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Niven Residence

Niven Residence

This home was built in 1919 by a French architect Levesque. Levesque may have been inspired by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright as the structure of the home resembles Wright's "prairie houses" which characteristically feature extended low buildings with shallow, sloping roofs, clean sky lines, suppressed chimneys, and large overhangs. The Adams family would inhabit the home next for a period spanning three generations. Happy Adams, a photographer, passed possession of the home to his daughter, Nellie Adams. Nellie was an avid painter and as such, she began to adorn her home with her art. In 1971, Nellie painted an over mantel landscape (oil on wood). The well executed artwork was not painted directly on the plaster wall but rather on a thin piece of plywood which was permanently affixed to the wall. In 1972, Nellie painted a fall scene in a bedroom closet that enclosed a Murphy bed (acrylic on beaver board). Both artworks are signed and dated. Interestingly enough, the current owner, Bill Niven, discovered additional panel paintings in the basement.

The panels were used to create a make-shift drop ceiling, the paintings being on the inside. Mr. Niven made the discovery when he had to have some plumbing work done on pipes located between the drop ceiling and floor boards. Thus far, two painted boards have been removed. Both panels depict what seems to be scenes from Robin Hood. Mr. Niven suspects that the boards were once backdrop panels for a play or production. The panels, although very similar in style, were painted by two different artists, W.B. Pringle and Manuel. It is believed that most of the boards that form the ceiling have painted surfaces.



Property Type:


Construction Details: 
Builder Name: Levesque
Current Owner: 
Bill Niven