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INVENTORY FORM B CONTINUATION SHEET LEXINGTON 19 HANCOCK STREET <br /> MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL COMMISSION Area(s) Form No. <br /> 220 MORRISSEY BOULEVARD,BOSTON,MASSACHUSETTS 02125 <br /> 0 2133 <br /> HISTORY OF 19 HANCOCK STREET <br /> Jack Glassman AIA, 2009 <br /> The house at 19 Hancock Street was erected ca. 1921, following drawings prepared by "R. H. Hannaford, Arch't., 100 Boylston <br /> St., Boston." A resident of Wellesley, Ralph Herman Hannaford also designed the Wellesley Hills Branch Library (1928) and the <br /> Sprague School (1924). According to one historical account, the stone for the Sprague School's fagade was quarried directly <br /> from the site and the leadwork on the cupola was intended to resemble traditional English craftsmanship. At the library's main <br /> entrance hung a wrought iron lantern fabricated by noted craftsman Frank Koralewsky. 19 Hancock features distinctive iron <br /> lanterns flanking the entrance and candelabra sconces in the living room, but the suppliers and/or craftsmen are not known at <br /> this time. <br /> The exterior of the wood-frame house is clad with water-struck brick selected for its cottage-like picturesque effect. The roof of <br /> the original sections is clad with Ludowici "Imperial" clay tile, with copper valleys. <br /> The house was designed for Norman Locke Skene (1878-1932), a prominent naval architect, and nautical motifs are found <br /> throughout the house. A 1901 graduate of MIT's School of Naval Architecture, Mr. Skene would maintain an office in downtown <br /> Boston, designing and constructing yachts and power boats. A frequent contributor to The Rudder magazine, Mr. Skene is best <br /> known for his treatise Elements of Yacht Design, first published in 1904 and considered to be one of the most important yacht <br /> design books ever written. The book was reprinted several times until 1938, re-issued decades later as Skene's Elements of <br /> Yacht Design, and is back in print in a new edition edited by Maynard E. Bray, technical editor of Wooden Boat magazine. <br /> With its gently vaulted ceiling (suggesting the underside of a ship's deck) trimmed with carved rope molding and its exquisite <br /> fireplace surround, the living room remains the focal point of 19 Hancock Street. The painted nautical scene depicting both <br /> sailing and steam-powered ships is signed by "N" or "H" Skene; the signature is partly concealed by wood trim. Norman's <br /> younger brother Harold attended MIT's School of Architecture and may have had a role in the painting and other parts of the <br /> house. <br /> The hand-carved fruitwood panels flanking the fireplace and painting may be the work of master woodcarver Johannes <br /> Kirchmayer (1860-1930) or his studio. Recipient of a Bronze Medal from the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Kirchmayer <br /> lived in Arlington Heights and did carving for a number of area homes. Kirchmayer's apprentice Arcangelo Cascieri, who would <br /> become a master sculptor in his own right and also Dean of the Boston Architectural Center, believed that the carving might be <br /> the hand of his old master Kirchmayer. The foliate carving features thistle, a traditional Scottish motif, and is crowned with a <br /> beautifully carved rendition of the Clan Skene coat of arms. <br /> The massive oak front door features a wrought-iron thumb latch and mail slot, and a three-part stained-glass light depicting a <br /> Viking ship scene. Viking themes were occasionally found in Pre-Raphaelite art, one of the inspirations of the English Arts & <br /> Crafts movement. <br /> The story is passed down that Mr. Skene built kayaks of his own design in the northeast bedroom. Skene contributed plans and <br /> instructions for building "Walrus, Eskimo Kayak" and other vessels to The Rudder. In 1932, Norman Skene tragically drowned <br /> on Wakefield's Lake Quinnapowitt, while piloting one of his beloved kayaks. <br /> Original interior finishes include stained and varnished cottonwood paneling with wood battens, oak flooring (living room, den, <br /> bedrooms), and painted battened ceilings. Many of the steel casement windows were subsequently fitted with "Rolscreen" <br /> coiling interior screens. Although a number of upstairs interior doors were replaced during the 1960s 70s, most of the original <br /> raised-panel doors were stored in the basement and will remain with the house. Many of the original glass doorknobs also <br /> survive. <br /> A rare "sit-down" bathtub occupies the small bathroom off the former master bedroom. The toilets here and in the other two <br /> bathrooms include commercial "flushometers," rather than tanks. The house is heated by an oil-fired boiler with an integral coil <br /> system for domestic hot water. A number of the original cast-iron radiators remain (some with original metal covers). <br /> Continuation sheet 4 <br />