W ork on the Kimball-Jenkins mansion on Concord’s North Main Street has revealed glimpses of detailed Victorian-era craftsmanship but in recent months, it’s modern-day preservationists who are bringing the landmark’s grandeur back to life.
Thanks to a grant of more than $202,000 from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program — matched dollar for dollar by donors — the historic house’s roof, woodwork and windows have received some much-needed attention.
The brick and granite mansion was built by Samuel Sparkhawk Kimball between 1877 and 1882. It was designed by architectural firm Cutting & Holman of Worcester, Mass. (The firm’s Amos Porter Cutting also designed the New Hampshire State Library in 1893.)
Carolyn Jenkins, the last heir of the Kimball line, died in 1981. She left the Kimball-Jenkins Estate to the city of Concord for cultural and educational purposes, including the “encouragement of art.”
Today the mansion is the heart of the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art.
“When a house is lovingly designed and crafted by hand, it radiates beauty all around,” campus officials said in a project update. “Restoration … has gone so well that we’re extending the work beyond the original scope. Roof rafters that we feared might need expensive replacement turned out to be repairable using special restoration methods. This and other strokes of good luck have allowed us to restore more than just the roof. We’ve moved down to preserve the soffits, eaves, brackets, attic windows, and even some of the porches.”