Built in 1857, the Manship House was probably inspired by a design in A. J. Downing’s book The Architecture of Country Houses, a popular pattern book first published in 1850. Downing’s plan included tall decorative chimneys set diagonally on the base to add height to the overall design of the “Cottage Villa in the Rural Gothic Style.”
The three Manship House chimneys, reproductions from the 1980 restoration, have contributed to the house being out of level, and are being completely removed during the foundation repair project. Estimated to weigh about thirty tons each, the chimneys have not shifted at the same rate as the wooden elements of the house, resulting in large cracks in the plaster walls, doors and windows that do not fit properly, and gaps around chimneys. Once the house has been leveled and placed on its new steel frame, the chimneys will be reconstructed using lighter materials.