John Olds House.
Around 1810, John Olds built a two story center-hall dwelling facing the Tolland Turnpike in Manchester, Connecticut. It measured 30’ x 38’ and was an addition to an existing single story 18th century house measuring 24’ x 28’. The new building reflected the architectural trend of the time, the Roman revival.
Classical details on the exterior include denticulated cornices and pulvinated friezes over the windows on three sides and on the front porch. Block modillions were also used on the front porch as well as on the front cornice. Fluted columns and pilasters support the porch roof while sunken paneled pilasters finish the front corners of the house. Twin chimneys add overall balance and symmetry. Inside the front door, the formal vestibule provides access to the two front parlors, the rear hallway and stairway. The parlor to the right when facing the house, has a denticulated cornice, sunken paneled doors, wide pine flooring and a simplified Federal fireplace surround.
The parlor to the left, has a block modillion cornice, chair rail, sunken paneled doors, wide pine flooring and a fireplace surround in the Roman Doric order with triglyphs and guttae. Ceilings height is 7’8”. The rooms behind both parlors have fireplaces with simple surrounds, wide pine flooring and are plain in comparison. The stairway, behind the vestibule, goes up the left side of the hallway and returns to the Both have original wide pine flooring and sunken paneled doors, but no fireplaces.
At the front end of the landing to the right, is a door that leads to the attic. The door straight ahead opens into a neoclassic ballroom running the width of the house. Here again there is a denticulated cornice, chair rails, sunken paneled doors, wide pine flooring and two matching fireplaces with neoclassic surrounds adorned with offset corners and fretwork molding.
Throughout the house, nineteenth century 6/6 sash remain in period window frames and intact interior finish. The attic is complete in every way from the wide hand planed pine flooring, braced queen post purlins to horizontal roof sheathing on the rafters that are halved and pined at the ridge. The earlier house was saved and could also be reconstructed as an ell. The cut brownstone foundation, above grade, and the step stones were salvaged as part of the deconstruction.
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