J. Dennis Robinson

See our blog for new projects, announcements, and all things TMS Architects.
Leave a Comment

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

Read More

Leave a Comment

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

Read More

Leave a Comment

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”   

Read More

Leave a Comment

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

Read More

One Comment

Architecture Advocates: Sarah Foster

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

Read More

Leave a Comment

Architecture Advocates: Lafayette Newell

by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

In an age when cameras are ubiquitous, it’s hard to believe. But besides a few sketches in word or pen, we barely know what old Portsmouth looked like. There are a few fuzzy images of buildings, but until the Civil War, most local photos are portraits of people, posing stiffly. While Lafayette V. Newell (1833 – 1914) took his share of studio shots, he also carried his heavy wooden camera, tripod, and fragile glass plates into the field.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Architecture Advocates: Charles Brewster 
By J. Dennis Robinson

Even his best friends said he was dull. His two-volume Rambles about Portsmouth  remain the most important books about New Hampshire’s only seaport. Yet historian Charles Brewster (1802-1869) was, himself, a shy methodical man, who led a remarkably uneventful life.

Read More

Leave a Comment

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. 

Read More

Leave a Comment

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. 

Read More

Leave a Comment

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

Read More

Leave a Comment

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! 

Read More

Leave a Comment

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!    

Read More

Leave a Comment

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.

Read More

Leave a Comment

There has been a considerable amount of publicity lately about replicating The Old State House, which is presumed to have once stood in the center of Market Square.  This got our guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson, thinking about other Portsmouth buildings that have also been lost over time.

“Here we go again. Just when you thought Portsmouth’s Old State House was never to return, it’s back in the news. A well-intentioned group wants to build a replica of the 1760-era colonial state house on the site of the city’s federal building off Daniel Street. That dream has been kicking around Portsmouth for almost a century. Architect John Mead Howells tossed out the idea back in the 1930s. I sat on a city committee to study the issue and TMS Architects helped with an in-depth study of the surviving remnants of the building.

Read More

Leave a Comment

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?

Read More

Leave a Comment

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! 

Read More

Leave a Comment

TMS Architect’s guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson, provides us with an interesting post on moving things around and how a change in space or time can really alter your perspective!  As he says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same…” 

“I used to row an Alden Ocean Shell. I put the fiberglass boat on the top of my old Toyota Tercell and hauled it from one access point on the Piscataqua River to the next. Once, long ago, I put the boat in the back yard to store it for the winter — and it sits there still.

Read More

Leave a Comment

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.

Read More

Leave a Comment

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!

Read More

Leave a Comment

TMS Architects is delighted to welcome J. Dennis Robinson back as a guest blogger after a hiatus in which he was toiling away on his new book, Mystery on the Isles of Shoals.   The link he draws between architects and writers is very apt and we wish him well with his latest project! 

Read More