By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.
It’s not hard to imagine why this magnificent brick and granite house is simply referred to by locals as “The Mansion." Featuring ornate woodwork, marble fireplaces and frescoed ceilings, this home is an outstanding example of Victorian architecture and is considered by many to be the heart of the Kimball-Jenkins Estate.
The history of the Kimball-Jenkins estate is well documented. John Kimball settled this property ten years before the American Revolution. For the next six generations the Kimball’s built a series of homes and outbuildings as the family prospered. Over the next forty years they adorned the property with extensive formal gardens and enlarged the mansion.
On December 3, 1930 Carolyn Jenkins was born. Carolyn earned a BA at Wellesley for English and had a lifelong love for the performing arts that led to many years of involvement with the theater at all levels and in numerous capacities.
As last heir of the Kimball-Jenkins estate, Carolyn left in trust the Kimball-Jenkins Estate to be gifted to the people of Concord with directions that it be used for cultural and educational purposes, including the “encouragement of art."
It is from Carolyn’s magnanimous gift of the Estate that the highly acclaimed “School of Art” at Kimball-Jenkins was born. The School of Art serves the visual arts education needs of more than 1,300 students every year. The school also sponsors an Art Camp each year for the younger people in the community.
Now, the project to restore the slate roof and exterior of the Kimball Jenkins Mansion has been recognized as part of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s annual awards. According to the Concord Monitor, the 136-year-old slate roof and gables of the Kimball Jenkins Mansion were repaired, costing roughly $400,000. This is following the 2018 restoration of the carriage house roof, one of the half-dozen buildings on the estate.
The Kimball Jenkins website reads that the “restoration project means over $400,000 of well-paying jobs for traditional carpenters, painters and roofers. Support historic preservation. It’s good for community.”
The award recognizes the project for its “thoughtful planning, superb craftsmanship and blue-ribbon communication and outreach strategies that emphasized the importance of preservation tradespeople and historic preservation’s benefits.”
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Photo credit: Geoff Forester
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