual railings of perforated green-glazed ceramic panels that appear to be of Chinese origin. An upper porch under a shed roof has a turned railing. Large single brackets appear at intervals along the eaves.

The mantles in this house as well as the tiles inset were crafted in London. According to a letter written by Sturgis in London to Brimmer, “I have been to see about your mantles and oddly enough there are several men who make such in London. I stumbled upon the very man who made Frank Peabody’s. He is to make the full working drawings to set the tiles by and then send them to me.”

Additionally, the stoves and grates were also imported from England.


References

• Journal of John Hubbard Sturgis, February 2, 1870, pp. 47, 69-70, on deposit at the Boston Athenaeum.

• Massachusetts Historical Commission, Massachusetts Cultural Resources Information System, BEV.523

• Massachusetts Historical Commission, Form B, #523

• International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture, Randall Van Vynckt, editor, St. James Press, Detroit, 1993, pp. 863-864 (John H. Sturgis, Martin Brimmer House, Beverly, Mass.).


Images



1993, Massachusetts Historical Commission


1993, Massachusetts Historical Commission


1993, Massachusetts Historical Commission


1993, Massachusetts Historical Commission


1993, Massachusetts Historical Commission




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