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In 1922, the same year mill workers went on the great nine-month strike across Manchester (as well as the greater New England area), William Parker Straw, agent of the Amoskeag manufacturing mill in Manchester, was in the process of constructing his new mansion on North River Road. Currently known today, almost a hundred years later, as the William Parker Straw house, the residence is recognized as one of the finest examples of Tudor revivalist architecture in the area. Tudor homes are characterized by their steeply pitched gable roofs, playfully elaborate masonry chimneys, and embellished doorways—all of which the William Parker Straw House exhibits.

Photo taken in 1987 for the National Register of Historic Places

Sky, Nature, Building, Tree

Photo taken in 1987 for the National Register of Historic Places

Plant, Sky, Property, Building

Recent photo of the William Parker Straw House

Plant, Sky, Cloud, Building

Located at 282 North River Road in Manchester, New Hampshire, the 2-½ story brick building known as the William Parker Straw House has a history that spans almost a full century. Built in 1923 for William Parker Straw and his family, the house initially operated as Straw's home residence until it was eventually sold and converted into a doctor’s office shortly after his death in 1953. Sometime later, the house was sold once more and restored into a professional law office. 

However, no matter the past function of the house, domestic or professional, the house always remained a prime example of the Tudor revivalist architecture (in location and design). Even though the house lost some of its functional integrity in the interior when converted into professional doctor's offices, it retained all “other integrity to maintain its significance,” historically and architecturally. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, the William Parker Straw House appears near exactly how it did in the early twentieth century when it was inhabited by the man who gave the building its name.

Born in 1878, William Parker Straw was a third-generation member of the “Straws,” a wealthy family that had a longstanding legacy and history in Manchester. For over a hundred years, the city was dominated over by a group of agents who operated the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in the area, three out of six of which were members of the Straw family. Most notably was William Parker Straw himself and his grandfather, Ezekiel Straw, who later served as Governor of New Hampshire for two terms. Like his grandfather before him, but on a much less political scale, William Parker Straw also took an active part in the development of Manchester. He was vice president and director of Amoskeag Industries, Inc., a company formed to rehabilitate the Amoskeag mill property and bring new industry to Manchester. He as well was cited to be an active member of roughly sixteen different civic service organizations. Some of which he held office. However, William Parker Straw is most known today throughout Manchester for the house he had commissioned by the firm of Hutchins and French. 

The construction and design of the Tudor-style residence was the work of Franklin J. Hutchins and Arthur E. French, prominent architects throughout the area of Manchester. Outside of their work on the William Parker Straw House, they also designed the Maynard School and a few other residences and commercial buildings which were eventually demolished. Thankfully, the William Parker Straw House was not among them—at least not yet. For the time being (and hopefully forever), the William Parker Straw House is still available to be appreciated, both for its architectural and historical significance.,filled%20with%20masonry%20or%20stucco

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