Building Description Mountain View House - Grand Resort, Whitefield New Hampshire

The Mountain View House is located approximately three miles northeast of the town center of Whitefield, NH, on a sloping site with sweeping views of the White Mountains to the south and east. The property includes twenty-one buildings situated on nineteen acres on the north side of Mountain View Road and approximately five acres on the south side. Included on the nineteen acres is the focal point of the complex, the main hotel building, which was built in eight major building campaigns between 1872 and 1927, plus two additions constructed in 2002 as part of a certified rehabilitation. Also located on the north side of the road are a variety of detached buildings - three dormitories, two cottages, a greenhouse, garage, barn, engineer's shop, maintenance shop, and conference center - as well as tennis courts, gazebo, water towers, and the site of an early hotel addition. On the opposite side of the road, the five acres include a golf clubhouse and swimming pool. Significant landscape features on the property include stone terraces on both sides of the road.

The main hotel is a large building that evolved from a post-Civil War farmhouse/inn into a sprawling complex with numerous wings and additions. It faces south onto the road and is sited laterally in two primary planes. The building consists of some eight discrete sections built in a series of building campaigns between 1872 and 1927, and three one-story additions built ca. 1973 and in 2002 (and the only major alterations to the building since 1927). (See sketch map for building evolution) Despite the multi-year period, the various sections share common features, giving the entire building a high degree of uniformity: wood-frame construction; mostly three or four stories in height; fieldstone foundation; mostly hipped roofs (but also one gable, and on the one-story sections, flat), frequently punctured with hipped-roof dormers; green-gray asphalt roof shingles; yellow painted wall clapboards; regularly spaced windows with varied sash configurations, though two-over-two and six-over-six double-hung wooden sash, generally flanked with wooden blinds, predominate; and plain trim boards.

The focal point of the building is the centrally positioned main entrance block, also the earliest part of the existing building. Four stories in height, it is capped with a hipped roof punctured by hipped-roof dormers with paired one-over-one sash windows. Rising above the facade is a seven-story, Italianate observation tower. The top level has a parapet wall with balustrade infill and both square and round Doric columns to frame the view; clear Plexiglas installed in 2002 encloses the space from the weather. A hipped roof with eave brackets crowns the tower. A one-story, hipped-roof porch supported by Doric columns runs the length of the block. Paralleling the porch and continuing to the west is a terrace defined by a fieldstone retaining wall with fieldstone posts that support a metal railing. The main entrance to the hotel is accentuated by a pedimented break in the eave line of the porch, creating a portico that is carried on additional Doric columns. The main entrance is capped with a Colonial Revival fanlight. Several large, single-light windows are found to either side of the entrance. Windows on the upper three floors have two-over-two sash on the south elevation and six-over-six on the north elevation, where they are grouped in twos and fours. The core of the main block was built in 1872 (east half) and 1880 (west half) as a two-story building. In 1911-12, it was substantially altered by removing the Second Empire roof and adding two stories (the current third and fourth floors) capped by a new hipped roof with dormers. The facade was completely remodeled at this time, and the tower and porch were added (replacing an earlier porch that originally continued to the center bay of the 1904 wing. Perhaps contemporaneously, or possibly in 1921, a one-story, bowed addition was put on the rear of the main block. It has a flat roof and a band of windows with six-over-six sash.

Immediately west of the main block are two one-story, flat-roof additions. The earlier is a modest, stepped-back projection built in 1921 to convert the former dining room into a ballroom. The larger addition, found on the front of the hotel, dates from ca. 1973. It has a wide, tripartite window on the south (front) elevation, as well as five windows with six-over-six sash. The west wall is bowed and has a band of windows with eight-over-one sash. Block modillions ornament the overhanging eave. Both the modillions and some of the fenestration date from 2002.

East of the main block, the hotel extends in two continuous wings. The nearest, built in 1904-05, is three stories high and crowned with a hipped roof that sports a continuous shed dormer with hipped roof protrusions over projecting facade bays. The center three bays project from the facade (south) wall plane on the upper two stories. The east end of the addition terminates in an angular full-height bay, which was a corner turret until the hotel was extended beyond it in 1927-28. Windows on the first floor contain six-over-six sash, with the exception of one which contains eight-over-eight and is flanked by narrower openings with four-over-four sash. A molded trim band separates the first story from the upper stories where the windows have two-over-two sash, including the smaller openings for bathrooms. Nearly all of the windows on the north elevation of this addition have two-over-two sash, including those on the two angular third-story bay windows. (There are a few six-over-one-sash windows on the first story.) Dormer windows on both elevations come in two sizes; all have six-over-six sash. The basement level, built of fieldstone, is fully exposed and contains regularly spaced window openings with a mix of two-over-two and four-over-four (vertical) sash on the south elevation and small, two-light sash window openings on the north. An exterior brick chimney is appended to the north wall, near the east end. The original appearance of the wing nearly mirrored the 1891-92 west wing and featured a roof gable over the center bays and a porch that wrapped around the turret and extended the width of the east elevation. The gable and turret roof were removed in 1927-28 when the dormers were added and a new wing was built to the east.

The 1927-1928 wing, which completes the eastern end of the building, was designed as a continuum of the 1904 wing, but is somewhat shorter in length. Windows are paired and contain two-over-two sash. Two multi-light, hipped-roof, bay windows project from the easternmost bays on the facade. The north elevation is similar to the south, but lacks bay windows, and the exposed basement level is clad with clapboards, rather than stone. At its junction with the 1904 wing, each story has French doors to access a fire escape. The entire wing has a hipped roof with two dormers, both on the north slope. A brick chimney rises from the south slope just in front of the ridge line. At the east end of the addition, there is a porte-cochere supported on fieldstone posts. Portions of the porte-cochere have been obscured by a one-story addition, but the segmental arch entrance remains, as does its stone parapet wall still visible inside the building. The porte-cochere is surmounted by a sun porch that was designed with a band of eight-light casement sash set between the existing double pilasters. Sometime after 1973, the windows were replaced with the present single-light casement windows. Above the sun porch are two-story angular bay windows in the outer bays.

The one-story, flat-roof addition at the easternmost end of the hotel building and wrapping around part of the rear was constructed in 2002 to house an indoor swimming pool. Block modillions and tripartite windows topped with transoms provide relief to the otherwise plain design.

The 90' x 41' wing that extends northerly from the main block was added in 1884. Due to the sloping site, it is only three stories high, but otherwise similar to the main block to which it is attached. Windows are grouped in pairs and contain two-over-two sash; dormer windows, also paired, have two-over-two sash. Near the northeast corner, a squared-off bay window projects to the east with a band of eight-over-eight-sash windows on the upper two stories and six-over-one windows of unequal sash size on the first. The bay probably dates from 1921, when the dining room was added.

Extending from the east wall of the 1884 wing is a one-story, flat-roof addition constructed in 2002 to house the new hotel kitchen. The only openings, including a loading bay are located in the southeast corner. Connected to the north wall of the 1884 wing is, built in 1921 for the hotel dining room. It is a one-story, flat-roof addition that bows outward on the east and west walls which are punctured with windows containing six-over-one, nine-over-one and twelve-over-one sash, some of which have flanking narrow sidelights. A modest, slightly recessed addition on the north contains only a service entrance with modern, solid double doors. An octagonal monitor roof rises from the roof of G, its band of multi-light windows flooding light into the room.

Two separate additions project to the west from the 1884 wing. The earlier, built in 1891-92, is parallel to the main block but set back from it. It is a 100', three-story wing that formed the western terminus of the building for thirty years. The wing's present appearance reflects 1920s alterations. Window openings come in two sizes and have two-over-two sash; the larger windows are paired and the smaller, which historically lit bathrooms, are singly spaced. The south elevation (facade) shifts planes in several places: full-height, double-width bays project at the far west end as well as near the east end; between them is a two-story inset porch with two-story, square Doric columns and square-baluster railings on each level. A one-story porch with plain posts and square balusters spans the width of the first story. On the south face of the roof, there is a continuous band of hip-roof dormers with six-over-six sash; on the north side, there are two widely spaced dormers, as well as a hip-roof elevator tower that rises a full story above the roof ridge. A single brick chimney rises from the south slope, near the east end of the wing. The north elevation has a small, gabled-roof porch on a fieldstone base and supported by Doric columns. Adjacent to it is a hip-roof projection with windows set between Doric pilasters. This wing originally had a roof gable over the facade center bays, a turret at the west end, and a one-story porch along the length of the facade. The gable was removed when the dormers were added in 1927-28, and presumably the angular bays and inset porch date from the same year. The turret roof disappeared in 1921 when yet another wing was added.

That wing is now the western terminus of the hotel. It is L-shaped in plan, projecting forward toward the road. Like the wing to which it is appended, it is three stories in height and continues both the fenestration and dormer arrangement of the earlier wing. The sloping site exposes a fieldstone foundation at the south gable end.

The interior of the main hotel retains a high degree of historic trim, concentrated in the public spaces found on the lobby level and first floor. Immediately inside the main entrance is the large lobby with Colonial Revival trim details, including a coffered ceiling, round and square Doric columns, paneled woodwork, spindle screens, two fireplaces and a reception desk. Another historic fireplace, probably dating from 1880, is located in the room just west of the lobby. The principal staircase is tucked into a corner of the lobby behind a spindle screen. On the lobby level, it has a paneled, square newel post, round balusters, unpainted handrail, and paneled stair wall; on the upper floors, balusters are turned, but there is no stair wall detailing. East of the lobby, a corridor bisected by a row of columns leads to the card room, which features boxed ceiling beams, arched openings and wainscoting. At the far east end of the building is a library paneled in birch with built-in bookcases and a fireplace. The dining room, located on the first floor, is an oval-shaped room with grouped Doric columns and an octagonal monitor roof.

Between 1904 and 2002, an annex to the hotel stood on this location. The building was originally built in 1866, the year the hotel opened, as an extension to the Dodge family farmhouse. When the first of the two east wings was added in 1904-05, the annex was removed and relocated to this site behind the hotel where it was converted into a dormitory for female employees. By the 1970s, it was no longer in use and was partially collapsed at the time the complex underwent its historic rehabilitation in 2002-03.

As built, the annex was a 2-1/2 story, wood-frame building with vernacular Greek Revival entrances and a prominent two-story inset facade porch. At its south end was a separate, detached 2-1/2 story building that was probably added when the annex was moved to this site. The two buildings were connected by a porch and shed.

The Chauffeurs' Dormitory, built in 1900, is the largest of the three detached dormitories and the closest to the hotel building. It is also the most elegant, reflecting its original function to house chauffeurs of hotel guests. The lengthy, 2-1/2 story, side-gable building rests on concrete block piers. Its roof is covered with asphalt shingles; the boxed cornice has eave returns. Walls are clad with clapboards and trimmed with narrow, flat boards. Regularly spaced windows have six-over-six sash. The dominant exterior feature is a one-story, hipped roof entry porch supported by flared posts and which spans much of the facade (south elevation). On the rear elevation, there is a smaller, hipped-roof portico supported by Doric columns.

The dormitory is currently used for storage.

The oldest of the three hotel dormitories, the staff dormitory built in 1890, located behind the main hotel, is a 2-1/2 story, side-gable building built on stone piers. The roof is covered with asphalt shingles; the boxed cornice has eave returns. Walls are clad with clapboards and trimmed with narrow, flat boards. Regularly spaced windows have six-over-six sash. A later brick chimney is appended to the west end. The only entrance is located at the far east end of the facade (south elevation) and accessed via a recently built deck.

The dormitory continues to provide housing for hotel staff.