Table of Contents
Address: 513 E. Pleasant St.
Design and construction
Nelson House is a 1½ story wood frame house with a side gable, and a rear ell that has an enclosed porch. The building is located along North Pleasant Street in an area that is semi-rural but has modern campus roadways and buildings to its south. The building is three bays wide and one bay deep, and the ell is seven bays wide. Nelson House has vinyl siding and vinyl windows, and the roof is covered with asphalt shingles. The foundation of the ell is brick, while the foundation of the main house is covered with cement. The building’s main entry is in the center of its three-bay west elevation, sheltered within a small porch that is supported by two posts and has a gable front. This porch is built on top of a three-step concrete base. The front door is modern, with nine-pane simulated divided lights in its upper half. A single 6/1sash is located at either side of the door. A 6/1 window is set into a front gable dormer that rises directly above the peak of the porch. This dormer’s face is flush with the front wall of the house and interrupts the roof edge, indicating that the house’s upper half story has a front room with a wall dormer. The south elevation has a set of paired 6/1 windows at the center of the main block, with a central 6/1 window above it in the gable peak. The south elevation of the 1½ story side gable ell has an enclosed porch with a windowless central door, and three sets of 2/4 paired casement windows at either side of the door. A three-step wood staircase with wood hand rails provides access to the door from the yard. Although the ell has a brick foundation, the enclosed porch has no foundation. The space between the enclosed porch deck and the ground is screened with diamond pattern wood lattice.
Landscape – Visual/Design Assessment
Nelson House is located on the eastern side of North Pleasant Street immediately to the north of Olympia Drive, a bituminous concrete road bordered by a bituminous concrete sidewalk. The house is accessed by an unpaved driveway that runs north-south from Olympia Drive. Pedestrian access to the house is accommodated from the driveway to the main entrance on the southern façade. The landscape surrounding the house consists primarily of deciduous trees over mown lawn with a few evergreen trees. A picnic table is located to the south of the building.
Nelson House is a legacy structure that was conveyed with the land when the Massachusetts Agricultural College acquired the farmland associated with this structure. No information has been discovered regarding the history of this property.
Nelson House (1920) is located outside of the core of the campus and is not shown on historic campus maps or plans. No historic photographs of the building have been located.
- From the Massachusetts Historical Commission, UMass Amherst Building Survey reports (2009).