With this post, 1812Blockhouse begins a series of looks at individual pieces of historic architecture in Mansfield and the surrounding area. The past of a community can contribute to a sense of place which, in turn, can fuel both economic development and a high quality of life.
We begin with the Martin Bushnell House, located at 34 Sturges Avenue, just south of Park Avenue West.
This magnificent house was built in 1892. Constructed entirely of stone, the Bushnell House exhibits the wide variety characteristic of the Queen Anne style of architecture, combined with the massive, thick building elements suggesting the Richardson Romanesque style. As one description shares, “besides the various stone types composing the foundation and walls, the house features a slate roof and elements of granite. A large porch is placed at the front of the house, with a semicircular bow window above the porch and a two-story octagonal tower to the side. The roofs are of various types: that of the tower rises to a steep point, while other sections are gabled. Vertical elements include numerous chimneys, placed at widely separated points on the roofline, as well as the paired columns that support the porch roof. Small occuli are built into several sides of the tower, above the second-story windows, while a semicircular window in the front gable overlooks the roof of the bow window”
The stone for the exterior came from a quarry north of Mansfield which produced the brilliant pink and red sandstone that gives the house its unique look. This building material is sometimes referred to as “Black Hand Sandstone.” The quarry began its operations in the 1840s, and continued producing stone until the 1930s.
Martin Baldwin Bushnell came from a family steeped in public service. His father was in the Ohio House of Representatives, and Martin served in the Ohio Senate.
On April 26, 1974, the Bushnell House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.