A Historic Gem: The McCormick House and its Evolution Through Time
Nestled in history, the McCormick House stands as a testament to architectural evolution and the diverse career of John Buchanan McCormick (1834-1924). The house, originally built between 1817 and 1829, is a captivating 2+1⁄2-story stone structure boasting three bays, a gable roof, and a substantial gable chimney. Over the years, it underwent significant expansions and modifications that contribute to its unique charm.
In 1905, John B. McCormick undertook a substantial expansion project that added a compelling chapter to the house’s story. A large, two-story hip and gable roofed addition was seamlessly integrated into the rear of the original structure. This addition marked a departure from the original design, incorporating new architectural elements. Attached to this extension is a one-story shed-roofed addition adorned with a parapet, adding further character to the ensemble.
The original house, with its timeless appeal, did not escape the hands of modification. A three-story stone tower, a porch supported by Doric order columns, and charming dormers were added, transforming the dwelling into a harmonious blend of historical and contemporary architectural styles.
Recognition and Legacy:
In recognition of its historical significance, the McCormick House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The designation reflects not only the architectural merit of the structure but also its ties to John Buchanan McCormick and his illustrious career.
John Buchanan McCormick’s Legacy:
Beyond its architectural allure, the McCormick House holds a deeper connection to John Buchanan McCormick’s multifaceted career. In 1870, McCormick relocated from Pennsylvania to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he made a mark in the world of engineering. Using the flumes at John Wesley Emerson’s plant, he designed what would later become the Hercules water turbine. This innovation, considered groundbreaking in hydrodynamics, was manufactured under various names, including the Hercules brand. McCormick’s turbine gained international acclaim and secured first-place honors at the Edinburgh Exposition in 1890.
The McCormick House stands not only as a picturesque landmark but also as a living testament to the intersection of architectural history and the innovative spirit of John Buchanan McCormick. Its enduring legacy continues to captivate those who appreciate the fusion of the old and the new, making it a must-see for history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados alike. While the owners aren’t currently offering tours, you can drive by to view its magnificence.