Victory Park Historic District
The Victory Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Victory Park Historic District includes four early-20th century stone buildings grouped around and including Victory Park and its contributing features and monuments. The four buildings, all designed by prominent early 20th century architects and commissioned by some of Manchester's most prominent and philanthropic residents, are further unified by their roots in classical architecture and the revivals of the early 20th century. While the Carpenter Memorial Library occupies the entire Pine Street block between Amherst and Concord Street and is set back on a low knoll with a generous lawn, the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences and Manchester Historic Association buildings are set on more modest lots with narrow areas of plantings. The historic facade of the former Post Office while the former loading dock area fronting Amherst Street has been redesigned into a new main entrance setback from the street by a circular drive, parking area and extensive plantings. Each building site incorporates concrete walks and is outlined by a border of granite curbing or a low granite wall. Parallel parking spaces line the one-way streets of the Victory Park Historic District. Concrete sidewalks alternate with brick bands along Hanover Street and Amherst Street, which are also lined by turn-of-the-century style cast iron lamp posts with acorn globes.
The following descriptions are ordered to reflect the chronological development of the Victory Park Historic District, beginning with the oldest structure, Carpenter Library, and concluding with Victory Park.
1. Carpenter Memorial Library, 405 Pine Street, 1914.
The first of the institutional buildings built fronting Victory Park (then Concord Common) and setting the stage for a future civic center was the Carpenter Memorial Library, made possible by the generosity of Frank P. Carpenter in memory of his wife. Constructed in 1914, the Carpenter Memorial Library is a two-story structure faced with rusticated white Vermont marble blocks which conceal reinforced concrete floors and roof above a foundation of Concord granite. The building was designed in a decoratively rich Beaux Arts or Italian Renaissance style according to designs by Edward Tilton. The low hip roof is covered with green tiles originally capped by copper cresting which was removed in 1974. The central entrance is set into an arched recessed framed by egg-and-dart and rosette moldings. The glass and wood double doors feature cast and wrought bronze outer doors which weigh over two and a quarter tons and display glass panes with metal spindles over lower panels. The metal surround is fluted with acanthus leaves at the ends of the frieze. Ornate iron grillwork fills the arched area above the doors. The marble keyblock over the entrance contains an owl symbolizing "Learning." Within its claws are branches of native oak and pine which the architect intended to be interpreted as "Strength and Truth" grasped by "Learning." The entrance is fronted by a broad staircase consisting of three sets of stairs with two landings and handsome bronze railings and columns. The front door is bounded by marble ramps and railings with two bronze lamp standards consisting of fluted leaf columns with Corinthian capitals surmounted by octagonal lamps. Behind the owl a fret molding wraps around the building below the second floor window openings, acting as a border between the lower level's rusticated wall surface and the smooth wall surface above. Above the fret course and below the cornice is a large panel reading "CARPENTER MEMORIAL LIBRARY," outlined by an egg-and-dart molding. At each end of the panel is an oval medallion with torches encircled by leaves.
On the first floor of the library the arched window openings consist of double-hung units with each sash divided into three vertical panes. The windows are capped by semicircular transoms with a lower semicircular pane capped by six segmental lights above. A molded surround frames the window and the footed sill is supported by two incised consoles. The rectangular panel below the window has a central decorative circle. Above the arched openings the surround consists of stepped stone blocks. Window openings on the upper level consist of smaller recessed rectangular openings. There are five pairs of 1/1 windows to each side of the inscription on the center bay, which projects slightly from the adjacent wall. Each pair of windows alternates with a vertical recessed panel. A circular carved panel is located at the end of each third floor elevation. Wrapping around the entire building is a bold cornice consisting of egg-and-dart, dentil and cyma recta moldings.
Both the north and south ends of the Carpenter Memorial Library measure seven bays wide. A secondary double-doored entry is located on the south side, fronted by a concrete walk with semicircular plan. A small c.1985 glass greenhouse addition is located at the northwest corner of the library. The rear elevation of the Carpenter Memorial Library sits close to the rear lot line which is marked by an iron fence with granite posts. Divided into eleven bays, the rear of the library is fronted by a single-bay wide, two-story addition of glass and concrete constructed in c.1985. A small asphalt parking lot is located to the north of the library. Significant interior spaces include the grand staircase and central rotunda.
2. Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, 148 Concord Street, 1916.
Constructed in 1916 across Concord Street from Carpenter Library, the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences was made possible by a gift from Frank Carpenter's sister-in-law, Emma Blood French. The building, constructed of New Hampshire granite, was designed by Boston architect William Rantoul. The symmetrical, two-story structure is oriented with its principal facade facing Concord Street. The central block is capped by a low pediment and consists of an elliptical projecting portico supported by four, two-story fluted columns and foliate capitals. The central entrance contains a pair of oak double doors, capped by a full entablature including cyma reversa moldings enriched with leaf-and-tongue moldings. The two flanking bays contain bowed plate glass windows while the upstairs windows are bowed 12/12 sash. The two part frieze displays patera and rosettes at the top of each capital. The underside of the cornice on the portico alternates coffer blocks with studded mutules. To each side of the portico is an additional bay, a first floor 15/15 window and a second floor arched window separated by a recessed panel. Projecting to either side is a flat roofed wing of slightly lesser height lacking window or door openings but decorated by low relief classical detailing including pilaster strips and the suggestion of a cornice decorated by circle medallions.
The east and west elevations are identical in their detailing and measure three bays wide with the center bay projecting slightly and capped by a stepped parapet. The entrance portico consists of fluted Doric columns supporting a full entablature with patera and rosettes and an enriched soffit. The window above contains an arched 16/16 window flanked by sidelights. Pilaster strips flank the outer bays which contain sets of three 15/15 windows. The north elevation is lit by continuous multi-light windows to capture the north light for the interior studios.
3. Manchester Historic Association, 129 Amherst Street, 1931.
Facing Amherst Street, on the south side of Victory Park, the Manchester Historic Association is a two-story, flat-roofed block, designed by Edward Tilton but constructed in a more restrained Classical style which typifies its construction date of 1931. The smooth limestone exterior alternates a row of large square stones with a course of more narrow rectangular blocks. Between the seven facade bays, deeply incised vertical lines on the edges of the larger blocks give the impression of pilaster strips, enhanced by capitals at the top. The center entrance is distyle in antis with two, two-story fluted Doric columns. Glass and metal doors replace original wooden doors. Fronting the entrance is a set of flared granite steps with a wrought iron railing. The wooden door surround displays pilasters with convex fluting supporting a full entablature incised by horizontal lines. The transom is filled with leaded glass in a geometric pattern of three circles with central lozenges. Above the top of the door surround which is curved in plan, the semicircular fanlight is segmentally divided with small circles in the center and the outer ring. Centered above the fanlight is a console keystone, the top of which extends to the plain, two-part frieze, the upper section which is inscribed with the words "MANCHESTER HISTORIC ASSOCIATION." Capping this is a dentil course and a cyma recta molding above which is a low stepped parapet.
First floor windows on the building consist of metal casement units with each side divided into a 2 x 5 pane. The windows are capped by tri-part lintels. The width of the center section of the lintel corresponds to the width of the window below with a smaller square stepping down on either end. Sills consist of simple cyma reversa moldings. The second floor casement windows are shorter in height with each sash measuring 2x3 panes and lack sills and lintels. Both the west and east elevations measure three bays wide. Punctuating the granite foundation are double-hung 6/3 windows and fixed 3x2 sash. Centered on the west elevation is a basement entry with a set of two-panel, double doors. An additional entrance is centered on the rear elevation consisting of a glass and metal door flanked by fluted pilasters and capped by a geometric leaded transom. The second floor window above the entrance consists of a multi-light window. A single chimney punctuates the rear of the flat roof.
4. Former U.S. Post Office, 111 Amherst Street, 1932.
To the west of the Historic Association is a two-story granite structure which served as the Old Post Office until 1978. Designed by E.L. Tilton (of Tilton and Githens) in 1932, the building typifies the stripped down or "starved" classicism which was used for government buildings during this period. Since 1985 the building has been occupied by the law offices of Devine, Millimet & Branch who rehabilitated the building, preserving the original entrances on Hanover Street while adding a modern entrance and landscaping on the site of the former loading dock facing Amherst Street. Despite its change of use to professional offices and the addition of a new entrance on the Amherst Street elevation, the design intentions of the original building are still evident and the building remains a pivotal element in the Victory Park Historic District.
Measuring nine bays wide, the Hanover Street facade is capped by a low, three step parapet inscribed "UNITED STATES POST OFFICE" in gilded letters. Above the second floor openings a decorative band wraps around the entire building, displaying a fret motif with rosettes. Plain, two-story pilasters with three lines at the top, outline the two outside bays. The two outer bays on the Hanover Street elevation each contain an entrance raised above granite steps with the low flanking wall supporting a bronze urn lighting fixture. Each entrance contains a double leaf, set of glass and wood doors with a six-light wooden transom. A molded surround includes a decorative panel of a shield flanked by two eagles. Above each entrance is a 4/4 window with a simple sills. The central seven first floor openings each contain triple-hung 8/8/8 windows.
The east and west elevations are nearly identical in their design and measure nine bays wide. As on the facade, the first floor is lit by triple-hung 8/8/8 windows. On the second floor, each of the outside bays contains a 4/4 window while on the interior windows the central pane is divided into three vertical panes.
The Amherst Street elevation is fronted by a pink and gray granite portico of Post Modern design, dating to 1985. Above the portico, there are eleven window openings on the second floor containing 4/4 sash. The two outside openings are framed by pilaster strips. Sheltered by the portico are two aluminum and glass doors and two plate glass windows with five additional plate glass windows above. A handicapped ramp extends to the east of the entrance. A circular drive with landscaping and a parking lot are located to the north of the building. Along the west and north streetlines is a low granite wall with granite posts capped by large granite balls. A similar fence is along the west property line of the Manchester Historic Association. Both fences were apparently constructed during the initial period of construction in the 1930s.
5. Victory Park, bounded by Concord, Pine, Amherst and Chestnut Streets.
The centerpiece of the Victory Park Historic District is Victory Park, known until the end of the First World War as Concord Square or Common. A series of concrete walks crisscross the park, extending in an east-west direction, as well as from the southeast corner to the northwest corner and from the southwest corner to the northeast corner. The center walk leading from Chestnut to Pine Street was added when the monument was erected. Cast iron benches with wood slat seats are located throughout the park as are cast iron arched lamp standards with acorn lights. Mature trees, predominantly maples, are planted on the grassy lawn areas. Low granite walls erected in the late-19th century with four-sided granite posts with chamfered corners are located at the corners of the park. At the center of Victory Park is a circular brick plaza constructed in 1988 with two sections of stepped amphitheater seating facing the monument.
5a. Victory Monument, 1929.
The Winged Victory Monument was designed by local sculptor Lucien Gosselin and erected in 1929 to honor the City's World War I soldiers. Three granite steps lead from a cubing around the monument to the base of the shaft. The obelisk monument features a shrouded figure on the east side of the base, paying homage to the war dead. On the west side, the mythic figure of Columbia issues a call to arms, and is seen with a helmeted doughboy and a sailor, representing the army and the navy. At the top of the forty-three foot high obelisk four corner eagles support Winged Victory standing on a sphere representing the world, holding the American flag and a laurel crown of victory. The sculptor's signature is visible on the west side, while the date 1916 is inscribed on the east. Missing elements include Columbia's swords and iron oil-burning lanterns which originally rested on the low granite plinths on the west side of the monument.
5b. Gagnon Memorial, 1995. (noncontributing)
To the south of the Victory Monument is a smooth faced boulder with a bronze tablet in honor of Cpl. Rene Gagnon. Gagnon was a lifelong resident of Manchester and one of the Marines who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.
The Victory Park Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for significance in Social History, as a locally significant assemblage of early-20th century cultural institutions, reflecting Manchester's gilded age of prosperity and philanthropy, made possible by the City's industrial wealth. The Victory Park Historic District is also an important example of early-20th century concerns for the "City Beautiful," reflecting a new interest in civic design including grouping buildings, the civic center concept and the development and expansion of public parks. The Victory Park Historic District is also of significance for the quality of its architectural design. The buildings are individually and collectively some of the Manchester City's best examples of classical architecture, architect-designed by prominent practitioners of the day, including E.L. Tilton of New York and William Rantoul of Boston. Despite the varying ages of the buildings, they are united by their massing, the use of stone, varying adaptations of classical detailing and principles and their part in a community vision for a civic center surrounding Victory Park. The Victory Park Historic District is also recognized for its associations with local philanthropist, Frank Carpenter.
History of the Victory Park Historic District
Originally named Concord Square what exists today in a smaller size as Victory Park, is one of three commons planned by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in its 1838 plan of the city. The first piece of land laid out by the Company for recreation, it was originally bordered by Concord, Amherst, Pine and Vine Streets and contained 4-5/8 acres. The square was laid out prior to the first sale of lots and featured a man-made pond fed by the Mile Brook in the north corner near Vine Street. The land around Concord Square was included in the first public sale of building lots held by the Amoskeag Company in 1838 when 147 lots were sold between Elm, Union, Lowell and Hanover Streets. The first private house built on the Amoskeag Company's land was built at the northwest corner of Chestnut and Concord Streets in 1839 and by the turn of the century Concord Square was surrounded by modest residential structures.
In the early years the common seems to have born little resemblance to a public park. In 1841 the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company leased Concord Square to a group of five Manchester men who were to act as trustees. The lease indicated that Concord Square should be "enclosed and improved by removing the stumps, smoothing and grassing over the surface of the ground, and by setting out of a sufficient number of ornamental trees." Two rows of elms and maple trees were to be planted around it and the trustees were also instructed to enclose the common with a strong and handsome fence before the close of 1841. A neat wooden rail fence apparently served the purpose for a number of years. By the terms of the lease the trustees were also given permission to plow up the square and cultivate it as a garden. Abutters around the common parceled out the eastern section for gardens while the remainder was used for common grazing ground.
In 1848 the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company officially sold the land on which Concord Square stood to the City of Manchester for $1 as a "pleasure ground for the recreation, exercise and health of its citizenry." Under the terms of the deed, Manchester City was prohibited from constructing any buildings or road on the land, was instructed to remove the crops and plant grass, install graveled walks and erect a handsome iron fence with four large gates. Within a year, Manchester City was also required to plant two rows of elm and maple trees around the square and replace dead or damaged trees, as needed. By 1850 Concord Square was provided with walks and ornamented with various trees, especially elms. Near the center of the square was a small pond or reservoir, supplied with water from Mile Brook.
Until the 1870s little progress was made on the improvement of Concord Square. According to a newspaper article, in violation of the agreement with Amoskeag the stumps had still not been removed, the square was not graded, trees had not been planted, there was no graded middle walk, gates or fence. A 1877 observer writing to the local newspaper noted that as many as 400 teams of horses crossed the Common via Chestnut Street each day. By this time the old fire pond, which was used to fill hand pumps before the city water system was established in the 1870s, was widely viewed as a nuisance and a threat to public health.
A bird's eye view lithograph of the City of Manchester dated 1876 by H.H. Bailey offers an indication of the improvements to the park which were made in the 1870s. As seen in the view, Chestnut Street divided the square into two unequal parts. The westernmost portion of the Square was thickly planted with elm and maple trees. At one end a fountain sent water spewing in circular motion on what used to be the pond. In the center of the easternmost portion of the square was a lovely gazebo. After much public comment, a concrete walk across the middle of Concord Square, from Concord Street to Amherst Street was completed in 1877. The fire pond was filled in using dirt from the streets and a stone wall which framed the circumference was removed and saved. In his 1875 history of the City, Clarke wrote that a stone edging was to surround Concord Square within a year. A one-foot high barrier of huge rectangular stones partially buried in the ground was erected. Fragments of early stone work, granite bollards with a lower curved granite wall, mark the corners of the park today. By the turn of the century Concord Square had been divided again with Vine Street now crossing the square. The western half of Concord Square hosted a variety of activities while the eastern side was reserved for more passive recreation such as strolling or sitting. A 1911 photograph of the square shows that the northwest side fronting Concord and Vine Streets was used as a playground while a 1918 photograph shows a farmer's market at the southwest corner of Vine and Amherst Street.
The first cultural institution to be constructed around Concord Square was the Carpenter Memorial Library, part of a civic vision for the Square shared by local philanthropists and officials alike. Carpenter Memorial Library was given to the City of Manchester by Frank P. Carpenter in memory of his first wife Elenora Blood Carpenter, who died in 1910. Carpenter secured the tract of land between Amherst and Concord Streets, fronting Pine Street and opposite Concord Square, which had previously housed some of the first residences erected in the center city of Manchester. Carpenter's vision for the future civic district is evident in his address at the Library's dedication: "When selecting a site for our new library this location seemed more central and better suited for the purpose than any other. There is a fair prospect that before long Concord Square will be surrounded by useful and substantial buildings, an honor to our city." The sentiment was echoed by Manchester's Mayor Hayes who stated that "We may confidently look forward to when the Common which this building faces will be surrounded by such other buildings as will make it not only a civic center, but a beauty spoke for the City which we all love so much." Ground was broken for the library in September 1912 and the cornerstone was laid June 11, 1913. Plans for the building were by Edward L. Tilton of New York City, assisted by Edgar A. P. Newcomb of Honolulu who drew the plans for Carpenter's residence and that of his daughter, Mrs. Charles Manning. The contractors were F.G. Fearon & Co., of New York. The building was dedicated on November 18, 1914. The cost of the marble and bronze building, including land and furnishings, was $355,000.
Construction of Carpenter Library was followed in 1916 by the erection of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, financed by a gift of Emma Blood French, Frank Carpenter's sister-in-law on the former site of the Hesser Business College. The Common itself was infused with new life with the erection of a monument to the men who lost their lives in the World War. In 1928 Manchester City authorized a bond issue of $34,500 for the memorial. Ground was broken on November 12, 1928 and the monument was dedicated the following Memorial Day. In 1931 Frank Carpenter furthered his personal vision for the civic center by providing the funding for the Manchester Historic Association building on a piece of land acquired from the New Hampshire Insurance Company. At the same time Carpenter was also working for the construction of a new post office. Following the release of drawings by the government architects for a proposed addition to the late-19th century post office, Carpenter funded the preparation of architectural drawings by Edward Tilton for a classical design more in keeping with the buildings in the civic center.
Concord Common was renamed Victory Park after the First World War and prior to the construction of the Memorial in the park in 1929. Other names considered at the time included "Civic Square." According to an article in The Union in 1924, there was local sentiment some years previous that Concord Common should be made a civic center with some of the city's best buildings grouped around the park. The article indicates that earlier proposals included construction of a hotel flanking the common as well as the building of the Masonic Temple at the corner of Pine and Concord Streets.
As early as 1936 the section of Victory Park west of Chestnut Street was being used for free parking during the Christmas holiday period with an experienced attendant in parking cars on hand for the public's convenience. As a result of damage from the 1938 hurricane, the majority of the park's trees were damaged or destroyed. In 1947 the western section of the park was paved over for use as a parking area. According to the Sunday News, the parking lot replaced "an ugly eyesore, a seedy park with a little-used playground." During the 1970s the parking lot portion of Victory Park was made into a parking garage. The remainder of Victory Park was rehabilitated in 1988 with new sidewalks, a circular brick plaza around the memorial with seat walls, benches, lighting and landscape improvements including the planting of honey locusts in half-moon planters in the plaza, shrubs and low ground cover in beds at the foot of the memorial and replacements for the sugar maples in the park that were dying from city pollution and other problems. The improvements to Victory Park completed in 1988 return the park to its rightful position as one of Manchester City's most important open spaces and the centerpiece of the civic district.
The industrial wealth which Manchester enjoyed at the turn of the century translated into a number of organizations and cultural institutions as well as edifices. The Manchester Historic Association was founded in 1896, on the occasion of Manchester City's fiftieth anniversary. The Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences (MIAS) was organized in 1898, the amalgamation of the Manchester Art Association, the Manchester Electric Club and the Manchester Ornithological Club. It opened its first offices and classrooms in the Kennard Building on Elm Street in 1900, offering classes in fine arts, music, literature, home economics and natural and social science as well as entertainment programs including concerts by their symphony orchestra three times a year. Following the destruction of the Kennard Building and prior to the construction of the new building, the MIAS held classes in a variety of locations including the Weston Building, the Pickering Building and the old Straw Mansion. The Manchester Free Library was established in 1854, preceded by the formation of the Manchester Athenaeum in 1844. Prior to the construction of Carpenter Memorial Library, the library collection was housed in various downtown business blocks until the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company donated a lot of land on Franklin Street in 1870.
Social History: Impact of "The City Beautiful"
The "Civic Center" concept which was the impetus for the siting of the district buildings around Victory Park is an excellent example of the influence of the "City Beautiful" Movement. As a result of the City Beautiful Movement, which had its heyday in this country in the first decade of the 20th century, middle and upper class Americans attempted to refashion their cities into beautiful, functional entities. This civic awakening brought with it enthusiasm for civic design concepts centering on grouped public buildings, formal spatial arrangements and statuary. The civic center was intended to be a beautiful ensemble. Frank Carpenter's vision for Victory Park, grouping public buildings around a park, epitomized the City Beautiful ideology of the day.
The Victory Park Historic District encompasses some of Manchester City's most important examples of Classical Revival architecture, forming a panorama of the varying adaptations which classically-derived architecture experienced in the early-20th century. Although the Columbian Exposition of 1893 took place twenty years before the construction of the Carpenter Memorial Library, it continued to exert a major cultural influence during the early-20th century. The unity in style and dimension imposed upon the buildings of the Chicago World's Fair left an indelible image on American architecture which manifested itself in a renewed interest in Classical architecture. Following in the tradition of the Boston Public Library and other Renaissance Revival structures, the Carpenter Memorial Library is a grandiose and decoratively rich marble structure which uses classical forms to evoke civic pride and the importance of learning. More restrained although still monumental in their detailing, the smooth stone finishes of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences and New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company buildings suggest a growing interest in Neoclassicism, based primarily on the Greek and to a lesser extent the Roman orders. Constructed approximately fifteen years later, the Manchester Historic Association and the Post Office are evidence of a growing reaction against Beaux Arts opulence and the emerging international and modern styles. In both cases interior requirements take priority over exterior ornament which exhibits a quality which became known as "starved classicism."
Frank Carpenter: Philanthropist
Many of Manchester City's most significant structures are tribute to the public spirit and initiative of Frank Carpenter and other turn-of-the-century philanthropists. Frank Pierce Carpenter (1845-1938) was born in Chichester, New Hampshire and came to Manchester at the age of 19. Carpenter married Eleanora Blood whose father was Aretas Blood, cofounder of the Manchester Locomotive Works. Carpenter became one of Manchester's best known and most respected citizens. A crowd of 5,000 gathered at his funeral in 1938 where he was eulogized as "a symbol of what was best and finest in old New England." Carpenter was president of the Amoskeag Paper Mill and served on the boards of various banks, textile mills, railroads, insurance companies (including the New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company), and the Currier Gallery of Art, as well as serving as a member of the Police Commission, Parks and Playground Commission and the Board of Library Trustees. During his lifetime Carpenter financed all or part of the following structures: the Post Office on Hanover Street, Carpenter Memorial Library, the Carpenter Art Building at Dartmouth College in Hanover, the Parish House of the Franklin Street Congregational Church, the YWCA, the Manchester Historic Association and the Carpenter Hotel. The Post Office was Carpenter's last gift to the City of Manchester. Although the U.S. Government had intended to build an addition to the old post office which previously stood on the site, through Carpenter's efforts it was decided to build a new building instead. The drawings for the building were developed at Carpenter's own expense. Carpenter was also responsible for the erection of the Franklin Pierce statue in the State House Yard in Concord and funded the preservation of the Franklin Pierce Homestead at Hillsborough in the 1920s. Frank Pierce Carpenter's House for more than fifty years at 1800 Elm Street, today houses the American Red Cross, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by a preservation covenant.
The Designers: Tilton, Rantoul and Gosselin
The architect of many of the resources in the Victory Park District was Edward L. Tilton (1861-1933), a prominent twentieth century New York architect specializing in the design of libraries and other public and educational buildings. Tilton was responsible for the design of many of Manchester's most impressive early-20th century institutional structures.
He trained in the office of McKim, Mead and White and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1890 Tilton began his architectural practice under the name of Boring and Tilton and a few years later the firm won the competition to design the U.S. Immigration Station on Ellis Island. After Boring's retirement in 1915, Mr. Tilton practiced alone for five years before becoming associated with Alfred T. Githens, with whom he practiced for the rest of his life. In addition to Carpenter Library, the Manchester Historic Association and the Post Office, Tilton's other Manchester designs include the Currier Gallery of Art (listed on the National Register) and the Franklin Street Congregational Church Parish House (no longer extant) and the New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company building on Hanover Street.
Little is known of the architect of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences Building, William G. Rantoul. Practising in Boston, Rantoul is known to have designed residential structures including houses at 157 Brattle Street in Cambridge and a Classical townhouse at 247 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.
The World War I monument in the center of the park was designed by Lucien Gosselin (1883-1940). Gosselin came to Manchester with his family when he was two. His father worked for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. Gosselin studied in Paris, winning the Julian prizes and gold medals in 1911 and 1912 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. He returned to Manchester in 1916 and subsequently became one of the most noted New England and Franco-American sculptors of his time, with commissions for monuments and medallions throughout New England and New York and including the war memorial in Fall River, Massachusetts. The World War I monument was completed in 1918. Gosselin became the director of the school of sculpture at the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1920 and held that post until his death in 1940. Among Gosselin's other works in Manchester include the Pulaski Memorial, the marble statues in St. Joseph's Cathedral, the Jutras Memorial in Mt. Calvary cemetery, the Sweeney Memorial, a bust of a local judge in the Currier Museum and a large bas relief plaque of the Acadian deportation at L'Association Canado-Americaine.
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† Lisa B. Mauslof, consultant, Victory Park Historic District, Manchester, NH, nomination document, 1993, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.