|195 N Manning St. Hillsdale, MI. 1860s|
195 N Manning St. is a lovely little Italianate preserved both inside and out. Unfortunately, the house is currently threatened with demolition by Hillsdale College to provide yet more McMansions, robbing the town of a valuable piece of history and stealing a contributing historical property from the neighborhood. The house is apparently haunted in local lore; thus it's demolition would also deprive the town of a piece of local folklore.
The house is irregular in plan, but is tower-less, with a projecting pavilion, a recess, and a further recess. The windows are all segmental arched with brick drip moldings and keystones. The cornice broadly projects and is bracketless, while the porch is simple but elegant, with slender columns, segmental arches and charming little foliage rinceaux in the spandrels. Very few original porches like this survive in Hillsdale. A nice feature is the color scheme, which is an example of a highly appropriate color for the house's period.
The house is also well-preserved inside, a credit to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity that currently maintains the house. It has a beautiful curved staircase with designs reminiscent of the porch, thick moldings inside that extend at least three inches from the wall, Gothic panels, and all of its original woodwork intact. One odd feature is that the blocks at the corners of the door frame, which usually feature recessed bulls eyes, have convex bulls eyes, extending out from the blocks, an unusual design element. This house should certainly be saved, especially because Hillsdale is not particularly rich in such well preserved homes.