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Kragsyde is the name of a mansion built on Smith's Point at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, United States, in 1883 and demolished in 1929. The house was commissioned by Bostonian George Nixon Black, Jr. to the famous architectural firm of Peabody & Stearns.

Kragsyde is generally regarded as the zenith of "Shingle Style," a subtype of American Queen Anne architecture. Architectural historian Vincent Scully has called the house a masterpiece and stated that the two architects "never again...created house of such quality." [1] Rambling, haunting and evocative, the beautiful house set high on a dramatic headland was famous in its day and was published several times both in Europe and America. Nixon and his family occupied the house every summer from May until October to the end of their lives.[2]


Kragsyde's footprint followed that of broad "V". The image accompanying this article shows the seaside facade and service court of the house. From structures approach, the massiveness of Kragsyde was hidden as its broadest facades faced the ocean. Peabody and Sterns did this to not only allow for the view, but also to capture the cool sea breezes within the house.

Plans published by Peabody and Stearns show that service rooms and the kitchen were located on the ground floor of Kragsyde. Elevated above the ground floor was the house's main floor which contained parlors for entertaining and the dining room. Adjacent to the dining room was a service pantry and stairs to the kitchen; food was raised to the pantry via a dumbwaiter system. Leading from the parlor and dining room were broad porches and decks. Separating the service court from the front of the structure was a wing dominated by a massive arch. Within the arch was an entrance into the house on one side, and access to a billiard room on the other. A single room, with windows on three sides was situated above the arch along with a private loggia. Stairs from the loggia led down to the property below helped to add length to the structure.

Kragsyde today


Kragsyde was replicated in mirrored form in 1982 on Swan's Island, off the coast of Maine near Bar Harbor.[3][4][5]

The location of the replica is 44°8′38.88″N 68°23′40.13″W / 44.1441333°N 68.3944806°W / 44.1441333; -68.3944806


  1. ^ Vincent J. Scully Jr., The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Richardson to the Origins of Wright (1955; Yale University Press, New Haven, 1971), pp. 99-100.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Down East: At Home in Maine: Houses Designed to Fit the Land
  4. ^ Down East:Kragsyde Reborn
  5. ^ Old-House Interiors:Kragsyde