Category Archives: Antiques

“From Victorian to Usonian: History/Architecture Getaway”

Frank Lloyd Wright’s  Architecture in Manchester

There are two known Usonian homes in New Hampshire and they both happen to be here in Manchester. However only one is accessible to the public and that is the Zimmerman House, which is owned by the Currier Museum of Art.  

Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) used the term “usonian” to describe his design for a group of houses built for middle class families. These houses have only one story and no garage, (instead they have a carport) and not a lot of storage space. Typically, these Usonian Houses have an open floor concept, lots of natural light and plenty of use of brick and wood. They are FLW’s answer to a simpler lifestyle born in the years of the Depression. It is said that the Usonian style preceded the ranch style architecture.

Exterior shot of The Zimmerman House
Usonian Style

The Zimmerman House in Manchester was designed in 1950 for Dr Isadore and Lucille Zimmeman. The house is in pristine condition and has been left the way the Zimmermans outfitted it it when they lived in it.  Since Mrs Zimmerman left the house to the museum, all decoration, furniture, art and even china and clothing are exactly as they were. A glimpse of times past.

The layout of the house was carefully planned and the attention to detail is wonderful.  The brick house and the beautifully designed garden blend nicely together and in summer, the museum is occasionally offering  “twilight tours” with live music at the home. A very special treat indeed.

The Currier museum offers guided tours of the Zimmerman House between April and December. Only 12 people can participate per tour and there are 3 tours a day.

If you are planning to make an overnight trip out of it, we are offering a package that include a 1 night stay at our B&B ( of course cooked to order breakfast included) and tickets for the FLW tour, package also includes same day entrance to the Currier Museum of Art.  We are located a short 2 min walk from the Currier.

Great Irish pubs

This week I want to talk a little about “pubbing” in the Manchester, NH.  I’ve talked about some of the dining but we also have our fair share of Irish pubs.  The Irish have always played an important part in Manchester’s history and the tradition continues.

First, we have the Wild Rover at 21 Kosciuszko Street.  Since it opened in 1990, it has been billed as the only Irish pub on a Polish street in a French city.  It has won awards for serving the best pint of Guinness in the city and was voted the “Best of the Best Pub” by the Hippo magazine’s voter’s awards in 2010.  (More about the Hippo coming soon!)  With it’s 100 year old oak floors and brick walls, it is as comfortable and cozy as a pub can be.  The food is great from Bangers and Mash to the Irish Mixed Grill to the Lobster Mac & Cheese, there’s always something for everybody.  Lots of live entertainment every night and Thursday is Irish sing-along every week.  Less than half a mile from the Ash Street Inn, a lot of guests go there just to relax and have bit of pub food.

Second we move down on to Elm Street for The Shaskeen at 909 Elm Street.  Since 2005, the Shaskeen has been providing Manchester with Irish music 7 days a week.  Fits well since the pub is named after a famous, traditional Irish folk dance called the Shaskeen reel.  There is always something new to hear and lots of old favorites to remember.  The food is great here too!  From the Beer-battered Fish and Chips to the Guinness Beef Stew, the food will warm you up as the draughts cool you down.  The Shaskeen is part of a family of pubs owned by music loving folks of Irish descent who make the music as important as the food, drink and atmosphere.  The Shaskeen is less than ¾ of a mile from the Inn.

The Ash Street Inn is lucky to have two great Irish pubs within walking distance.  Many of our business travelers find them to be a great change from the usual fare they have available to them when they are on the road.  We’re glad they’re here – just another reason to stay at the Inn!