Design and construction
Montague House is a 2½ story side gable Greek Revival wood frame structure with corner boards, a glass-enclosed front porch, a large dormer with a pediment, and a 2½ story side gable rear ell. The main block is nine bays wide and six bays deep. The ell is nine bays wide. Montague House has an asphalt shingle roof, clapboard siding, wood window sash and a granite foundation. The enclosed stairway at the east end of the ell has a brick foundation.
The main entry is in the building’s west elevation, within a glass-enclosed 1-story porch that spans the full width of the house. The porch has four square Greek Revival posts, clapboard knee walls, and three six-pane fixed windows between each post. The second story contains a central 6/6 window that has a more closely spaced pair of 6/6 windows on either side. The attic has a front gable dormer, with a pediment and Greek Revival corner boards, which contains four 6/2 windows. The dormer has a small 3/2 window on its south and north elevations.
The south elevation of the enclosed porch contains a nine-pane door that has a 2/3 window on either side. The first and second stories of the main block’s south elevation each contain a 6/6 window near the west end of the elevation, and two more closely spaced 6/6 windows near the east end of the elevation. The gable peak has a central 6/6 window.
The rear ell’s south elevation has a deeply recessed porch that is overhung by the second story. This recessed section contains two doors and four 6/6 windows. Located to the east of the recessed porch, the south elevation’s front wall has three evenly spaced 6/6, 2/2 and 6/6 windows, followed by a portico with simple Roman Doric columns and a pediment. The door within this portico has 2/2 panes in its upper half and a boarded-over panel in its lower half. The east end of the ell has a very narrow shed roof addition that appears to enclose a stairway to the second story.
The ell’s east elevation contains a 6/6 window in the second story, set above the slope of the stairway addition’s roof, and a 3/3 window in the gable peak.
The stairway addition’s north elevation contains a 3/2 window in the first story and a 2/1 window in its second story. The ell’s north elevation has a somewhat irregular window and door arrangement. On the first story, this consists of a small 3/3 window, a slightly larger 2/2 window, six 6/6 windows, and a 6-panel door with 3/2 panes in its upper third. The main block’s north elevation has an identical window arrangement to what is on its south elevation. The porch’s north elevation contains a doorway, with two 6-pane fixed windows on the west side of the doorway.
Montague House is a legacy structure that was conveyed with the land when the Massachusetts Agricultural College acquired the farmland associated with this structure, which appears to have happened in 1923, based on the Facilities Department’s records. No information has been discovered to date that documents the history of this property before it was acquired by MAC.
Montague House (1923) is located outside the core of the campus and is not shown on historic campus maps or plans. No historic photographs of the building have been located; however, based on campus building construction history it is evident that the landscape associated with Montague House was significantly impacted by the construction of Marks Meadow Elementary School (originally Furcolo Hall) immediately to the north of the house in 1962, with subsequent additions. Changes in circulation patterns from residential scale vehicular and pedestrian circulation to institutional scale circulation has resulted in the addition of bituminous concrete parking areas to the sough of the house and a vehicular turn-around at the eastern side of the house. The scale of Marks Meadow Elementary School, located immediately to the north and east of Montague House, is inconsistent with the scale of Montague House.
- Massachusetts Historical Commission, UMass Amherst Building Survey (2009).