The property has three residential structures. The manor is the largest and most historic, and was built for the Whitin-Lasell family in 1890. The colonial house and dorm were built in the mid-1900s by the church. There are 39 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms (some halfs, some full+), along with many small to large common rooms. There is currently a moderate garage/shed, and we have plans to build a large garage/workshop. There are also expansive lawn and garden areas, along with 20 acres of forest and a small stream.
At this time we're using the upstairs of the shed as a wood shop, downstairs as metal shop and yard equipment storage. Our plan for the bedrooms call for 25 to house people and the rest to be put to various other purposes such as art and craft and recording studios, meditation and yoga and gym, etc.
Primary Address, Manor
best for billing, or sending deliveries for events
120 Hill Street
Rear address, Dormitory
best for sending packages or mail to residents
41 Pine Street
Former property names: Whitin-Lasell Manor, The Whitin-Lasell Estate, House of Affirmation, Oakhurst.
Not yet pictured on the map is a small trail system we're making in the woods. The near side of the stream has our new 0.3 mile loop with a few spurs. The far side of the stream has some preexisting trails that connect to the neighboring forest parcels.
10-15 residents in 5-15 bedrooms. 0-4 bedrooms used as historic BnB. Additional bedrooms as common spaces, social or crafty or creative or quiet. Occasional large scale events using many to most of the common interior and exterior spaces. Frequent small scale events using limited common spaces. Events might be described as party, workshop, class, retreat, gathering, etc. They might focus on crafts, art creation, art presentation and sale, socialization, acrobatics, dance, circus arts, spiritual activities, games and sports, etc. Outside of scheduled events and activities, this will be the quietest and most peaceful building, with an especially quiet wing above the kitchen and a less quiet wing above the ballroom.
One-family detached dwelling (S), Membership club (S)
The manor was built in 1890, with some additions in the early to mid 1900s. The ground floor is approx 7000sqft with numerous large common spaces including the dining room, organ room, billiards room, foyer, solarium, etc, and functional spaces including the kitchen, multiple half baths, and storage rooms. The second floor historically contained a handful of large bedrooms (occupied by the owners) which were later subdivided in the lath and plaster era, now having approximately 12 bedrooms and a variety of full, half, and 1.5 bathrooms, some public or shared or private. We may eliminate three bedrooms on the second floor to raise the organ room ceiling on the first floor. The third floor contains approximately 12 original smaller bedrooms (historically occupied by the house staff), and again an assortment of sizes and styles of bathrooms. The three main floors are connected by large staircases at the front of the manor and another staircase in the rear which previously included a small elevator and currently has a battery powered incline rail chair lift. The fourth floor has one tall room with ladder access to the flagpole and progressively smaller attic spaces along the length of the building. The basement is full height under half the building, tall crawlspace under the other half, with laundry and utilities and storage spaces in the full height section. Heat and hot water use heating oil with plans to switch to gas, kitchen appliances use gas. Most of the building is wheelchair accessible via ramp and seated lift.
4-8 residents in 4 bedrooms. This building will house indoor pets.
One-family detached dwelling (S)
Modern (late 1900s) design and construction. The ground floor has a living room, kitchen, half bath, and office. The top floor has three bedrooms and a full bath. The basement is full size and partially finished. The attic is full height in the center and otherwise unremarkable. This building is in very good condition, with the only notable problem being a small amount of water in the basement not draining to the sump which is otherwise operational. Heat and hot water and kitchen appliances use gas. Not currently wheelchair accessible.
5-15 residents in 5-10 bedrooms. These residents will self select as those with the loudest lifestyles and hobbies, likely including musicians. Common room is expected to be the most frequently and generally raucous social space. This will usually be the loudest building. Additional 4-8 bedrooms with 16-32 beds for short term guests, event attendees, artists in residence, contractors, etc. Additional bedrooms and offices for common space, studios, etc.
One-family detached dwelling (S), Accessory (P)
Two floors mostly comprised of eight pairs of bedrooms connected by eight full baths. The bottom floor also contains a large open common room, a few small offices, utility spaces, a kitchen, and two half baths. Not currently wheelchair accessible.
Storage of outdoor supplies and equipment. Mower, lawn tractor, sawmill, other tool-like stuff. Tents, chairs, stanchions, other outdoor event stuff. Temporary wood/metal shop until workshop is built.
Free standing structure built into a slope. 1000sqft footprint, full size bottom floor, top floor with sloped roof. Bottom floor has garage and materials doors at ground level. Top floor has a door at a different ground level.
Retreat space for use by residents or guests. Some combination of quiet, warm, sober, etc as needed to escape whatever else is happening on the property.
Currently just a foundation and chimney The previous cabin was destroyed by tree fall and has been mostly demolished. Current plan is for a single room with a sleeping loft, a wood stove using the existing chimney, and a porch/deck surrounding trees that have grown within the past footprint of the building.
Wood shop, hot metal shop, auto shop, machine shop.
Accessory (P), “Accessory residential building such as toolshed, [...] and private detached garage for noncommercial vehicles” (P), Home occupation (P)
This building does not exist yet. Preliminary talks with representatives from Zoning, Building, and Historic Preservation suggest it can be built out of sight of the road, adjacent to the parking lot. Current vague plan is 30x55ft with two floors.
The property has two paved entrances from Hill St and one from Pine St, all connected. There is a parking lot for 40-50 cars. Driveway segments approach the manor, colonial, and shed. We may build extensions to/around the workshop, or to the dorm.
The rear 20 acres of the property is forested, of sparse to moderate density, and has not been recently explored. The remains of small historic improvements exist in the near sections of the forest. We are in the process of establishing a trail and plan to maintain a few clearings for outdoor activities in the forest.
A small stream runs through the forest. It runs clear with no notable smell, on a bed of rocks, dirt, and occasional rust-colored algae(?). It makes pleasant but quiet stream sounds over a rocky and muddy bed. From brief visual surveys it runs 5-20 gallons per minute with a width of 2-10ft and a depth of 1-10 inches.
Surrounding the manor, colonial, dorm, garden, and driveway, there are approximately three acres of lawn with scattered trees, plentiful shade, and gentle slopes. This should provide ample space for outdoor activities and events on level and gently sloped grass.
At the south end of the lawn there is old construction including fountains, benches, walls, and gates, surrounding areas previously used for meditation and gardens. I hope we attract at least a few people interested in reviving the garden and bringing the meditation spaces back to life. Parts of the gardens, including block, brick, and concrete improvements and furniture, lie on the far side of recent subdivision property boundaries. Negotiations with neighbors to buy back that land or move the improvements are underway.