Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth

4.4
#9 of 12 in Historic Sites in Portsmouth
The Wentworth-Gardner House is a historic late-Georgian house, located at 140 Mechanic Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The house is operated as museum by the Wentworth-Gardner and Tobias Lear Houses Association, along with the adjacent Tobias Lear House. It is one of the finest extant examples of high-style Georgian architecture in New England, and played a role in the architectural preservation movement of the early 20th century. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968.
The Wentworth-Gardner House is a 2-1/2 story wood frame house that was built in 1760 by Mark Hunking Wentworth, one of New Hampshire's wealthiest merchants and landowners, as a wedding present for his son Thomas. The exterior of its main facade is flushboarded with corner quoining, giving it the appearance of masonry construction. The side walls, and those of the rear ell, are clapboarded. The main facade is five bays wide, with its center entry framed by a Colonial Revival surround added during restoration in 1916-18 by Wallace Nutting. It has a hip roof, with a modillioned cornice. Three dormers pierce each of the front and rear elevations, with the central dormer featuring a segmented-arch pediment, while the flanking ones have triangular pediments.
The interior of the house follows a typical Georgian central-hall plan, with four rooms on each floor, two on either side of the central hall, all having access to one of the two interior chimneys. The hall is particular broad and elegant, featuring an elliptical arch with keystone, supported by Doric columns. The cornice is particularly elaborate, with modillions and egg-and-dart molding. The stairs rise on the left hand side, with an elaborate turned balusters, and panelled and scrolled step ends. The upper hall continues the rich decorative woodwork found in the lower hall, with Ionic pilasters and a molded architrave.
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Wentworth-Gardner House Reviews
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Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We visited a number of historic homes in Portsmouth. This one is worth a stop. Our docent was informative and knowledgable.  more »
  • My son and I toured this house and were treated so well.... and we learned a lot! A very worthwhile stop!  more »
Google
  • Great stop when visiting Portsmouth's historic sites. This house is also shown on the NH state stamp.
  • Old Portsmouth

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