Sunday, August 14, 2016

National Register of Historic Places: Wistariahurst - Holyoke, MA

Holyoke, MA

N 42° 12.314 W 072° 37.029

Short Description: 

Wistariahurst, currently the Holyoke Museum of Natural History and Art, is located at 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA.

Long Description:

Wistariahurst is the former home of William Skinner, a 19th century industrialist and manufacturer of silk. The first building on the site was built about 1848 and moved from Williamsburg, MA to its present location in 1874 when Skinner relocated to Holyoke. The mansion has three sections: the three-story original section, a two-story hall attached on the west side, and a wing housing a conservatory and music room.

Skinner expanded the building into its present Second Empire style structure starting in 1874. The conservatory and music hall, designed by Clarence E. Luce of Philadelphia, were added in 1913. The present complete structure was designed by the firm of Wilson, Eyre and McIllvaine in 1927. William Skinner's wife Sarah created the gardens at Wisteriahurst. The grounds are planted with a variety of trees, and the wisteria vine along the house that gave the estate its name. The mansion, lawns, and gardens occupy three acres, an entire city block.

The family owned the estate until 1959. The youngest child of William and Sarah Skinner, Katharine Skinner Kilborne, gave Wistariahurst to the City of Holyoke for cultural and educational purposes.

Admission to the house is by guided tour only. General admission is $7 adults. Tour times are: Saturday - 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, and 3:15 pm. Wistariahurst grounds and gardens are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

Street address: 
238 Cabot Street
Holyoke, MA United States

County: Hampden

Year listed: 1973

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Industry; Architecture; Social History

Periods of significance: 1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849; 1925-1949

Historic function: Single dwelling; Secondary structure

Current function: Museum; Music facility

Privately owned?: no

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