Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Parker Cleaveland House

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Institution Name: Bowdoin College
Original/Historic Place Name: Parker Cleaveland House
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1805-1806original construction Melcher, Samuel, III
ca. 1990renovation
Designer: Samuel Melcher III
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Federal (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stone
Walls: wood clapboards
Roof: asphalt shingles
 
Function:
1992-present (2006)president's house
 

Narrative:
The home of Bowdoin College Professor Parker Cleaveland at 75 Federal Street was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 2000 and is also a part of the Federal Street Historic District. Parker Cleaveland, known as "Father of American Mineralogy," resided in this house from 1806-1858, during which time he taught at Bowdoin. His 1816 treatise on mineralogy and geology was the first such American volume ever published and was used for years as the principal textbook in U.S. colleges, setting the standard for later works in the field.

The Parker Cleaveland House was renovated in the early 1990s to become a residence for Bowdoin's president. It is therefore in excellent condition, despite being built at the turn of the 19th century. The house's wide pine flooring, nine fireplaces, and barn have been preserved, and its interior is decorated with period furniture and artwork from the college's museum. It is built in the Federal Style and is considered one of Samuel Melcher's more successful Federal designs.
 

References:

Anderson, Patricia McGraw. The Architecture of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, Me.: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1988.

Parker Cleaveland House [Bowdoin College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 2000.

Shettleworth, Earle G., Jr., and Frank A. Beard. Federal Street Historic District [including Bowdoin College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.

 

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Last update: November 2006