historic new england

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TMS Architects’s principal , Rob Carty and interior designer, Cristina Marais,  recently worked with the historic Three Chimneys Inn on a project to provide some changes to the inn that will be in keeping with the time period of the historic structure.  Built in 1649 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Three Chimneys Inn is one of the oldest homes in New Hampshire.  It now serves as an inn in Durham NH, home to the University of New Hampshire,  with twenty-three guest rooms, dining in the historic ffrost Sawyer Tavern and serves as a host for many weddings, events and conferences.  

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TMS Architect’s guest blogger and local historian, J. Dennis Robinson,  provided us with a December post that,  in this season of light, appropriately turns its attention to electricity, Ben Franklin and an  historic Portsmouth home. 

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TMS couldn’t let Halloween go by without a piece on Seacoast hauntings from our local historian, J. Dennis Robinson!  New England is famous for its stories about witches, witchcraft and haunted homes and according to Dennis, the Seacoast was not immune from these beliefs. 

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TMS Architects is delighted to have our second August post from local Portsmouth historian, J. Dennis Robinson.  As is usual with Dennis, his examination of the past and the history of Portsmouth often leads us on voyages of discovery of the present.  This article describes a very special place in Portsmouth; the Portsmouth African Burying Ground Memorial Park

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After taking a breather from the publication of his latest book, Smuttynose Murders, and spending some time on the Isle of Shoals, local historian, J. Dennis Robinson returns to the pages of TMS Architects’ blog, with a piece on Dover’s Woodman Museum.  There is still time to visit this wonderful piece of New Hampshire history before school vacation ends! 

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TMS received its 34th post this morning from J. Dennis Robinson, Portsmouth’s historian.  Who knew that the mortar could be so important when restoring old brick structures?  Apparently Master Mason John Wastrom did!    

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Just when we least expect it, a new blog post for TMS Architects arrives from our guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson.  The subject of this one was timely as it had been in the local papers and was wonderful to get more information about this particular building on State Street in downtown Portsmouth.

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TMS  always learns something interesting about Portsmouth when we publish a post from  J. Dennis Robinson, our guest historical contributor.  Last time we learned about the building that presently houses our offices when it was part of the Eldredge Brewing Company ; this time we learned more about its earlier history in the textile industry.

In our last history installment we learned that the site of the modern TMS Architects offices was once a brewery. Heman (not Herman) Eldredge and his sons ran the Eldredge Brewing Company on the same spot off Bartlett Street in the second half of the 19th century. Although their brew, including Portsmouth Ale, was hugely popular, the Eldredge brand was drowned out by the even greater success of the Frank Jones Brewery just across the tracks in the city’s West End.
But there’s more. The brewery was built on the site of an equally important, but now forgotten, textile factory. Yes, during the 1800s, Portsmouth was also known as a key city for the production of stockings. Who knew?

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When our guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson,  recently wrote about the old Eldredge Brewery in one of his columns for The Portsmouth Herald, we were intrigued because the building in which TMS  Architects offices are located is called Eldredge Park.  We asked him what the connection might be and he supplied us with the following information…he always knows the answer to local lore! 

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As the focal point of your holiday decorations, decorating your Christmas tree is an important task for setting the tone of your home this season. From setting the tree up to stringing lights to adding ornaments and wrapping the bottom with a tree skirt, trimming your tree may be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be hard. By planning ahead, you can create an elegant Christmas tree that is worthy of any store window.

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Your home’s fireplace is sure to be a popular gathering spot for friends and families this holiday season. A creatively decorated mantle will help set a festive mood and spread cheer throughout the home. Whether your tastes are rustic, traditional, or eclectic, you can personalize your mantle decor to suit any holiday style.

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Visit The Music Hall This December for the Holidays

Several years ago we worked on the historic renovation of The Music Hall theater in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The renovations breathed new life into the architectural gem, which remains a fixture of the local arts scene and community. If you haven’t visited since the renovation, the holiday season is a great time to have a look while enjoying a play, concert, or other event at the theater this December.

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One of the specialties of our architecture firm is historic preservation, so we have an interest in historical activities and events in our community. From historic homes and building projects to the sense of nostalgia we feel as a result of fond memories, history plays an important role in everyday life. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to look back on history and celebrate days of old.

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Historic preservation in New England is tantamount to most owners of the gems of yesteryear. While older construction is generally far superior to the fast-paced construction of today, modern living makes it necessary to increase your living space while maintaining the integrity of your home’s history. Enter the practice of utilizing sensitive additions.

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Historic preservation is an aspect of Americana that can be seen in New England and communities both small and large. And, this is one of the driving factors that keep some homeowners in their historic home from one generation to the next, leading some to add an addition. But with tight regulations that ensure the integrity of original structures, this is not a project homeowners should take on without the advice and design skills of an experienced architect.

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TMS Architects recently had the opportunity to work again with  Rob Karosis to photograph an unusual architectural project that Shannon Alther, TMS principal, worked on recently.  The homeowners of this beautiful home and barn had lived in the area for years and were thinking seriously about downsizing…apparently all they really needed in a new locale was access to the internet and an airport.  However, the more they thought about leaving the area, the pull of family and grandchildren was hard to ignore so they came up with an ingenious solution in lieu of leaving the family home.

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Having just moved a large pink dollhouse, made for my daughter by her grandfather, J. Dennis Robinson’s recent post for TMS Architects was very poignant.  The pink dollhouse has seen better days and needs some refurbishing but it was a labor of love and evokes so many good memories.  Dennis Robinson is absolutely right….architecture can be found in a pink dollhouse, a model of Portsmouth’s South Church, a hand-made wooden fire station, a home or skyscraper…all were designed, built and are repositories of very powerful memories. 

Dollhouses are not just for girls. My grandfather made one for me when I was a boy. It was a realistic, hand-made, wooden fire station almost three feet tall. It had a tower and two arched openings for my fire trucks. Grandpa Jake painted every red brick on the firehouse and installed every tiny shingle on the steep sloping roof. The model is still up in the attic of my parent’s home.

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J. Dennis Robinson, historian and TMS Architects’ guest blogger, brings us an interesting piece today about Edward Tuck, founder of the first graduate school of business at Dartmouth, and leaves us with an interesting question to ponder…is an obelisk architecture?  Read on and let us know what you think!

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The title refers to an article on a TMS Architects project that appears in Coastal Home Magazine’s Spring 2014 issue. The piece, written by Allison Knab with photographs by Rob Karosis, chronicles an extensive renovation undertaken by Exeter, New Hampshire homeowners. A talented team was organized for the renovation with the architectural design provided by TMS principal architect William Soupcoff, AIA and the project managed by TMS’s Tim Giguere, AIA, project architect. K & S Contracting handled the construction end of the renovation and Cebula Design provided interior design input.

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Mark your calendars for the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s Old House and Barn Expo taking place March 15-16, 2014 at the Radisson/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester, NH.  Historical preservation is an important mission for TMS Architects and we applaud the work that the NH Preservation Alliance does to publicize and preserve New Hampshire’s historic treasures.  The Old House Barn and Expo is only one of their many important activities.

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