In 1998, the Sippican Historical Society commissioned an architectural survey of Marion’s historic homes and buildings. The survey was funded one-half by the Sippican Historical Society and one-half by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Because of the limits of funding, not all of the historic buildings were surveyed, but over 100 were catalogued and photographed. The results of the survey are in digital form on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s website and in four binders in the Sippican Historical Society’s office (and at the Marion Town Clerk’s office). Marion (Old Rochester) is one of the oldest towns in the United States, and the Sippican Historical Society maintains an extensive collection of documentation on its historic buildings. The Sippican Historical Society will preview one building a week so that the residents of Marion can understand more about its unique historical architecture. This installment features Stonycroft at 14 West Drive.
Stonycroft at 14 West Drive exemplifies the shingle style at its most picturesque. It was designed by the architectural firm of Coolidge and Carlson and built in 1895 for Brookline resident A.W. Bliss, whose leather business was located in the heart of Boston’s leather district. Its landscaping complements an architectural design that delicately balances rustic and formal qualities. Exterior and interior photographs of the Bliss House appeared in the October 29, 1919 edition of the American Architect, showing Craftsman style furniture within. It also showed rustic interiors with low ceilings, exposed timbers, and both stone and brick fireplaces.