Andover Historic Preservation

5 PORTER RD5 porter rd (click to enlarge)


architectural description

When built it was an elegant Georgian Revival home with ballustrades in the roof and porch entry; some detailed freize and dentil work survives. Exquisite central staircase, 6 working fireplaces and 3 mantels.
Several Latin inscriptions: In the former living room - AD FOCVM COR CALIDUM (At the hearth a warm heart). In the former library - AMICIS ET LIBRIS QVID MELVIS (There is nothing better than friends and books). In the former dining room - OMNIA SALE SPARGANTVR (Let all things be sprinkled (seasoned) with salt.) These rooms have now been incorporated into apartment units. A large wraparound porch on the front east and south sides was removed in the 1950s, as was the roof balustrade.

historical narrative

Built in the summer of 1894 on land purchased from J.C. Hidden by Georgianna Snow on Nov. 3, 1894. Georgianna married Charles H. Forbes (Professor of Latin, 1891-1932) at Phillips Academy, on July 25, 1894. Because he and/or his wife had substantial independent means, the Forbeses' lifestyle was unlike any other on the hill. He was driven to classes by a chauffeur in a large black limousine. His home was a striking example of careless opulence -- "elegantly furnished" -- with a wood working shop in the basement where he made fine furniture. His wife Georgianna died Aug. 23, 1907. Forbes later married Ellen Snow (sister of Georgianna) on Jan. 2, 1914.
"Forbes was a conservative, with a preference for traditions, established customs, and well-worn roads. He disliked intensely all agitations, communists, 'smart alecks', flappers, and democrats, as well as bad manners, flashiness, irreverence, and the New Republic."

June 12, 1913: Teddy Roosevelt spent night with Forbes and attended his son's graduation at Phillips Academy on Friday, June 13.
March, 1933: Charles H. Forbes passed away from a heart attack
August 17, 1934: Ellen Snow Forbes passed away
Sept. 1, 1944: Trustees of Phillips Academy sold parcel #1 to Pike School
Oct. 10, 1956: Pike School bought parcel #2, added gymnasium and auditorium
Dec. 16, 1964: George & Edith Colantino bought land from Pike School and converted them into apartments.

Title Chain:
Hidden, David J.C.
Snow, Georgianna - Nov. 3, 1893
Forbes, Charles H.
Forbes, Ellen S. - Leaves it to Phillips Academy in will (1934)
Trustees of Phillips Academy
Howes, Carrie Madeline - Oct. 10, 1956
Pike School, Inc. - (parcel 1) Sept. 1, 1944; (parcel 2) Oct. 10, 1956
Colantino, George J. & Edith - Dec. 16, 1963
Gilbert, Henry & Greenbay, Milton - July 28, 1967 (converts the house into apts.) (P.A. Trustees)
Niceforo, John R. - July 1, 1969
Needham, Maurice Jr. & Margie - Dec. 11, 1974
Rittershaus, H.F., J. Morey F.B. - Feb. 10, 1982


Pictures from the Past by Marsha Miller, 1985 (AHS file)
Youth from Every Quarter by Frederick S. Allis, Jr., pp. 399-402 (AHS library)
Andover Townsman, July 27, 1894, Weddings - Snow-Forbes, house

See record attachments:
Andover Townsman article
J. Batchelder survey form

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 5 PORTER RD
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 5 porter rd
Historic Name: Forbes House/Mansion
Present Use: multi-unit residential
Original Use: single family residential
Date of Construction: 1894 summer
Source: Style
Style/Form: Georgian Revival
Wall/Trim: clapboard, brick, shingle
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures Garage (razed 1964)
Major Alterations: Rear addition classrooms, right addition gym & auditorium late 1950s as Pike School. Converted into apts. 1965.
Condition: excellent
Acreage: 1.58 acres
Setting: Corner of Hidden Rd. and Porter Rd. on 2.75 acres
MHC inventory number:
Recorded by: Sean Craft/J. Batchelder
Organization: Andover Historical Society
Date: 6/11/91, 12/20/91

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